L. calls me up at work as I am packing up to come home to ask if I wanted to go to a Billy Joel concert. Her Aunt and Uncle are huge fans and have extra tickets. While I know some of his songs from the radio he was a little bit before my generation. I figured that someone they were going with was sick and had backed out. L. couldn't go because she had thrown her back out and I didn't really want to pay and go by myself. Then I found out they had got the tickets for us from a friend that worked did the lighting for the concert and had asked for tickets for us specifically. Boy, did I feel guilty.
So it ends up that this was the last concert at Shea stadium before it was getting torn down. And, since we were getting the tickets from someone inside they included full access back stage passes. Not to mention that a couple of the seats for the section we were in (middle section, middle row) had gone up on eBay and sold for $100,000. Now, I really felt like the ingrate. (and hated by both Mets and Billy Joel fans.)
We took a tour of all the back stage and stadium areas and grabbed some water bottles for everyone from the catering area then found our seats. It was amusing because the mayor of NYC was sitting in front of us and his secret service were behind us in the aisle. Since I am so tall every time I stood up they had to shift around because they couldn't see Bloomburg anymore. They also said they saw Kelly Ripa but I don't know how she looks so I didn't.
The concert itself was very cool. It was obvious he has been doing this for a long time and I put him at about the same as Peter Gabriel for the level of show he put on. I was surprised at how many songs I recognized and he was singing a lot of Beatles songs since they preformed the first concert there in Shea stadium. There were "surprise" visits from Tony Bennett, John Mayer, Don Henley, and John Melloncamp. All people I would have liked to see in concert and here I was front and center. L.'s aunt and uncle had brought their whole family and Billy Joel music is very much a part of their family since every one of them was singing along with every song. It was really cool to see family bonding happening at a concert.
I bought a CD as my souvenir. (I refuse to buy a new CD outside of a concert venue with how the music industry has been acting, but I do like to buy my CD's at concerts since the money actually goes to the artist then.) Since we had entered through the press entrance I did not get searched and had brought a pretty good camera in with me. I have not been to a concert in a while and it does look like they are a lot more relaxed about the camera issue (I'm guessing because everyone has camera phones.) but the guys sitting next to us asked me to email them our pictures because they didn't have a camera so I guess they were still checking. (He gave me his card and ended up being some CFO for a food company.)
Of course this being a concert in NYC you take the subway there and home. We didn't have to deal with a mash of cars trying to exit the driveway but we did have to deal with a bottleneck of people trying to get up the stairs to the train. Once in the subway station there was no wait since they were running extra express trains to Grand Central for everyone. Because of little waits here and there I didn't get off the train and home until 2AM though.
The only downside was the concert was on a Wednesday and I had to do user testing the next day. Aside from a couple of yawns and crashing onto the bed as soon as I got home I did make it through the day.