Billy Joel & Sting Thrill a Crowd at Petco Park

Billy Joel  Sting

Petco Park in San Diego offered up an unexpected treat Saturday evening when rain-soaked crowds gave the Piano Man an enthusiastic standing ovation despite unfavorable conditions for his concert. His performance proved riveting nonetheless!

Sting showed his support of New York by including images of Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty on screen during “New York State of Mind.” Additionally, he joined Joel for “Englishman in New York” with special guest Shaggy.

1. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

Joel managed to impress an audience with new material when he released “Turn the Lights Back On,” his first new song in decades. Summers added his signature rhythmic slashes while his band delivered with precision.

Sting, dressed in his signature Sinatra suit and brimmed hat, joined Joel on stage for an exhilarating duet of “Big Man on Mulberry Street,” as captured by fans.

Joel entertained his audience between songs with charming banter and impressions, turning Madison Square Garden into a casual nightclub feel. At 74, Joel’s voice was strong yet warm on classic hits such as Vienna, Only the Good Die Young and Scenes From an Italian Restaurant while his piano playing was solid throughout his setlist.

2. The Lion Sleeps Tonight

At half a century since Jay Siegel first sang his Tokens hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, its melody still rings out across generations – even drawing attention in Disney’s live-action reboot of its film version.

Billy Joel and Sting shared the stage together for the very first time ever at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium Saturday night for the first time ever, marking 17 years without releasing a pop album but remaining active as an entertainer with stadium shows this spring and summer alongside Stevie Nicks and Sting plus his MSG residency that ends July 25.

Sting injected new life and energy into timeless hits such as “Message in a Bottle,” “Brand New Day” and “Fields of Gold.” Additionally, he skillfully extended many songs for maximum dynamic tension.

3. Stairway to Heaven

Joel’s early lyrical triumph works on multiple levels; it serves both masturbation and life challenges equally well.

Few legacy artists can consistently delight their audiences with new material, but Sting managed it Saturday night when he performed “Heavy Cloud No Rain.” Its final couplet resonated beautifully: “And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.” Immediately following was Led Zeppelin IV guitarist Jimmy Page’s mesmerizing guitar solo showcase; as part of an amazing performance. Page may even still play it today if he had access to guitars; that alone speaks volumes about him!

4. New York State of Mind

Sting and Billy Joel have been close for years, yet this was the first time they co-headlined a concert together. Under a beautiful moonlit sky, Sting and Joel showcased plenty of Empire State love at Raymond James Stadium on October 17.

These two men brought some New York flair to a sold-out audience in Tampa Bay, with The Piano Man giving an introduction featuring “New York State of Mind.”

Joel performed this song with the assistance of a sax player wearing Frank Sinatra-esque attire, and even got to sing some lines in Spanish! Later in the show they performed it again together.

5. We Didn’t Start the Fire

Joel’s 1989 track “We Didn’t Start the Fire” is an iconic landmark of boomer nostalgia. Joel once joked that it lacked melody, yet its original recording cataloged iconic events and pop culture references in a fast-paced delivery that is satisfying to listeners.

Sting brought new vitality and life to such classic songs as “Message in a Bottle,” “Brand New Day,” and “Fields of Gold.” In addition, his unique take on Desert Rose–with its Arabic-influenced melody making the song even more timely–made its mark at this crucial time in Middle Eastern politics.

After singing his jazzy rendition of “Big Man on Mulberry Street,” Sting returned, looking like Frank Sinatra in a hat and suit, to join Joel for a duet performance.

6. It’s Too Late

Old-school critics may still criticize Joel’s lack of edge, but the man is an impressively adept pop songwriter — sometimes even great ones! This album cut is part of Joel’s Instructional Songs series – an uptempo R&B number encouraging men to open up and risk rejection.

Sting added his energetic rendition to “Big Man on Mulberry Street,” before returning later in Joel’s set to join in a duet performance of their classic track. Joel continues his MSG residency this year alongside old friends Stevie Nicks and Rod Stewart; his co-headlining tour concludes July 25 in Tampa.