Elio Pace Live At The Brook 1st September 2014 (Performing the Billy Joel songbook)
This was a fabulous night out, recommended by friends with great taste who had gone back for a second helping of Elio. I’d always liked Billy Joel, but never been a major fan as such, so it was great to have Elio’s enthusiasm and appreciation for Billy being so infectious and musically knowledgable. I was surprised at just how many of the minor hits and album tracks I knew as well, there were few tracks I didn’t recognise, and none I didn’t like, and tons I loved.
The whole band were great musicians (and singers), thoroughly likeable, good-natured, and Elio is a terrific musician, singer and performer, and to give what amounted to 3 hours-worth of 40 songs or so is amazing. I should stress he’s not a tribute act, he’s not trying to imitate Billy Joel and has his own long-established solo career, and the mood was very-much “home ground” as he lived in the Southampton area way back. The Brook as a venue is marvellous, intimate and a friendly atmosphere, it has all of the benefits of standing at the front of a concert but without the crushing, sweating and jostling and straining the neck looking up. I’d not been before but I’ll be back for sure, and I’d happily see Elio do the Billy Joel songbook again. Fab.
Just The Way You Are, The Piano man, She’s Always A Woman for the earlier ballads, My Life, It’s Still Rock n Roll To Me, Anthony’s Song for the 70’s/1980 early hits period, The Longest Time, Uptown Girl for the retro period, We Didn’t Start The Fire (still massive) and River Of Dreams. Away from the big hits though, the lesser-known tracks were gems and I shall investigate further!