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Billy Joel starts the fire in Tampa / The Suncoast Post

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The Piano Man started things off in Tampa on Friday night a little different this year. Instead of taking to the ivories, he came out on guitar to a rousing opener of "We Didn't Start the Fire". Billy brought something for everyone on this annual trip to Florida's west coast. There were the hits and there were some deep cuts for the diehard Joel fans!

Billy Joel came out playing guitar at Amalie Arena in TampaOn the setlist, to name a few were, "Allentown", "Only the Good Die Young", "My Life", "Don't Ask Me Why" and "Sometimes a Fantasy". The over 20,000 sold-out crowd was ready to sing-along with "Piano Man", with Billy on harmonica and piano singing his own life story. Returning for the encore, Billy left the piano to sing the 80's MTV video hit, "Uptown Girl", complete with Billy swinging a gift bag given to him by a fan. "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" and " Big Shot" kept the high energy going with the closing tune "You May Be Right" with a snippet of Zeppelin thrown in.

It is amazing that Billy Joel continues to sell out Madison Square Garden month after month, baseball stadiums around the country and shows wherever he goes. He hasn't had a new album since 1993! How is this possible? Is it about nostalgia? There might be a bit of that but it's so much more than that. It is about great music! Billy has written some timeless songs but also plays covers of other timeless artists. It touches the hearts and souls of the millions of people who have been to Billy Joel shows. It is also an evening of fun! Singing and dancing is going on all over from the nosebleed seats to the front row! Strangers next to each other singing together! As Billy says, " It's been me they've been coming to see to forget about life for awhile"!

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