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Review: Big Shot and Billy Joel put on marvelous concert at The Paramount (Includes first-hand account)

Rock band Transmission Party, featuring TJ Byrnes on lead vocals, served as their opening act.

DelGuidice began his set with the infectious “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway),” which earned him and the band a standing ovation from The Paramount audience. They immediately broke into “Movin’ Out,” and the Billy Joel-penned “Shameless,” which would later become a hit for country crooner Garth Brooks.

Big Shot went on to tip their hat to Paul McCartney with “Maybe I’m Amazed,” which was flawless, and it was followed by a tribute to Aerosmith with a haunting version of “Dream On.” DelGuidice gave a shout-out to drummer Chuck Burgi as they belted out Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” which featured a killer guitar solo from Tommy Byrnes (Billy Joel’s musical director) and harmony vocals.

Billy Joel and Big Shot

Billy Joel and Big Shot
Courtesy of Wayne Herrschaft

DelGuidice switched over to guitar, as the iconic “Piano Man” himself, Billy Joel, joined him on piano, for a distinct rendition of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends,” which garnered a raucous response from the crowd. Joel also sang “Honky Tonk Woman” with Big Shot, and they joined forced on his very own “You May Be Right,” which was yet another crowd pleaser.

“My man Mike DelGuidice,” Joel exclaimed, commending the band for their work, prior to noting that he lives near The Paramount.

After “You May Be Right,” DelGuidice showcased his soft side on the mellow ballad “She’s Always a Woman,” the latter of which he performed solo, and he incorporated it as a crowd sing-along with the venue.

“Was that a treat?” he asked in disbelief. “It took me six songs to realize what was happening. Let’s keep you guys involved.”

He continued with a well-received version of “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John, and he dedicated “Half A Mile Away” to all the “true Billy Joel fans” in the house. For anybody who is unfamiliar with this classic tune, DelGuidice recommended they go back and listen to his entire catalog, and rightfully so, since one could not go wrong either way.

Speaking of dedications, he honored our troops with “Goodnight Saigon,” which left the audience chanting “U.S.A.” in return. “U.S.A. baby,” DelGuidice reiterated, as blue and white lights dimmed from the stage.

Equally nostalgic was the inclusion of the bittersweet “This Is The Time,” which displayed his rich, tenor voice. Another highlight was the saxophone-driven “New York State of Mind,” which featured an “America the Beautiful” saxophone solo towards the end.

They picked up the pace with the upbeat “Keeping the Faith” and “It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me” as blue and orange lights dimmed on the stage.

The greatest song of the evening was their spitfire cover of “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” which was simply perfect, and then DelGuidice introduced all of the members of the band.

The Verdict

Overall, it was a magical evening of music at The Paramount. Big Shot gets better with each and every live performance. DelGuidice is a true forced to be reckoned with, as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, and the same holds true for all members of the group. Being able to see Joel at The Paramount, as an audience member and collaboration partner, was a special treat for all.

Watching Joel applaud DelGuidice as an audience member with his family, beaming with pride, was the greatest recognition any musician could receive in this industry, since it does not get any better than Joel. Both DelGuidice and Joel make one proud to be a Long Islander. This concert will be hard to top. Their live show garnered an A+ rating.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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