Elton John & Billy Joel – Face To Face 2002

Face-To-Face 2002

Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT – February 2nd, 2002

Disc 1 (77:40), Yankee Doodle intro., Union Jack intro., Your Song, Just The Way You Are, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Funeral For A Friend – Love Lies Bleeding, Someone Save My Life Tonight, Philadelphia Freedom, I Want Love, Rocket Man, Take Me To The Pilot, That’s Why They Call It The Blues, Levon

Disc 2 (64:40):  Elton band intros., This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore, I’m Still Standing, Crocodile Rock, Scenes From An Italian Restaurant, Allentown, Don’t Ask Me Why, Movin’ Out, Prelude, Angry Young Man, Lullabye, River Of Dreams, New York State Of Mind

Disc 3 (54:05):  I Go To Extremes, All Shook Up tease, We Didn’t Start The Fire, Only The Good Die Young, My Life, Here Comes The Sun, The Bitch Is Back, You May Be Right, Bennie And The Jets, I Could Have Danced All Night – Great Balls Of Fire, Piano Man

The Face To Face concerts with Billy Joel and Elton John is a genius concept.  Pairing together the two best piano based pop stars to sing their hits (and even singing each others’), it all began in 1994 and have turned out to be among the most popular ticket on the touring circuit.  So much so that they are planning on touring in 2009 and beyond. 

The best document to yet surface from the 2002 Face To Face tour is the Hartford soundboard.  Widely distributed, this is a silver pressed edition by a no label brand spread over three discs to capture the entire event.  The sound quality is simply magnificent as is the performance. 

An article published reviewing the show states:  Forget about Batman and Robin.

The dynamic duo of piano playing, Billy Joel and Elton John, performed like super-heroes before a sell-out crowd Monday night at the Hartford Civic Center. Fans of all ages turned out to catch the first night of the “Face to Face” tour, which has three more dates scheduled in Hartford for this week.

As two pianos rose from the stage the audience went ballistic before John and Joel took their places and dove straight into “Your Song,” off John’s self-titled album. From there Joel introduced “Just the Way You Are” as a song he wrote for his ex-wife. “What do I know?,” Joel joked. The two then played an amazing version of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” before Joel exited the stage for John’s solo-set.

John performed a great sounding set, backed by his band, which broke out into heavy guitar jams from time to time. He dove into most of his greatest hits, performing both “Philadelphia Freedom” and “Rocket Man” early in his set. After moving into “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues” and “Levon,” he performed the two singles off his new album, “Songs from the West Coast.” Both “I Want Love” and “This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore” sounded great and went well with the rest of the set.

To cap his set, John had fans up out of their seats and rocking to “Crocodile Rock” and “I’m Still Standing” before surrendering the stage to Joel.

Billy Joel started with a rendition of “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” that was so good it could have been mistaken for the ending of his set. He then performed “Allentown,” from his album “The Nylon Curtain” before rolling out more classics beginning with “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” and “Only the Good Die Young.” He followed that with “New York State of Mind” and then performed “newer” songs “Lullaby,” “River of Dreams” and “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Joel had some mic troubles, but pulled it all together to give a good set of songs.

After that set, Elton John came back on stage and the two put fourth the most energy seen all night. Starting off with Joel’s “My Life” the duo set their piano keys on fire all throughout the rest of the set. “Bennie and the Jets,” “You May be Right” and “The Bitch is Back” were all played before dipping into covers of “Great Balls of Fire” and the George Harrison penned “Here Comes the Sun.”

For the encore “Candle in the Wind” was played first while the concert came to a final close with “Piano Man.” It was a great end to a great night of music and those who went definitely got their money’s worth, as the concert ended just short of four hours after it began.  (Billy Joel and Elton John Extravaganza: Part One, Greg Watterworth, Jr./Associate Focus Editor)

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