Billy Joel is returning to the road this month to play a few festival gigs after a three-year absence. “I’m putting my toe back into the water to see how performing feels,” he tells Rolling Stone. “That doesn’t mean I’m going to walk away right after if I don’t like how they go, but if I do like how they go, I’ll probably end up booking some more gigs. I don’t know if I’ll go an extended tour like Bruce Springsteen, hammering away for two years, though.”
The 63-year-old singer-songwriter is already giving a lot of thought to the kind of show he’d like to present later this year. “I’d like to do more songs that weren’t hits. I got tired of doing the greatest hits set. It was boring playing the same songs over and over. There are a lot of songs the longtime fans want to hear,” he says. “If I was going to play again in places like New York, I would probably feature entire albums. It would give me a chance to do songs we haven’t played. . . We’d do one album and then play some obscurities. I enjoy playing those more than I enjoy playing the hits. . . I’m thinking we’d do these shows in Philly, New York, Washington D.C., Detroit and Chicago.”
… There hasn’t been a new Billy Joel pop album since 1993’s River of Dreams, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. “I don’t have any new material,” he says. “But I realized that if I play older material that has never been heard before, like an album track or an obscure song, that’s almost the same as doing a new song. I just don’t want to be an oldies hack where I’m just playing songs everybody is familiar with.”
Read more at Rolling Stone.