Fresh from headlining at an Australian music festival that appealed to bikers, Billy Joel will take the stage Saturday at the legendary New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and he says his set list will be a bit different, to reflect the event's theme.
"I think we're going to do a few more jazz-oriented songs," the Piano Man told NOLA.com. "The Australia show was more pop hits, Top 40 things that people would be familiar with. This is Jazz Fest."
He added, "I'm aware that there's some resentment that pop acts are headlining at the Jazz Fest. I think we should at least acknowledge that it is a Jazz Fest with our material. So we'll probably do some of the numbers that have more jazz overtones."
It's not clear what songs Joel is referring to, but some of the material on his album 52nd Street might fit the bill, including "Zanzibar." In addition to Billy, other pop and rock artists who are playing Jazz Fest this year include Fleetwood Mac, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Patti Smith, Los Lobos and Earth, Wind & Fire.
Meanwhile, Joel is clearly thinking ahead to more shows. Addressing his recent comments in Rolling Stone about wanting to play his classic albums in their entirety, he tells NOLA.com, "Every time I've tried to pull out more obscure stuff, the audience just stands there and goes, 'Hunh? What's that? I don't know that song.' They want to hear stuff that they know. [So] we'll try to mix it up."
Speaking in the future tense, he adds, "I'm sure there are some hardcore fans who do want to hear the obscure stuff that they've never heard me do live before. So we'll see. I guess we'll find out."
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