Fans will have to wait to see him for quite awhile – 310 days, to be exact – but Billy Joel is returning for an encore at Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena.
Hornets Sports & Entertainment and Live Nation announced the 65-year-old singer-songwriter-pianist’s Dec. 5 concert during a news conference at the arena on Thursday morning.
This will mark Joel’s first appearance in Charlotte since he and Elton John filled the venue to capacity in 2009. He performed at PNC Arena in Raleigh last February.
Though Joel hasn’t had a bona fide hit song in more than two decades, his catalog of generation-defining tracks has stood the test of time – from 1973’s breakout single “Piano Man” to 1983’s “Tell Her About It” to 1993’s “The River of Dreams.”
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And according to music critics, he can still bring it live. Of the singer’s New Year’s Eve show at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., Jim Abbott of the Orlando Sentinel wrote:
“Musically, the show was a pleasing mix of drop-the-needle-on-the-record precision and improvisation, with an emphasis on the former. … Joel is no longer the angry young man that he once was. He’s now an august pop ambassador, the recipient of lifetime achievement honors such as the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song and a Kennedy Center Honor. Fortunately, he still works hard for the money.”
From the moment Time Warner Cable Arena sent an email to local media outlets promising a “major concert announcement,” speculation on the performer’s identity was running wild – with guesses ranging from U2 to the fabled Michael Jackson Hologram Tour. (The last time the arena pulled a stunt like this was in 2010, when it summoned local media to announce that Paul McCartney was coming.)
Joel, though, was a heavily favored prediction because Live Nation had gussied up similar news conferences in cities such as Minneapolis in December and in Virginia Beach last week.
Charlotte is one of only 14 cities currently announced for Joel’s 2015 tour, and this is his only announced date in the Carolinas. He recently extended his contract with New York’s Madison Square Garden, where he’ll perform one show a month through at least December (six of those are sold out).
Tickets for the Time Warner Cable Arena show are $61.11-$148.22 and will go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 6, at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. American Express cardholders get first dibs during a presale that runs from 10 a.m. Monday until 10 p.m. Feb. 5.