Home Featured Live Review: Billy Joel @ M&T Bank Stadium — 10/7/23

Live Review: Billy Joel @ M&T Bank Stadium — 10/7/23

Live Review: Billy Joel @ M&T Bank Stadium — 10/7/23
Billy Joel shakes the M&T Bank Stadium on Oct. 7, 2023. (Photo by David LaMason)

“It’s 9 o’clock on a Saturday / the regular crowd shuffles in,” Billy Joel sang recently to a packed and eager M&T Bank Stadium. But this wasn’t any regular Saturday in Baltimore. The Orioles were wrapping up the first of the American League Division Series as fans made their way to see the rare co-headlining Two Icons, One Night Tour with the musical legends Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks. 

As the crowds slowly made their way to the stadium through the bottlenecked parkways and side roads, the first chill of the Fall seemed to blanket the area. And they were still making their way in as Stevie Nicks took the stage for an incredible set heavy on both Fleetwood Mac hits as well as solo favorites. But the highlight of Nicks’ set was the genuine surprise when Billy Joel joined her onstage to sing the Tom Petty classic “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.”

As Joel and Nicks sang the two of them seemed to be having genuine fun and sounded like two kids having the time of their life. 

“It musta been a pain in the ass to get here,” Billy Joel told the crowd as he started his set at M&T Bank Stadium on Oct. 7. “We really appreciate the bullshit you had to go through to get here,” he added, genuinely appreciative of the huge crowd. “I don’t know if I’d come to see me.” 

It has to be said that Billy Joel is a charmer. Introductions to songs like “Don’t Ask Me Why” were given in his warm self-deprecating Long Island voice. “I have good news and I have bad news,” Joel joked with the audience. “The bad news is we don’t have anything new to play. The good news is you don’t have to sit through any shit you don’t know.” 

Even though the winds ticked up as the evening moved along, Billy Joel and his band kept the crowds dancing. Taking a break from the keyboard, Joel laughed, “Don’t get your knickers in a twist. I ain’t Mick Jagger.” That was just before the band went into the classic Stones hit, “Start Me Up,” with Billy Joel mock preening and posing in his blazer and scarf. 

There’s something magical hearing Joel sit down at a grand piano, put on a harmonica holder and play “Piano Man,” just him and that piano before the rest of the band kicks in. Then as he sings, the entire stadium sings along, waving their lighted phones in the air. The storyteller, spinning that tale that he’s sung so many times before — familiar like a warm coat on a windy October night.

“It’s a pretty good crowd for a Saturday,” he sang and that line felt especially poignant in this packed stadium as he stopped and the whole place finished that last verse. 

Watch the official music video for “Piano Man” by Billy Joel on YouTube:

Back out for the encore, Billy Joel, framed with the huge stage screens showing flying sparks, played the hit “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” As he took center stage with electric guitar images of a cell phone swiping from one figure to another played behind the stage. The encore turned into a string of some of Joel’s biggest hits, from “Uptown Girl” to “You May Be Right.” 

Even with all the understandable frustration of traffic and competing crowds, Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks put on sets that, at least for a few hours, made you forget all those troubles. A good, old-fashioned escape that, for many, was needed on this chilly Saturday night. 

Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks continue their Two Icons, One Night Tour through December.

Here are more photos of Billy Joel performing at M&T Bank Stadium on Oct. 7, 2023. All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.


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