The Billy Joel Songbook is the story of a meeting between a passionate musician, Elio Pace, and his idol. It is a 20 year old idea that resurfaces after a career as a pianist, writer and composer. It's a limitless knowledge of the discography of one of the greatest pop-rock artists on the planet.
Because Billy Joel's music has been under Elio Pace's skin since he was a teenager. The piano prodigy discovered the artist who played with Elton John, made Madison Square Garden his home and toured all the major stadiums in the United States and Europe at the age of 16. And then nothing will ever be the same again. "When Billy came along, it was like a light went on for me; the way he influenced my singing, my writing, my performing, my piano playing - it was instantaneous," he explains. It was an electric passion, something like artistic love at first sight. The young Elio Pace knows that he has a mission on earth, to make the person who made his heart beat faster known to as many people as possible.
However, he will follow his own path, making his mark as a musician and singer before returning to his idea. And as he matured, there was no question of imitating him. "I'm not a Billy Joel tribute artist - I'm not on stage with a goatee or dark glasses," he says. "I'm on stage as me, paying tribute to the music and celebrating the musician". From Uptown Girl to Piano Man, there is no copying but a Joel-esque accuracy in this pop that touches rock, in these anthems taken up with respect and talent. Because Elio Pace knows the singer's intonations by heart from training. However, his show is more lively and dynamic than the master's. Because if the latter can rely on a titanic career, Pace still has the energy to transcend the crowds with a clearly stated mission: to show how exceptional Billy Joel's music is.
In 1993, Elio Pace had already planned everything. A concept with Billy Joel songs, a poster and a name, 'Piano Man'. But the singer was still performing and the producers thought the idea was brilliant, but too far ahead of its time. Elio Pace did not give up, however, and 20 years later he put this crazy idea into practice. In 2013, he began programming his show. And even though he plays in small venues, with only a few dozen people, the small group is not discouraged: "Even when we played in front of 35 people, I knew that these people would have a good time, would come back the next time and would bring their friends".
The show has been running for ten years and Elio Pace never tires of it. From small concert halls, he has moved on to larger ones, drawing an ever-growing audience in the footsteps of his idol. In 2023, he wants to convince Parisians with a first appearance at the Cigale. Because to see the original, you have to travel to New York. But to really appreciate his sensitive rock'n'roll songs, you'd better go and get a ticket for Elio Pace's Songbook!
You can tell that Elio Pace is one of Billy Joel's greatest admirers. And what a surprise, he doesn't only play the classics of the singer but also lesser known but equally sublime songs. Between songs, there is often a little anecdote, a story about the song. A lively show to relive the greatest moments of a timeless legend.
Over the past ten years of performing Billy Joel's songs, Elio Pace knows how to bring new energy, life and vibrancy to songs we've all hummed before. And if more and more people go to his shows, it's for good reason. Because the technique is irreproachable, the singing is a vibrant tribute and the desire is always renewed! We won't say it's better than the original, but we're not far off!
What struck me immediately about Elio Pace was how engaged he was with the audience. He speaks passionately, not only about Billy Joel but also about the man's music. Much more than a fan playing for the fans, he shares memories. The good memories won't stay in the past, however, as Elio and the Billy Joel Songbook band embark on That's Not Her Style with meticulous attention to detail, drive, energy and passion.