An evening of Questions and Answers … and a little music. And that is exactly what it was. The “Piano Man” decided to take a break from his recent two-year River of Dreams tour to sit back, relax, and chat with his fans. Billy Joel returned to his home state of New York to perform at Queens College recently.
“Can I come up on stage and sing a song with you?” was one of the questions asked that evening. And yes, a young woman had the chance to join Billy to sing the first verse of “New York State of Mind.” Hundreds had their hands raised high, hoping theirs would be the one Billy Joel would spot to ask the next question.
As the lights dimmed, Billy Joel strolled to his grand piano, and enthusiastically played. In the midst, Billy explained piece by piece where the song came from. Bringing back some old memories, Mr.
Joel decided to sing “Just the Way You Are” which had not been performed in several years.
Besides asking personal questions, many inquisitive young men and women sought advice on how to get started in the music business. Billy Joel replied by relating his own enlightening experiences, what he had been through, and explained the encounters faced daily. The artist was down-to-earth and spoke straight from the heart, even sharing childhood memories of weekly piano lessons. When responding, Joel was extremely entertaining and kept the audience hanging on every word. Aside from his talent as a musician, it was apparent from the constant laughter of the crowd, the singer-songwriter was truly a funny guy.
Billy Joel maintained a light, friendly atmosphere while allowing his adoring fans to have an opportunity to see the man behind the “Nylon Curtain” and enjoy some great musical favorites along the way. As always Billy Joel concluded the night with his famous “Piano Man,” leaving the crowd happily humming and a little bit more knowledgeable about music and the “Piano Man” himself