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Three legends, two ballparks. Too old to rock and roll? Though it can probably be heard playing in bars all around Wrigleyville somewhere near closing time, there was something magical about hearing Billy Joel and Elton John together perform "Piano Man" at beautiful Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.
The duo did a pair of shows at the old ballpark as part of their Face to Face tour. Over the course of three-plus hours, John and Joel performed a number of songs together in opening and closing sets, trading off lead vocals and piano licks. Each also performed a separate set with his own band.
Throughout the night, John sang in a much deeper voice than is heard on the originals, experimenting with his vocal phrasing and rhythm. Perhaps it was a change necessitated by time and age, but it was effective, nonetheless. John's interaction with the crowd was pretty much limited to his music, with the performer offering little more than waves and blown kisses as he rose from his piano between songs. Joel's performance was a little more lively, with the piano man even strapping on a guitar while a member of his road crew from the Chicago area was brought out to perform "Highway to Hell" to the delight of the 40,000-plus fans at Wrigley.
In addition to the dueling pianists, Jimmy Buffet, the Police, and Rascal Flatts are among the artists who have performed at the home of the Chicago Cubs in recent years.
Jul. 23, 2009