Friday, January 16, 2009

EJ & BJ Add Nashville & Auburn Hills Dates

Billy Joel and Elton John’s “Face 2 Face” tour will stop in Nashville on Sat., May 16 at the Sommet Center, Mayor Karl Dean and tour promoters Live Nation announced at a press conference this morning.

“Why a press conference? Two wonderful artists,” Live Nation Music Southeast president Wilson Howard said. “This is more than a concert — it’s a musical event.”

Both of the piano-pop icons have stopped in Nashville for their own arena shows in recent years — Joel headed up a night at Sommet Center (when it was still dubbed Gaylord Entertainment Center) in February of 2007, and his megastar counterpart John headlined the same venue in September of 2005. The “Face 2 Face” tour was last here in Nashville in April of 2001, and remains one of top-grossing shows at the venue.

The team-up is a time-tested one; they’ve shared stages on various tours going back as far as 1994. It’s again and again proved quite the lucrative teaming, too — Billboard’s Ray Waddell wrote in December that sales for previously announced shows on this tour were already “through the roof,” according to Howard. According to a press release, the double Joel/John billing makes up the “most successful and longest-running concert pairing in pop history.”

On past tours, both singers have performed collections of their many mega-hits both alone and together, including the hits that earned both artists their man-ly nicknames: “Rocket Man,” from John, and Joel’s “Piano Man.”

This tour run, due to span over two years, will have a similar approach, Howard said.

“They’ll come out separately; they’ll play separately and together,” he said. “You may hear Billy do ‘Rocket Man,’ you may hear Elton do ‘(Scenes From an) Italian Restaurant.’ ”

Tickets for the May show will go on sale Sat. Jan. 24 at 10 a.m, via Ticketmaster outlets, and 615-255-9600, as well as the Sommet box office and The tickets will run $54, $99.50 and $179.50., and there is a six ticket per customer limit.

Billy Joel and Elton John, heading back out for another round of blockbuster concert dates, will play at the Palace of Auburn Hills on May 21, promoters announced today.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Jan. 24 at the Palace box office and through Ticketmaster ( or 248-645-6666).

Seats will range from $54.50 to $180. Economic realities may be kicking in for the concert industry: When adjusted for inflation, those numbers are similar to the prices charged for the duo’s last metro Detroit stop, a pair of Palace shows six years ago.

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