Last concert? Shea it ain't so

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It's the last of the ninth for concerts at Shea Stadium, and Billy Joel is grabbing a bat.

The Bronx-born singer-songwriter will be the last artist to play at the 43-year-old ballpark in Queens, home of the New York Mets, with a July 16 concert billed as the Last Play at Shea: From the Beatles to Billy.

This year will mark the final season for the Mets at Shea; the team moves into its new home at Citi Field in 2009.

Joel will add to the list of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers who have played Shea, beginning with the Beatles in August 1965 and including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Police, Eric Clapton, Elton John, the Who and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.

The concert, which comes the day after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, will make Joel the only artist to play both Yankee Stadium (two nights in 1991) and Shea. It will be the first in-season concert at Shea since Clapton and John played there during the 1992 season.

Live Nation is promoting the show in association with Mitch Slater. Tickets go on sale Feb. 16.

Slater's involvement in the Shea concert is intriguing, as he has not been publicly involved in the live music business since leaving SFX Entertainment — which evolved into what's now known as Live Nation — in 2000, outside of briefly owning promoter Metropolitan Entertainment in 2002. Slater has for years been affiliated with CKX chairman Robert Sillerman and serves as senior executive vp and COO for CKX ("American Idol," Elvis Presley Enterprises).

Slater long promoted concerts in New York under the Delsener/Slater Enterprises banner before SFX acquired that company in 1997.

Ray Waddell is an executive director at Billboard.
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