Personnel: Mark Rivera (vocals, guitar, flute, saxophone); Crystal Taliefero (vocals, guitar, saxophone, percussion); Tommy Byrne (vocals, guitar); David Rosenthal (vocals, piano, organ, keyboards); Andy Cichon (vocals); Carl Fischer (saxophone, trumpet); Chuck Burgi (drums).
Audio Mixer: Frank Filipetti.
Recording information: Shea Stadium (07/16/2008); Shea Stadium (07/18/2008).
Director: Jon Small.
Editor: Laura Young.
Photographers: John Jackson ; Myrna Suarez; Kevin Mazur; Billy Black.
Arranger: David Rosenthal.
To commemorate the close of the New York Mets' historic Shea Stadium, the powers that be brought in the one local superstar who could pay tribute to this quintessential New York landmark: the one and only Billy Joel. He assembled a killer lineup of guest stars topped by Sir Paul McCartney, whose Beatles performed a legendary show at Shea in 1965, an event echoed by a rollicking encore where Macca duets on "I Saw Her Standing There," then draws the show to a close with "Let It Be." Prior to that, Billy goes through a set list that is remarkably similar to 2006's 12 Gardens Live, a show that contains the same opening pair of "Prelude/Angry Young Man" and "My Life," then follows roughly the same pattern through the conclusion of "Piano Man." Apart from Tony Bennett sitting in on "New York State of Mind," Garth Brooks sharing "Shameless," John Mayer playing on "This Is the Time," "The River of Dreams" turned into a medley with "A Hard Day's Night," and the introduction of a snippet of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" into "My Life," there are no surprises in execution or song selection. It's a thoroughly professional and entertaining set, perhaps somewhat diminished by its lack of freshness -- it would seem that a historic event like this would contain some spark -- but enjoyable all the same. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine