A scheduling coincidence allowed the Piano Man to pour some sugar Saturday night at Detroit’s Comerica Park.
Billy Joel‘s concert at the baseball stadium came the night before Def Leppard and Motley Crue‘s The Stadium Tour are scheduled to play the same venue. Halfway through Joel’s performance he introduced the night’s “special guest,” Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott, who romped through a faithful rendition of his band’s 1987 hit “Pour Some Sugar on Me” with Joel and his eight-member band before more than 38,000 fans at the ballpark.
It was the third time the duo have teamed up to perform the song, following a 2018 appearance at Boston’s Fenway Park and a 2019 visit to Madison Square Garden.
It was a no-muss, no-fuss performance, with Elliott — wearing a black-and-white leopard skin jacket — greeting the crowd with a simple “Evenin’!” before cranking into the song. He was animated throughout, coming to the very front of the stage at one point and exchanging smiles with Joel throughout.
Joel’s two-hour and 14-minute concert also included the rarely played “A Room of Our Own” from 1982’s The Nylon Curtain album — which he played on stage for the first time ever on Nov. 10, 1982, also in Detroit, at the now demolished Joe Louis Arena. “This wasn’t a hit single, either, but I like playing this one,” Joel — who used a fly swatter to ward off bugs throughout the night. Prior to the show, he told the suburban Oakland Press that, “There are songs in the show that I really like to do, which are the more obscure ones. I tend to like the album tracks more than the hit singles. I feel a certain sense of pride and satisfaction after I finish those songs. I think to myself, ‘That wasn’t bad. I don’t remember how I wrote it or why I wrote it, but that’s pretty good.'”
Watch Joe Elliott and Billy Joel Perform ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’
There were, of course, plenty of hits on Saturday night as well, along with teases of the Rolling Stones‘ “Start Me Up” and, appropriate to Detroit, Bob Seger‘s “Old Time Rock and Roll” and a verse and chorus of Marvin Gaye‘s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.” His usual sandwiching of Martha & the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street” during “The River of Dreams,” meanwhile, was particularly appropriate in Motown itself. “A lot of great music came from this town,” Joel noted after the latter. “We all grew up in bands playing these songs, so we’re mighty glad to be here.”
Joel’s Detroit show was originally scheduled for July of 2020 and was delayed twice by the pandemic. He plays his next monthly Madison Square Garden concert on July 20, while Joel’s next stadium date comes August 11 at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.