The $3,000-a-ticket Billy Joel show in the Hamptons Saturday was billed as "the ultimate rock 'n' roll fantasy," and it was — if your idea of rock and roll begins and ends with wretched excess. Upon arrival, guests were whisked to a quasi-secret location in a fleet of chartered buses that came so often they practically formed a train; once inside the perimeter, they had to contend with troupes of caterers, candy girls, cigar-toting Davidoff reps, and the like. We weren't too surprised to find megamagician David Blaine, bulkier than we remembered him, moodily walking around, but our hearts sank a bit once we realized the guy had been hired as pre-show entertainment. Because Blaine is mostly famous for very public acts of endurance, we inquired how long, in his estimation, he'd be able to continuously listen to Billy Joel. "Ha-ha," said the magician. "Seriously, he's awesome." (Actually, later, Billy Joel would prove to be, well, Billy Joel.)
The Police played New York last night for the first time since 1983, putting on a show of classics in the first of three gigs this week at Madison Square Garden and Giants Stadium. We'd love to have Vulture's take, but the promoters wouldn't give our pals a ticket. (Keep an eye out for a review — based on attendance at honest-to-goodness, full-price admission — later this week.) There's nothing in the Times, either, but one presumes that's because Jon Pareles got out too late to make his deadline, not because the Police disliked him, too. The Daily Newsposts a notice today, though, finding the show a bit too tight and scripted. Still, wrote critic Jim Farber, "it's hard to carp about any show that highlighted a catalogue so rich in winning tunes and clever hooks, let alone one that delivered them with so much zest." Mmm zesty!