BWW Review: The Lords of 52nd Street Rock Out in Our Very Own Brooklyn
Each of us harbors an appreciation for some form of music - I won't begin to name all the kinds there are. Yet, it's pretty safe to say that everyone knows the music of Billy Joel - the eclectic yet recognizable style he has shared with the world for over four decades and counting. With his ongoing tours, he is one of those musical icons that makes a person rethink how many of his songs they actually know. He and his band have played all over the world, and for one memorable night, this very band - the Lords of 52nd Street - made its way to Brooklyn to showcase some of their and the Piano Man's greatest hits.
Although not joined by Joel himself, Kingsborough Community College presented The Lords of 52nd Street in concert, commemorating the first time the band has performed on a Brooklyn stage. Music to everyone's ears (from the little ones dancing in the aisles with their families, to my parents, who have traveled the east coast to see Billy Joel perform - about 6 times now), there was no stopping the joy that Joel's original band spread amongst those in the audience on that special night.
As part of the 2018-2019 On Stage at Kingsborough Series, The Lords of 52nd Street brought a piece of history right to Brooklyn; for some of the band, it is a place that will always be considered home. If you were in the audience that night, though, it didn't matter where you were from - they band rocked the hearts of all those who were fortunate enough to take part in this experience. Not only was this concert a way to enjoy well-known hits like "New York State of Mind" and "Movin' Out," in addition to lesser-played songs like "In Rosalinda's Eyes," it was also a reminder of how passionate are those who make music the core of their lives. Liberty Devitto, who is just about to turn seventy, is still one of the best drummers I've ever seen; if Richie Cannata picked up one more instrument to play, we all would have been more amazed than we already were.
Their undying talent produced such a strong mix of awe and admiration, it was impossible not to fall in love with the bit of family on that stage - a group that, on its own, deserves recognition beyond my ability to give it.
From the first few rows, my family and I watched magic happen on that stage. We watched Richie Cannata, Liberty Devitto, Russell Javors, Dennis Delgaudio, Malcolm Gold and Doug Kistner bring the audience to their feet on numerous occasions, giving adults the spirit of youth and youngsters the joy of dancing with their ecstatic relatives. Let me also say something about David Clark as our Piano Man - if you love everything Billy Joel, you would have instantly been a fan of David's (and also maybe have done a double take to make sure it wasn't actually Billy on stage). An absolutely amazing job as a musician on his own, but his resemblance to Joel helped too.
As an audience, we watched a group that is already recognized in music history prove that they are far from turning in their instruments. From Ritchie's inspiring narrative, which provided a heartfelt first-hand account of their time with the Piano Man, to watching each musician on that stage simply emanate love for his art with every chord played, it was truly spectacular to watch such an iconic band (and some new members) share their talent. It certainly made me question why my office job can't be as damn fun.
Watching musicians perform is one of the most appreciated opportunities I can identify without a moment's hesitation, and being so close to the stage that night truly brought out the inner smile of everyone in attendance. Music truly does make the world a better place, and this event was tangible proof of that statement.
The Lords of 52nd Street performed at Kingsborough Community College (located in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn) for one night only on Saturday, May 4th. The performance is a part of On Stage at Kingsborough, which brings an array of stellar musical and dance acts to the south of Brooklyn - bringing with it exposure to a wonderful part of the borough for a fraction of the price of city venues. Please be sure to check out what comes next in the series by visiting Kingsborough's website here.