Billy Joel & Sting: We Didn’t Start the Fire

Billy Joel sang to an eager crowd that seemed eager to experience the evening’s show. While rain threatened to dampen spirits, Billy’s songs kept everyone on their feet dancing throughout.

Sting returned halfway through his set to perform Englishman in New York with co-singer Alison Krauss.

1. The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Billy Joel kicked off his co-headlining tour with Sting in Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, performing many hits as well as joining Sting on stage for two duets.

Genius details how Solomon Linda’s Zulu folk song “Mbube” became famous in America after Pete Seeger misheard its lyrics and recorded it with The Weavers in 1952. Subsequently, doo-wop group the Tokens took up this tune with English lyrics for The Lion Sleeps Tonight album in 1961.

2. New York State of Mind

Joel fans who have attended his shows can expect plenty of Empire State love during shows, as the Long Island native used the song as an ode to his home during a 9/11 concert that raised funds for first responders.

Sting, dressed like Frank Sinatra with his trademark brimmed hat and gray suit, joined Joel for an energetic duet on “Big Man on Mulberry Street.” They will perform this song again at several concerts this year.

3. We Didn’t Start the Fire

Billy Joel enthralled listeners when he released We Didn’t Start the Fire back in 1989 by recalling historical names and events most under 30 have never heard of – yet the song became an instantaneous hit!

This rock song serves as an historical document, providing insight into our modern world and all that has happened along its path to becoming what it is today.

4. The Entertainer

Piano Man Billy Joel put Tampa in an East Coast state of mind during his co-headlining show with Sting at Raymond James Stadium. Following Billy’s opening number, Sting came back out wearing a hat and suit like Frank Sinatra before performing Big Man on Mulberry Street together as duet.

This classic ragtime piano piece by African-American musician Scott Joplin, widely considered to have had an influential presence on piano music history, is distinguished by its syncopated rhythms and chromatic voice leading.

5. The Entertainer (Reprise)

Since Joel had co-billed at the Tampa concert, one would assume he would join Sting for a rendition of “Englishman in New York.” Instead, reggae-fusion icon Shaggy joined them.

Joel, 75, hasn’t released an album with lyrics since 2007’s Sinatra-influenced “All My Life.” However, this spring he’ll embark on several stadium dates alongside Stevie Nicks and Sting before concluding his MSG residency shows this July.

6. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

Copeland and Sting’s genre-blending band had become known for fusing elements of both new wave and reggae into one song; here, their signature sound shone through with particular brilliance. Sting’s vocal performance was especially strong here; his soft yet soulful ballad voice shone brightest of all.

Joel and former Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks will perform two concerts together this year at Chicago’s Soldier Field, as well as his long-running residency at Madison Square Garden – two shows will occur simultaneously and in July respectively.

7. Every Breath You Take

No matter the credentials of its cast and director Vaughn Stein’s deep understanding of its formula, this pedestrian psychological revenge thriller lacks surprises. He does take creative liberties with this one however; no floor to ceiling windows and sinister piano scores here!

Sting was back to help Joel on his next song, sporting a Sinatra-esque suit and fedora for Big Man on Mulberry Street.

8. The Entertainer (Reprise)

Joel may not have released an album in 17 years, but his touring remains impressively strong. His band delivered several of Joel’s classics while multi-instrumentalist Crystal Taliefero took turns performing “New York State of Mind”.

Expecting Sting to return for an encore was reasonable, yet Joel instead brought out reggae icon Shaggy to sing on “Englishman in New York.” It proved the ideal decision.

9. The Entertainer (Reprise)

Billy Joel has long been one of the great legacy artists who can still keep audiences excited with new music; Piano Man Billy Joel certainly excelled in that department. At 75-years-old he has not released an album with new pop songs since 2007’s Sinatra-influenced “All My Life”.

Fans were anticipating Sting to join Joel on “Englishman in New York,” but instead reggae legend Shaggy proved everyone wrong by joining Joel for the choruses.

10. The Entertainer (Reprise)

After performing an emotional piano ballad, two Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famers joined forces for one last number. Fans captured video footage of this special moment.

Joel continues his year-long stadium co-headlining tour alongside Stevie Nicks and Rod Stewart while Sting ends his decade-long Madison Square Garden residency July 25. Watch their performance of “The Entertainer” below.