Billy Joel at Fenway Park

Billy Joel returned to Fenway park to play his first U.S. show since Madison Square Garden (2.20.20) and first concert since Mexico City (3.6.20).  When Billy Joel isn’t playing his monthly residency show at Madison Square Garden, you can find him performing at baseball stadiums and occasionally football stadiums across the country.  Rescheduled from last year, this show took place at the nation’s oldest baseball stadium none other than the home of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park which will celebrate its 110th anniversary next year.  This year's Fenway concert series kicked off with Guns N’ Roses the night before Billy Joel’s triumphant return to the stage since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Billy Joel has had many achievements around from winning five Grammys to being a Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductee (1999) to the 2002 MusiCares person of the year along with nearly 30 more honors/awards on top of having 13 platinum/multi-platinum studio albums and 3 compilation platinum/multi-platinum albums with his Greatest Hits Volume I and II selling over 20 million copies alone.  Now at 72, with a career spanning over five decades Billy Joel still brings a real Rock N’ Roll show to arenas and stadiums selling 20,000-50,000 seats a night and even up to 80,000 depending on the venue size.


Joel played with his long time band of David Rosenthal (Keys), Chuck Burgi (Drums), Tommy Byrnes (Guitar), Mark Rivera (Sax/Percussion), Crystal Taliefero (Sax/Percussion), Carl Fischer (Trumpet), and Mike DelGuidice (Vocals/Guitar) filled on bass for Andy Cichon while he was out for Covid. Half of this band has been backing Joel between 20-30 years with Rivera being a member for almost 40 years.


For all the times I’ve been to a Billy Joel concert, usually he goes on at 8/8:15 P.M. With a night of rain approaching the show started just before 7:45 with some daylight left.  Thankfully the rain was light and didn’t get heavier until the concert had ended.  Being an outdoor concert in the East Coast there’s always a chance of rain.  The concert lasted over two hours and consisted of 24 songs all hits with a few covers mixed in.  The opening number was “My Life,” followed by a few verses of “Singin’ in the Rain” which led into “Pressure.”  Before “Zanzibar,” parts of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” were incorporated.  One thing you can expect is to hear a different set list at every show and a different opening and closing song.


The hits continued with songs like “The Longest Time,” “Don’t Ask Me Why,” and “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song).  About halfway through the show, an engagement happened right in the front row followed by “She's Always A Woman.”  One thing to look forward to at a Billy Joel concert is hearing “The River of Dreams,” and seeing what song it leads into. For this show Joel and the band paid tribute to ZZ Top bassist, Dusty Hill who had passed just a week prior with “Tush” being sung by DelGuidice before going back into “River of Dreams” flawlessly.  “Only the Good Die Young” followed and then DelGuidice took the mic once again for “Nessun Dorma,” which always leads into “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant.”


The show closed out with an astonishing six song encore starting with “We Didn’t Start the Fire" with Joel on guitar front and center stage.  Joel stayed out front for “Uptown Girl,” “It’s Still Rock N’ Roll to Me, before returning to piano for the final three songs.  The concert ended with “Piano Man,” which after seeing ten Billy Joel shows this may have been the only time I saw him close with it.  So far there’s just five shows booked for the rest of 2021


August 14- Highmark Stadium Buffalo, NY

September 10- Great American Ball Park Cincinnati, OH

October 23- Germania Insurance Super Stage Austin, TX

November 5th and December 20 Madison Square Garden New York, NY


Setlist (Setlist.fm):

  1. My Life

  2. Pressure
    (Preceded by "Singin' in the Rain" snippet.)

  3. The Entertainer

  4. Vienna

  5. Zanzibar
    (Preceded by "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" snippet.)

  6. The Longest Time

  7. Don't Ask Me Why

  8. The Downeaster Alexa

  9. Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)

  10. And So It Goes

  11. Allentown

  12. A Room of Our Own

  13. She's Always a Woman

  14. Sometimes a Fantasy

  15. The River of Dreams
    (with “Tush” by ZZ Top interlude)

  16. Only the Good Die Young

  17. Nessun dorma
    (Giacomo Puccini cover) (sung by guitarist Mike DelGuidice)

  18. Scenes From an Italian Restaurant


  1. We Didn't Start the Fire

  2. Uptown Girl

  3. It's Still Rock and Roll to Me

  4. Big Shot

  5. You May Be Right
    (with "Rock and Roll" snippet (Led Zeppelin)

  6. Piano Man