BY DAN GARCIA
Last night, a music legend paired with one of the most historic stadiums in the world, as Billy Joel performed for over 40,000 fans at Lambeau Field, the iconic home to the Green Bay Packers. While the Piano Man has been all over the state of Wisconsin, throughout his half-a-decade career in music, history was made Saturday night as Joel performed in Green Bay for his first time, and on the biggest stage in the entire state. With an entertaining opening set from Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, tailgating and grill outs throughout the day, and many families treating the dads in the crowd to an early Fathers Day, the day was set to be a memorable one from the very beginning.
Up first for the night was singer/songwriter, Andrew McMahon, who brought his indie pop act, “Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness”, to the Green Bay crowd. Known first for leading bands like “Something Corporate” and “Jack’s Mannequin”, McMahon’s current endeavors in music are his best yet.
Early in his performance, McMahon made sure to give a big thanks to Joel, for allowing him to kick things off for the night. McMahon credited Joel for jump starting his interest in music, after seeing Joel perform for McMahon’s first concert growing up. Fast forward decades later, McMahon is opening for Billy Joel for 40,000+, and is one of the more entertaining piano players in music today. Andrew McMahon also shouted out another important man from his childhood, his father, who the California-native flew out to Wisconsin for Fathers Day.
McMahon’s set included a number of songs from his 2014 self-titled debut, like ‘High Dive’ and ‘Canyon Moon’, as well as tracks from him time with Jack’s Mannequin, like ‘Dark Blue’ and ‘La La Lie’. If you like what you heard, or weren’t able to make it to Lambeau last night, be sure to catch McMahon this year at Milwaukee’s Summerfest.
“Welcome to Lambeau Field, the Holy Grail of football.”
As Billy Joel greeted the packed (no pun intended) crowd at “Titletown”, Joel’s fans began to chant “Go Pack, Go!” throughout the stadium. Growing up in New York, Joel likely isn’t the biggest Packers fan, but he didn’t shy away from showcasing his humor from the very beginning. “Who’s Pat?”, Joel asked the crowd. The jokes didn’t stop there either, “This is Billy’s dad. He didn’t want to get his hair wet”, Joel told the outdoor crowd.
The entire night was full of laughs, smiles and most importantly, the hits. Although Billy Joel described his setlist as a “fielder’s choice”, where fans could request a song, he ensured his Wisconsin crowd that “we will do all of them.” And all of them he did. Performing a 27-song set for over 2-hours, Billy Joel made sure that his first visit to Green Bay would be one for the ages. From opening his performance with his hit single ‘Movin’ Out’ to an energetic cover of AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’, to ending the night with a huge 5-song encore of ‘Uptown Girl’, ‘It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me’, ‘Big Shot’, ‘Only The Good Die Young’ and ‘You May Be Right’, the show was one of the most historic performances in Lambeau since the Ice Bowl.
Highlights of the night included the memorable encore, Joel’s attempts to fight off bugs during his outdoor performance (joking that he is afraid he might swallow one), and of course Billy Joel’s performance of his mega-hit and everyone’s favorite, ‘Piano Man’, where everyone in attendance sang along, which could likely be heard for miles. If you missed out last night, you did just that… you missed out, as Billy Joel delivered a great night of music, from endzone to endzone, that the whole city won’t soon forget.
Check out the full setlist and more of our photos from Billy Joel’s legendary night at Lambeau Field below.
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
The Longest Time
All For Leyna
A Day In The Life
New York State Of Mind
Don’t Ask Me Why
And So It Goes
Sometimes a Fantasy
She’s Always a Woman
Highway To Hell
We Didn’t Start The Fire
The River Of Dreams
Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
Only The Good Die Young
You May Be Right