Billy Joel @ BST Hyde Park – Friday 7th July 2023


“I don’t come here very often”, Billy Joel announced to the Hyde Park crowd, “and I’m not sure when I’ll drag my old ass back over here again. The bad news is we don’t have anything new to play….the good news is you don’t have to hear any new songs”. This latter statement was hardly surprising given that the New York singer songwriter hasn’t released a new studio album since River of Dreams back in 1993; it also meant that what followed was a two hour celebration of his biggest hits and classic album tracks. And given this headlining performance at the British Summer Time festival was just his fourth show over here since 2013, the crowd were determined to enjoy every minute of it.

Accompanied by a stellar band, including one time Rainbow member David Rosenthal on keyboards, and seated at his famous rotating piano, Joel began with an intro of ‘Ode to Joy’ that gave way to ‘My Life’. With his Madison Square Garden residency stretching back to 2014, this was a well polished set with each song perfectly delivered. Allowing the crowd the choice between ‘Just The Way You Are’ and album cut ‘Vienna’, the fact they opted for the latter showed they were not just here for the greatest hits. Taking to his feet Joel moved stage centre for ‘An Innocent Man’ and ‘The Longest Time’, both of which proved that he remains in sublime voice.

There were a combination of heartfelt ballads such as ‘She’s Always a Woman’, sweeping epics ‘New York State of Mind’ and ‘Scene’s From An Italian Restaurant’, and joyous sing-a-longs ‘Allentown’ and ‘River of Dreams’. The latter segued into a raucous Tina Tuner tribute of ‘River Deep Mountain High’ led by Crystal Taliefero, and was followed by guitarist MikeĀ  Delguidice singing a stunning ‘Nessun dorma’. But the biggest cheer of the night was when Joel strapped on the harmonica and stripped it all back for the evergreen ‘Piano Man’, a moment in the show that anyone who has seen Joel perform will always remember. With the uncertainty over if we will see him this side of the pond ever again, this truly was a night to be cherished.


My Life
Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)
The Entertainer
An Innocent Man
The Longest Time
Don’t Ask Me Why
New York State of Mind
She’s Always a Woman
Sometimes a Fantasy
Only the Good Die Young
The River of Dreams / River Deep Mountain High
Nessun dorma
Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
Piano Man

We Didn’t Start the Fire
Uptown Girl
It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
Big Shot
A Hard Day’s Night
You May Be Right