Is it a cover band show when the artist being covered turns up and plays?
That’s what went down on June 24th during a gig in Long Island, where the Big Shot tribute band was rolling through a playlist of Billy Joel’s classic tunes.
In the middle of their set, the Piano Man himself joined them for 15 minutes and performed three songs: one of his own (“You May Be Right”) as well as two Beatles and Rolling Stones covers.
As it turns out, Big Shot is quite familiar with Joel’s repertoire: they’re his backing band for the monthly residence he’s been doing at Madison Square Garden.
Earlier this month at MSG, Joel played a touching rendition of “You’re Only Human,” a song he reportedly hasn’t performed live in 25 years. It was a tribute to the victims of the June 12th Orlando nightclub shooting.
On a very different note: in January, he performed “The Entertainer” and dedicated it to… Donald Trump. While many interpreted this as a troll on the presumptive GOP presidential candidate, Trump was thrilled and thanked Joel on Twitter.
When asked about it, Joel responded to Time magazine: “I’m in the entertainment business. Donald Trump’s campaign has been very entertaining. Aside from that, who cares about the political opinions of a piano player?”