Salt Lake City was hit by a powerful "Storm Front" Sunday night.
Bob Welti didn't forecast this one, but anyone inside the Salt Palace will tell you it was a blast . . . orchestrated by Billy Joel.Rumbling floors, volcanic mist and crashing cymbals announced Joel's entrance, and throughout the two hour set, a capacity crowd experienced the pure charisma and talent that has made Joel a national treasure.
If the predominately yuppie-couple-and-sibling audience came to hear the numerous classic ballads Joel has written, they couldn't have been disappointed. Joel's morose vignette "Goodnight Saigon," with helicopter sound effects and flashing searchlights was a highlight, as were "Innocent Man" and "The Downeaster `Alexa,' " a cry for the plight of fishermen.
But the get-down rock 'n' roll mood was predominant, with Joel putting on a show of dexterity that was amazing for a 41-year-old. He climbed railings around the stage, tap-danced atop the piano and did several disappearing tricks, reappearing before one of the two Moog keyboards above the main stage. He twirled the microphone stand, cartwheeled onto the paino and hung there, singing "Big Shot" upside down.
At any given moment, Joel could have stopped singing and let his loyal Utah fans sing the words - and they knew every song.
They got their chance during the encore. Which one? The final song after the third encore. (He crawled back on stage for encore No. 3!)
Joel stopped, turned to his swaying, misty-eyed followers and broadly smiled as they summed up the evening a cappella: "Sing us a song, you're the Piano Man. Sing us a song tonight. We're all in the mood for a melody, and you've got us feeling all right."