Billy Joel and Christina Perri | Citizens Bank Park

     Last weekend Billy Joel returned to Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park for what has become a nearly annual event and with him he brought Philadelphia native Christina Perri. The hours that lead up to the show were plagued with downpours, thunder and even some lighting but as fate would have it this inclement weather cleared out just minutes before doors opened in Philadelphia. Crowds of people were amassed in the parking lots in a situation that looked more like a Philadelphia sporting event than a concert with tailgaters as far as the eye could see. There were no team banners being hung this day but others were flying in their place with numerous fan made Billy Joel flags waiving in the breeze that had picked up after the rain passed. Doors opened nearly 2 hours before the start of the show in an effort to get the massive crowd into the venue and through their newly increased security measures at Citizens Bank Park.

Photo by Matt Christine
Photo by Matt Christine

     By the time Christina Perri took the stage a few minutes passed 8PM the stadium had really almost filled as many began to dawn their newly purchased Billy Joel merchandise across the field. Perri was greeted to a warm homecoming welcome as she came on stage to kick her short set off with “Shot In The Dark.” Sight of Sound has seen and covered Miss Perri numerous times in her home state of Pennsylvania but nothing to the scale of this opening slot for Billy Joel.

     Dressed in a one of a kind Phillies jacket white dress Perri worked the stage like a true master. While she was a last minute addition to the show her performance added greatly to the evening as many sang along with as she danced across the stage beaming energy and urging the crowd to dance along with her. She sat behind the piano for a few songs but kept her self mobile across the massive stage through the set. 40 minutes went by quick and Perri ended her set with as a thank you before she ran off with a massive smile on her face.

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     Perri has confirmed since that she is in the studio working on her next album, Philadelphia will no doubt look forward to her return in the future as well Sight of Sound. After he set a very quick set change occurred as stage lighting began to truly fire to life and instruments were checked for Billy Joel’s arrival to the stage. Joel took the stage promptly to a roar that was deafening. His set contained a perfect balance of songs and he himself said that he was going to focus on what the people what and avoid new material. Joel is a top notch performer and the Philadelphia show was no exception.

     His vocals shined strong even in the oddly shaped venue that Citizens Bank Park is. At this point in his career the performance may come out with little effort but that doesn’t mean Joel was not committed. He blazed across the piano and interacted with the crowd all night long as he gave Philadelphia the show they had been waiting for. What more can you say? There was nothing but smiles across a nearly sold out venue, the only people who didn’t enjoy the show were those who didn’t attend. Billy Joel will always have a special place in the hearts of all in Philadelphia.

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