Video: This 1.78:1 1080i picture was very pleasing. Colour was vibrant, like the red T-sheet that the drummer Chuck Burgi was wearing. The details were there, like close-up of Billy Joel's face seeing all his individual whiskers, or the tattoo on John Mayer's left arm. The blacks were inky. There were many aerial views of the entire concert that were breathtaking. To see Billy Joel perform with the backdrop of 55,000 fans in Shea Stadium was very special and this feeling could not be duplicated in an arena. (4/5)
Audio: There is no DTS-HD Master Audio. Instead we were given PCM 5.1 Surround or Dolby Digital 5.1. I listened to both, and found the sound pretty similar. In the end, I listened to PCM 5.1. The singing and sound of various instruments were very clear. But the sound came mainly from my front and lateral speakers, with much less surround. (4/5)
The Concert: Live At Shea Stadium contains two and a half hours of hits and album favourites, with many special guests. The Last Play At Shea, staged on July 16 and 18, 2008 before a combined 110,000 fans, comprised the final performances ever at this historic stadium. After 45 years, the Mets' two World Series victories, The Beatles opening it in 1964, and the Last Play at Shea, the final section of Shea Stadium was torn down in 2009.
Song selections: Of his 42 charted hits, only 12 made it to this concert. This concert displayed Billy Joel's magical piano talents at his best, especially in the Prelude, River Of Dreams. There were many special guests. I loved Tony Bennett's timing and phraseology, and he could still hit the high notes. Garth Brooks was at his usual concert best, singing his hit Shameless. John Mayer did not sing, but his guitar works on This Is The Time were fantastic. During the song She's Always A Woman, Billy Joel asked a loving couple in the audience: "Are you going to marry her? Congratulations...but make sure you get a prenuptial..." A little humour there. Billy Joel's rendition of Take Me Out To The Ballgame was his tribute to the Shea Stadium. The final guest was Sir Paul McCartney, who sang I Saw Her Standing There, and was in top form. It is appropriate that the Beatles opened Shea Stadium in 1964, and now Paul closed it with Let It Be....
Additional performances with Steven Tyler (Walk This Way), Roger Daltrey (My Generation) and John Mellencamp (Pink Houses) were found in the Bonus area.
The band was excellent with many talented individuals, like Crystal Taliefero on percussion, guitar, saxophone, harmonica and vocals. The entire concert was very enjoyable. Aerial views, including one that showed individual fans in the stand with closeup, followed by smooth withdrawal to finally ascending into the sky to show the entire stadium - were simply breathtaking and amazing.
My only gripe with this concert is the notable omission of his #1 hits Just The Way You Are, Tell Her About It and It's Still Rock And Roll To Me, plus the foot-tapping Uptown Girl. Also, if Sir Elton John, his concert partner in the past, had shown up, this would have been really icing on the cake. But Sir Paul McCartney was more than adequate.
Billy Joel is really an icon with 42 charted singles and 20 charted albums. This concert gave us a good reason why he has been successful in the music scene since 1974. Just to see his effortless magical fingers punishing the piano was worth the price of admission. He is indeed our one and only Piano Man.
This Live At Shea Stadium blu ray disc is highly recommended. (concert 5/5)