In a press release, Arena said she “grew up listening to Billy Joel”, and noted that the ‘Piano Man’ legend had a significant impact on her own artistic growth: “His songbook is a big part of the soundtrack of my life so I really look forward to being a part of this extraordinary, once in a lifetime event. You don’t want to miss this show.”
Tickets go on sale at 10am next Monday (July 4) – find them here – with a pre-sale for Frontier Touring members starting at 11am tomorrow (June 30) and running for 24 hours. See here for more information on that pre-sale.
Slated to go down at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday December 10, the one-off gig comes as Joel’s first on Australian ground in almost a decade – he performed at Sydney’s Stone Music Festival in April 2013 – and his first in Melbourne since December 2008.
It also comes as part of the Victorian government’s Always Live initiative, which sees high-profile acts (like Nick Cave, Cate Le Bon and Tash Sultana) perform exclusive shows in the state to encourage economic growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joel’s show will be biggest in the series – the MCG is Australia’s largest stadium, with a concert capacity of more than 100,000 punters – following a similar gig that the Foo Fighters played in Geelong back in March.
Speaking to the Herald Sun, Joel said of the show: “It’s strange to go all the way to Australia to do just one show, but I guess that’s the deal. I haven’t been to Australia for a long, long time. My youngest kids [are] four years old and six years old, and I think they would love Australia. I’ve always wanted to take them there, and now is my chance to show them. I figured, it’s for the kids.”
Last month, Arena made an appearance at the 2022 Australian Women In Music Awards, performing Olivia Newton-John‘s 1974 hit ‘Honestly I Love You’ to commemorate her induction into the AWMA’s Honour Roll. Last October saw her cover another 20th century classic, ‘This Woman’s Work’ by Kate Bush, which was recorded live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
The month prior, Arena spoke out against the lack of support Australia’s arts scene has received over the course of the pandemic. In an appearance on Studio 10, she said there continues to be a “categoric disrespect” between how sport and culture are treated under pandemic restrictions: “It’s now at a point where, for me, somebody needs to draw the line.”