To mark the closing of New York's historic Shea Stadium in 2008, Billy Joel drafted an all-star musical team, including Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, John Mayer and Garth Brooks, for a last... See full summary »
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Exceptional documentary about the final two shows that Billy Joel performed at the famous Shea Stadium. If you're expecting your typical concert film then you're going to be disappointed because what here is so much more than just that. In fact, I'd say that the concert at Shea actually gets the least amount of running time but that's okay because the documentary works so extremely well that you got to respect what the filmmakers were going for. The film not only shows the final two shows but we get a complete history of Shea Stadium from its construction to the other famous musical acts that played there and we even cover the Mets' history at the stadium. Other events like 9/11 are covered later in the picture as well. The documentary also serves as a reminder of the career of Joel and it was a very interesting idea show what the musician and the stadium were doing year by year. I found this to be an incredibly original way to show something because we've really got three different moves rolled into one and each of them work extremely well. Being a non-New Yorker it was interesting to see the history of Shea and how it was considered a "dumb" because of where it was originally built. It was also great learning about Joel who opens up about several issues including his marriages, going broke, his drinking and the fact that he's gone so long without writing new material. The concert footage is also extremely good with Joel going all out and deliver fine versions of many classics including New York State of Mind, Piano Man and Only the Good Die Young. As well as this footage we also get countless bits and pieces from earlier in Joel's career. Finally, the documentary also shines the light on perhaps the most famous event at Shea and that was The Beatles concert. Not only do we get clips from that night but the film closes out with Paul McCartney joining Joel on stage for a couple songs. All in all, THE LAST PLAY AT SHEA isn't exactly what you'd expect it to be but that's what makes it so special.
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