The Continental Arena in East Rutherford,N.J.,had almost every one of its seats occupied with cheering fans and devoted followers of the two music icons whose careers have spanned more than three decades.
Billy Joel and Elton John took the stage as a duet on Tuesday and have been performing a series of concerts in the New York and New Jersey area and will be wrapping up in Uniondale,N.Y.,on Friday and Sunday,Oct. 13.
Billy Joel walked out from one side wearing solid black pants,stylish blazer and T-shirt and Elton John came from the opposite end of the stage wearing a sleek,shining silver suit that was tailored in his usual square abstract design matching his trademark rectangular shades with a cross earring dangling from one ear.
The crowd roared as the two masterminds of music took a seat facing each other at their own grand piano in the forefront of the stage with a full band in the background.
The idolized musicians embarked on the night's almost three-hour concert by opening with “Your Song,” an original by Elton John.
After charming the audience with an endearing duet,Billy Joel then departed,leaving Elton John to continue his set with “Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me,” which afterward sprung the crowd to an standing ovation after the second song.
For many in the packed arena,it would be their first time to experience the talent of two of America's most acknowledged artists,but for Terry Landy,43,it would be just another check on the list,“This is my 26th time seeing Elton John play in concert,” said Landy.
Elton John has been in his prime and seems unable to be knocked from that spot,since the ’70s and has attracted all ages of fans. “I was 12 years old when I first saw Elton play,” exclaimed Landy proudly.
The compassionate Elton John took the crowd through a tearful yet exhilarating trip through his set especially when performing,“Daniel,” which was in dedication to Daniel Pearl,a Wall Street journalist who was kidnapped and killed in Pakistan by four Pakistan terrorists.
“Thursday they are honoring Daniel who was unfortunately killed but I'm going to sing a song tonight for Daniel and pay our respect ahead of time,” expressed Elton John who was referring to the “Daniel Pearl Music Day,” that was taking place on Oct. 10,where all musicians around the world would honor the late journalist in their performances.
The crowd's mood changed as they sang along in the sad reminder of the horrible tragedy.
Elton continued with other favorites such as,“Philadelphia Freedom,” “Take Me to the Pilot,” “Tiny Dancer,” and of course “Rocketman,” along with his latest hit “I Want Love.”
After finishing his set,the gratified audience jumped to their feet in applause and loud celebration only to be sucked into Billy Joel's high-energy performance immediately following Elton's touching spectacle.
Billy Joel lead the ecstatic,spectators into a adrenalin-pumped set with songs like “All Or Nothing at All,” and “In the Middle of the Night,” while also giving the audience a vocal decision on what he should play next.
Billy Joel teased the fans with his sarcastic humor while suggesting several well-known songs to the crowd as they yelled out their vote by levels of cheer,“It's like the freak’n Florida election with you guys,” expressing the crowd's indecisive verdict.
Billy Joel finally settled on “The Downeaster Alexa,” with Alexa being the name of his daughter.
He continued with his set with high spirits as he tore his blazer from his body and with a sleeveless T-shirt and mike stand swinging in hand,he ran from one stage to the other provoking the crowds excitement with “It's Only Rock n' Roll to Me,” and “Only the Good Die Young.”
Afterward,he eased into songs like,“Moving Out,” “New York State of Mind,” and “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant.”
The lights went out and finally,turning back on with both Billy Joel and Elton John sat looking at one another from their pianos as the arena boomed with the sound of static cheering as the two went into a set of songs to close the show.
The duet could be seen on gigantic,overhead monitors as their fingers glided rhythmically across the keyboard to popular songs of Elton John's “My Life,” “Benny and the Jets,” and his most impacting song in recent years,“Candle in the Wind,” along with Joel's “You May Be Right,” and a special encore presentation of “Piano Man.”