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Tour Retrospectives

EP 055 – 2008 Tour, Walmart Vinyl, Billy Joel & Metallica Vegas Weekend

2022 is turning out to be a big year for Billy Joel. Just by the end of February, fans enjoyed a unique weekend of music in a city where Billy doesn’t often play. And, new vinyl releases expanding on last year’s box set, include an album few fans have ever owned on vinyl before. 

We’re covering these events in this episode while also looking at a much quieter, often overlooked point in Billy’s career: his 2008 tour of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

By the end of the new century’s first decade. Billy’s career appeared to be winding down. It’d been seven years since his last release of new music, and 15 since his last pop album. And, his touring schedule was dwindling with fewer dates each year. 

Billy would hit the road again with Elton John in 2009. For this year, however, fans would only get a handful of television appearances and a run of tour dates on the other side of the world from his home on Long Island.

He’d still be years away from the Garden residency that fueled a renewed interest in his live performances and a critical reassessment of his place in pop culture history. For those keeping score 14 years ago,  it may have looked like his number was up. 

But, as we’ve seen just by the news this year, Billy still had a lot to offer. 

Join us, as we recap the last few weeks of Billy Joel news, and dig deep into his 2008 tour.

 

Michael’s  Billy Joel Walmart Vinyl Unboxing Video

Michael’s guest appearance on Metal Up Your Podcast

 

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EP 037 – Face to Face Tour 1994 with Elton John

Twenty-seven years ago this month, two titans of pop music teamed up for a run of sold-out shows that would set the tone for tours to come.

 

We’re talking about the first Face to Face tour featuring Billy Joel and Elton John. In the summer of 1994, the two hit-making piano players shared the stage for a then-unprecedented run of twenty-one sold-out shows in the United States

 

In hindsight, the tour could have been a disaster with a huge crew, two full bands, an exceptionally long show, and even a bout of food poisoning. But audiences loved it, and the pair would go on to team up for a total of seven tours over fifteen years. 

 

It’s been more than a decade since the last Face to Face concert. But, this summer, we’re diving deep into the very first shows featuring Elton John and Billy Joel. 

 

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EP 027 – The Bridge Tour 1986-87

It’s easy to overlook most of Billy Joel’s The Bridge Tour concert dates from 1986 and 1987. The shows, which spanned four continents, were in support of one of Billy’s arguably weakest albums. 

 

Meanwhile, these dates are eclipsed by the handful of landmark shows he played in the USSR at the tail end of the tour. 

 

But it turns out there’s enough going on to warrant a closer look. Perhaps most notably, we know now that these were the last dates to feature the core Lords of 52nd Street lineup. 

 

And, the shows featured sleek and subtle state-of-the-art stage and sound designs. 

 

There’s more than meets the eye with these mid-80s concerts. Join us as we dive deep into the Bridge tour from 1986 and 1987.

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EP 022 – 2006-2007 World Tour

Billy Joel’s World Tour from 2006 through 2007 turned out to be a true page-turner in his career. He’d played virtually no concerts the previous two years. And by the end of 2003 his performances were getting just a little stale. 

 

But, you’d never know that from the 110 or so dates he mounted when he got back into touring mode. And, from all the high-quality footage that’s available, he seemed more energetic and excited about playing live than he’d been for a while. 

 

The biggest change was a new drummer, Chuck Burgi. Otherwise, the players were familiar from the previous decade or so. With a seven-piece powerhouse in tow, Billy quickly served up 12 Gardens Live, a new two-CD album culled from a dozen shows at Madison Square Garden in the first half of 2006. 

 

In retrospect, that album, and this tour, set the stage for the next 15 years of Billy’s career, which continues today with his historic Garden residency. 

 

But the monthly Manhattan shows were still almost a decade away when Billy hit the road again. For now, let’s dive deep into Billy Joel’s 2006 / 2007 World Tour.

 

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EP 014 – 1987 Tour of Russia

The year was 1987. Billy and the band were well into their tour supporting The Bridge album. An incredible opportunity came along that would change everyone involved’s life forever.

 

Billy Joel and his band became the first American pop act to bring a full-scale touring production to Russia.  While other US artists had played behind the Iron Curtain before, never had the Russians experienced a full on rock show until now.

 

Join Michael & Jack as they go back to 1987 and discuss this monumental 6 date tour that helped thaw relations between the two nations, and saw musicians and crew alike come away touched by the warmth and kindness they received throughout. 

 

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