2000 Years The Millennium Concert

The first concert my friends and I went to on our own was Billy Joel at Rockland Community College — a great night out, except for when that guy behind me threw up on my Turnstiles tour shirt during "Captain Jack." I like to think a kinder, gentler, more sober version of that fine fellow made it to Billy Joel's big-ticket millennium blowout at Madison Square Garden. The concert documented here is a lively reminder of Joel's massively crowd-pleasing way with an arena. 2000 Years opens with quite an unusual one-two punch: a bit of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony going into Joel's characteristically pugnacious Eighties rocker "Big Shot." From then on, the Millennium Concert set list is surprisingly imaginative, including early gems like "Summer, Highland Falls," "The Ballad of Billy the Kid" and "Angry Young Man," as well as more recent, undervalued numbers like "I Go to Extremes" and "Big Man on Mulberry Street." There are also rollicking covers of "Honky Tonk Women" and "Dance to the Music" that prove Billy and the band know how to kick out the party-rock jams — even if, as Joel has claimed, his future may be more in the Beethoven bag than in the "Big Shot" direction.