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Review: Big Shot performs February 2018 concert at Mulcahy’s in Wantagh (Includes first-hand account)

The band’s line-up consisted of DelGuidice on lead vocals and piano, Carmine Giglio on keys, John Scarpulla on saxophone, Nick Dimichino on bass, Ken Cino on lead guitar, as well as Billy Joel’s drummer Chuck Burgi on drums. (Ironically enough, Burgi and DelGuidice are both members of Billy Joel’s live band).

They opened their set with two powerhouse songs, “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant,” as well as “New York State of Mind,” where DelGuidice shined on vocals, and virtuoso saxophonist John Scarpulla displayed his tremendous prowess on saxophone. It was followed by “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” and the infectious “Keeping the Faith,” where DelGuidice showed off his whistle register towards the end. The inclusion of “Vienna” and “Captain Jack” in their set were added bonuses.

“Mona Lisa,” DelGuidice’s original tune, was sheer perfection, and it deserves to be a perennial classic in its own right someday. They immediately broke into “This is the Time,” and they picked up the pace with “My Life,” as blue lights dimmed from his namesake stage. Equally standing was their rendition of “Don’t Ask Me Why,” whose lyrics were pure poetry, and kudos to Billy Joel for writing such a brilliant tune.

He left a lot of fans drenched in a deep sea of raw emotions with his harking version of “Goodnight Saigon,” which certainly had a stirring vibe to it. “Don’t be ashamed man, shout it out,” DelGuidice said. “U.S.A. baby!”

The band members temporarily left the stage, thus allowing DelGuidice to do his solo set on piano, which started with “She’s Always a Woman.” “All right, Mulcahy’s here we go,” he said, and started the singalong. “You’re so good,” he praised his audience. He continued with “Tiny Dancer,” which was equal in excellence to the Elton John original recording.

During “Piano Man,” Steven Fileti got up on stage to play harmonica, which resonated well with the Wantagh audience.

After “Big Shot,” they gave their Mulcahy’s audience a history lesson with “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” “Only The Good Die Young” was entertaining and a great deal of fun. He also gave the audience the choice of singing “I Go to Extremes,” which not that many people cared for, so he crossed that tune off the list. “It’s a benign room,” DelGuidice said, and Scarpulla did his Arnold Schwarzenegger Kindergarten Cop impression of “It’s not a tumor!”

For his final song, DelGuidice made an executive decision and closed with The Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.”

The Verdict

After 44 career Big Shot concerts that this journalist has been privileged to review over the years, it is evident that Mike DelGuidice and the band never disappoint. There is always something new to expect at every show, which keeps it spontaneous. Big Shot’s set at Mulcahy’s last night 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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