New York, NY (October 4, 2022)—All of the elements—music, stage, film, performance and a hometown hero—come together for two nights, October 5 and 9, as the iconic 1990 concert Billy Joel: Live at Yankee Stadium gets the full nationwide theatrical release treatment, upgraded with a 4K transfer of the original 16mm footage and a Dolby Atmos remix of the original recording.
The theatrical release (Sony Music Entertainment/Trafalgar Releasing), which honors the New York native’s 50 years of making music, is accompanied by a November 4 re-release featuring a 2-CD, 3-LP and Blu-ray version of the legendary show, featuring never-before-seen or heard footage from the first concert to be held at Yankee Stadium.
The music, which appeared in a 1990 film/VHS version of the performance, was originally recorded by the great David Hewitt to dual 24-track analog machines with Dolby SR in his Remote Recording Services truck. Mixers Jay Vicari and Brian Ruggles, Joel’s longtime live sound engineer, remixed the audio for both the film and music re-releases. Tom Davis and Jake Davis of Seismic Sound, Nashville, remixed the film for release in the Dolby Atmos format.
“This was such a great project to be involved with,” says Davis, who revamped his 5.1 mix studio with a 9.1.4 Kali Audio monitoring system to accompany the Avid S6 console at the center. “Billy Joel is at the absolute top of his game, both vocally and in his stage presence. And the band is just smokin’ hot. These are the Phil Ramone years. I was given these amazing tracks to work with, from the original 48 tracks recorded by Dave Hewitt and mixed by Jay Vicari, with Brian Ruggles there the entire time. Nobody knows Billy better.
“The goal we had from the beginning was to put the audience right there in the center of the crowd,” Davis continues. “At the same time, we didn’t want to overwhelm the audience or distract them. You can definitely feel the crowd—hell, it’s Yankee Stadium—but the band is so good that we wanted the music front and center. That’s the beauty of the format: you get to bring the audience right into the heart of the performance.”
An 8-minute clip of the film, featuring the epic “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” was shown as part of the Mix Presents Sound for Film & TV event on September 24 at Sony Pictures Studios.
“It was just stunning,” says Tom Kenny, co-editor of Mix. “Here we are, with clips from Bullet Train, The Batman, The Woman King and others—and Billy Joel steals the show. We think it’s the first concert film to be released theatrically in Atmos, and it absolutely showcased the pure power of the performance. You don’t even have to be a Billy Joel fan; it’s a must-see for anyone who loves live music, period.”
A more detailed story on the making of the Dolby Atmos release will be featured in the November issue of Mix. In the meantime, visit the official Billy Joel film site to find out where it’s showing near you.