Friday, March 20, 2015

Billy Joel cover band, The Stranger, rocks Raleigh

The Stranger performed at The Ritz in Raleigh on Friday, March 20, 2015

By Jennifer Primrose | Mar 20, 2015
Twitter: TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: trianglearoundtown
Anyone that knows me knows that I am a huge Billy Joel fan!

I was elated when Joel's tour brought him to Raleigh last February, and excited to see him return to Charlotte later this year. So, when Dathan announced that he purchased tickets for us to see The Stranger, a Charlotte-based Billy Joel tribute band, I wasn't too sure what to think.

First off, no one will ever even come close to the greatness of Billy Joel in my mind – and then it dawned on me – does this mean we are not going to see the one and only Piano Man in December? Nonetheless, we made a night of it on Friday, March 20. After some pre-concert drinks at Kings in North Hills, we made our way to The Ritz concert venue in Raleigh.

The crowd was thin at first, but filled in nicely prior to the band taking center stage. As lead singer, Mike Santoro's ivory-pounding and crooning began, I forgot I wasn't listening to Mr. Long Island himself.

Santoro and his gang of entertainers kept the crowd singing along and dancing to some of Joel's greatest hits such as "Only the Good Die Young," "Movin' Out," "You May be Right," "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" and of course, "Piano Man."

Santoro, a native Long Islander, who now resides in Charlotte isn't a stranger to Joel's powerhouse vocals and stage presence. Both behind the piano or front and center with the guitar, he rocked The Ritz. This is a band I'll definitely see again.

And an added bonus ... while leaving the venue, we received free tickets to see Liverpool: Carolina's Beatles Experience on April 11. Goo Goo Goo Joob!