Elton John, Billy Joel face off on piano

  • By Andy Rathbun Herald Writer
  • Thursday, October 29, 2009 2:36pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Elton John and Billy Joel have more than the piano in common.

John and Joel — ever notice that both use first names as last names? — went on their first joint tour in 1994. That smash success was followed by a 24-date sold-out tour in 2003.

Now, they’re at it again. On the first night of their Face to Face tour this past March, they played 32 songs, both focusing their sets on their best-known material — “Rocket Man” and “Piano Man” alike.

Their two shows at KeyArena in Seattle next week will loosely mark the halfway point for the tour, which will continue into 2010.

A few seats remained for the Seattle stop earlier this week.

7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Nov. 7, KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $68.55 to 198.30; ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

Five Finger Death Punch: Supposedly, this heavy metal band named itself as a nod to the “five point palm exploding heart technique” that director Quentin Tarantino devised for “Kill Bill.”

The group scored one big modern rock hit in 2007 with “The Bleeding,” and toured almost constantly during the next two years.

That ethic no doubt heightened anticipation for their sophomore album, “War Is the Answer,” which debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 in September.

6 p.m. Monday, Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., Seattle; $20; ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

Steve Martin: Renaissance men pop up in the unlikeliest of places.

Take Steve Martin. When he was goofing around on “Saturday Night Live” or in “The Jerk,” he hardly seemed like a genius.

Since abandoning stand-up, however, he’s written a few sentimental best-sellers, penned a Broadway play, narrated a retrospective of painter Edward Hopper and, most recently, recorded an album of original banjo music.

That last feat will bring him to Seattle, as he tours behind his acclaimed 2009 album, “The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo.”

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $55 to $75; ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

Loggins and Messina: You could have forgiven Kenny Loggins if he had never toured with Jim Messina again.

After all, Loggins’ solo career was a huge success. He churned out hits for more than a decade on his own.

Despite that, he re-teamed with his old songwriting partner in 2005.

The pair have since recorded a new song, “Two of Us,” and are again on the road, singing the soft rock hits that gave them an early taste of success in the 1970s.

7:30 p.m. Monday, Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $65; ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

Vienna Teng: San Francisco native Vienna Teng will return to Edmonds tonight.

The classically trained pianist has earned a reputation for her blend of folk and pop, along with her intimate lyrics.

Her latest album, “Inland Territory,” came out in April.

7:30 tonight, Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N., Edmonds; $15 to $30; www.ec4arts.org or 425-275-9595.

Andy Rathbun: 425-339-3455; arathbun@heraldnet.com.

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