Billy Joel performed his first full concert in over three years this weekend at the Stone Music Festival in Sydney, Australia. He stuck largely to the hits, though he did break out the album cuts “The Entertainer,” “Zanzibar” and “Don’t Ask Me Why.” The 19-song set ended, of course, with “Piano Man.” Though very few of the performances are on YouTube, someone did capture the vast majority of “She’s Always a Woman.”
Joel is contemplating a return to the road, and he’s using the Stone Festival and his upcoming New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival gig as a test run. “I’m putting my toe back into the water to see how performing feels,” he told Rolling Stone earlier this month. “That doesn’t mean I’m going to walk away right after if I don’t like how they go, but if I do like how they go, I’ll probably end up booking some more gigs.”
Although these festival gigs are being centered around Joel’s large catalog of hits, his upcoming tour may feature more obscure tracks. “I got tired of doing the greatest hits set,” he said. “It was boring playing the same songs over and over. There are a lot of songs the longtime fans want to hear.”
Since he doesn’t have any new songs, he’s contemplating performing complete albums. “It would give me a chance to do songs we haven’t played,” he says. “We’d do one album and then play some obscurities. I enjoy playing those more than I enjoy playing the hits . . . I’m thinking we’d do these shows in Philly, New York, Washington D.C., Detroit and Chicago.”
Joel next performs April 27th at the Jazz Fest. After that, fans can do little but hope he had fun and feels like doing it some more.