Billy joel thrills fans in hamburg

billy joel thrills fans in hamburg

It’s been twelve years since billy joel last played hamburg. At that time only 8000 fans wanted to see him.

On saturday, the volksparkstadion presented a completely different picture: 30,000 people celebrated the “piano man,” who has sold 150 million records in his five-decade career, at his only concert in germany this year.

The audience in hamburg grew up with billy joel’s songs. The older listeners usually recognize his countless hits from the first few bars, acknowledge it with a deep sigh, sing along, dance, bob or cuddle to it. Word has probably spread here in the meantime that a joel ticket in new york city is a coveted good: since 2014, the piano bard has been playing there once a month in madison square garden ? The 20,000 tickets per performance are sold out far in advance.

A whiff of the big apple also blows through the stadium in hamburg when the piano entertainer opens his set with the groovy “my life. With his eight-piece band he brings a fat sound to the stage. No one is sitting still. That joel is also in a good mood is shown by his flirting with the photographers in the pit: “hey, you there! I am 69. I am an old man. But good luck with the photos,” he quips. His bald head shines in the spotlight, his chin is adorned with a gray beard, his heavy body is wrapped in a black suit. He can be seen – and heard anyway.

It’s unbelievable how many hits the man behind the piano has amassed since his 1971 solo debut. From the ballad “she?S always a woman” through the working class anthem “allentown”, which reaches its climax in a hissing “tsch uh ah”, to “new york state of mind”, decorated with a saxophone solo, to which images of the big apple at night are shown on the screens next to and above the stage.

Even “leningrad”, which he rarely performs, is in his program on this wonderfully warm summer evening, because the song is a classic in germany. “Speak german? I speak it a little,” he says with an accent and earns cheers. He doesn’t say a word about his tragic family history – his grandfather had to flee nazi germany. After all he is an entertainer with body and soul.

He does not mention his half-brother, the conductor alexander joel, who lives in hamburg. Rather he makes spab. “Now we’re playing a religious song, something very spiritual. I need to get in the mood for religion and all that shit,” he says, straps on an electric guitar and introduces his roadie chainsaw. Joel plays the unmistakable riffs of AC/DC’s “highway to hell”, chainsaw takes over the vocals, and the stadium suddenly becomes a hard rock arena. Not surprising, since joel dreamed of becoming a successful rocker in his early days.

Like a berserker, he throws himself at the end of “it?S still rock and roll to me” his microphone stand to a crew member. But there is also room in his show for the tenor mike, who will perform puccini’s “nessun dorma”. “It’s a pretty good crowd for a saturday” ? The line from the classic “piano man” seemed to come particularly easily to joel this evening.

The master will be announced on 18. July to give his next concert, then back in the usual terrain of madison square garden. It will be 100. Performance at the famous venue.


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