In September 2013 Elio was invited to ‘fill Billy Joel’s shoes’ starring in two very special reunion concerts in New York and Philadelphia with Joel’s original 1971-1972 touring band, recreating the historic Sigma Sounds live recordings.
Following from this Elio Pace delivers this sensational UK tour celebrating the phenomenal music of Billy Joel. Featuring the massive hits, Uptown Girl, Just The Way You Are and My Life, as well as fan favourites such as Scenes From An Italian Restaurant, Goodnight Saigon and Piano Man.
Elio has previously toured the UK in the original casts of Tutti Frutti, Great Balls Of Fire and Dancing In The Street. As well as appearing in, he has also been Musical Director on many shows including Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (as the Pharaoh), West Side Story (as Tony); five DGM productions, Rave On, Summer In The City, Itchycoo Park, Hold Tight It’s 60′s Night and Hold Tight It’s 70′s Night, and for Bill Kenwright, Thank You For The Music in which Elio appeared as Elton John and Billy Joel.
Earlier this week Elio answered a few questions I put to him.
Was there any particular Rock and Roll star that inspired you at a young age?
Elvis Presley was without a doubt my main influence as a kid. Listening to Elvis now is like coming home.
What do you like most about Billy Joel’s style of music?
The thing that, for me, sets him apart from EVERYONE else in the history of Rock and Roll is the eclectic variety and range of colour in his music. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge and understanding of all things music (and History) and the musical ability to ‘sculpt’ in any genre he chooses to the highest quality. On top of this he’s an amazing vocalist and lyricist. In my opinion, he is the most over-qualified Rock Star of all-time.
What do you like most about touring?
The challenge of meeting a brand new audience and communicating with them through the music that my fantastic band and I create. It’s a two-way thing we give, they give, so we give extra and they respond a little more… It’s a thrill. Playing live is the greatest privilege in this business.
Why should everyone come along to see you perform The Billy Joel Songbook?
Because if you love Billy Joel’s songs and you have no plans to visit America, you most probably won’t ever get to see him or hear his songs live again because he’s given up touring the world. There is nothing like the real thing and I’m not trying to be Billy Joel, I don’t come out doing an impression of Billy Joel, it’s me being me, channelling his phenomenal songs to fans like me that want to hear them live. If he won’t come to the UK to do it himself, then someone else has to do it… Nobody else is, so it may as well be me.
Listings on official website: www.eliopace.com/gigs
Photo credit: www.eliopace.com/gallery
Sunday 19th April 2014