The legendary Stevie Nicks and Billy Joel made their way to Baltimore this past weekend for a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience that stirred up a whirlwind of emotions. It had been almost a decade since I last saw Billy Joel perform at Madison Square Garden in 2014, and, as a Long Island native, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to witness him again. But this time, it was a unique double billing that had me counting down the days.
Stevie started off the evening, dressed as an enchanting swamp witch, her microphone draped in streamers. She sounded remarkable and enjoyed every moment she was on the stage. Billy Joel made his first appearance 15 minutes in when he joined Stevie to sing “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” a song originally gifted to her by the late Tom Petty. In a tribute to their friendship and the shared memories with Petty, it was evident that she and Billy were having a blast together, and it was heartwarming to witness these lifelong friends share the stage – even if it was just for one song.
Stevie’s performance was everything, complete with captivating visuals and the original blue cape that she donned during “Bella Donna.” In another tribute to Tom Petty, Stevie blessed us with her rendition of “Free Fallin’,” where a montage of her and Petty throughout the years played, creating a bittersweet but beautiful moment that brought Petty’s spirit into the stadium. As Stevie’s set drew to a close, her encore featured timeless classics like “Rhiannon” and “Landslide,” which were greeted by the crowd with roaring appreciation.
As Billy Joel took the stage, it was as if time had stood still since my last encounter with him in 2014. He kicked things off with “My Life,” and his voice sounded just as powerful and resonant as ever. Throughout his set, Billy showcased his candid, down-to-earth side, reading out his stage directions with a coffee mug in hand, wearing the classic blazer and scarf combo that he’s now known for, and exuding the charm that has endeared fans for decades.
A standout moment came when Billy’s talented band members took the spotlight. Percussionist, Crystal Taliefero, captivated the audience with her solo of “River Deep, Mountain High,” and Mike DelGuidice, from the south shore of Long Island, showcased his incredible vocals during his solo of “Nessun dorma.” It was also comforting to hear “New York State of Mind,” an apparent first for this tour, as I recently came up on my one year of living in Baltimore – the first place I’ve lived in full-time outside of New York.
While I had hoped to see the pair perform more than one song together, they each gave a performance of the ages. Though the years may have made it a bit tougher to hit some high notes, as Billy mentioned before singing “An Innocent Man,” they both gave it their all and sounded remarkable. In the end, Stevie Nicks and Billy Joel’s show was more than just a concert; it was a testament to the enduring power of music, friendship, and the ability to create unforgettable moments on stage. It was an emotional journey, and I couldn’t help but reflect on what it must feel like to be at this stage of their legendary careers, still having this much fun with devoted fans like myself.