These are the performances that also formed the center of the documentary "Last Play at Shea," only they are shown in their entirety instead of the edited versions that appeared in the film. While the documentary includes the deep tracks that Joel used for his career-spanning setlist, the "Great Performances" set is almost all hits and includes special guests: the great Tony Bennett on "New York State of Mind," Garth Brooks on "Shameless" and, of course, Paul McCartney.
When McCartney sits down at Joel's piano to sing "Let It Be" as the final song ever at Shea Stadium, it's a rare moment of closure in music history. McCartney and The Beatles ushered in the era of stadium rock when they played Shea in 1965 and proved to the world that rock and roll was neither a niche nor a fad. Joel's decision to let McCartney close Shea Stadium, which, according to the documentary, happened on the fly backstage, will go down as one of rock's most selfless acts.
MY SAY: At the beginning of the concert, Joel breaks into a smile as he savors the moment, saying, "Good evening, Shea Stadium, is this cool or what?"
To me, that explains Joel's current musical outlook better than any interview has in years. Sure, many people - including Elton John in recent interviews - question why Joel continues to tour, even though he says he has no interest in writing new pop music. That look really says it all. Who would give it up?
Along those lines, there's a point in "Captain Jack" where Joel hits the wrong chord and to cover his mistake he hits it again, smiling and telling guitarist Tommy Byrnes, "I like that chord." That's a sign Joel is still having fun.
BOTTOM LINE: An entertaining piece of musical history.