We’re not sure why, but it’s not too often a Billy Joel cover passes through Vanya HQ. Maybe the world realizes the songs are already perfect, and maybe some things are just better off left alone to revel in its original brilliance. And why risk acting the fool in some limp-wristed tribute that’s just gonna make us all run back to the Piano Man himself?
Performing as the When, New York’s Matt Kourie, formerly of Long Island nu-metal band R22, has boldly gone where few dared, covering Joel’s “The Downeaster ‘Alexa'” with more drama, gusto, and ’80s pageantry than usually found in the Sunrise Mall parking lot on Christmas Eve. It must be a Long Island thing.
Either way, the approach kinda works, and we’ll be blasting this shit as we race towards the harbor this weekend, letting the sun kiss our foreheads and the wind blow through our hair. If you don’t feel alive while listening to this, then a Big Shot you are not.
Joel, in related news, plays Fenway Park on July 16; the When, meanwhile, releases new EP Layer Zero, the second in a trilogy, on June 30 with the record release show June 24th at Pianos in New York City.