‘The Hanukkah Sessions’ with Dave Grohl and producer Greg Kurstin keep rolling on, and it seemed as though each night the two were having to find new ways to top themselves. First came the metal cover of Lisa Loeb’s ‘Stay’, then came the driving punk of the Ramones’ ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’. In a solid left turn, the duo then took on Barry Manilow’s ‘Copacabana’ before they course corrected back to Van Halen’s ‘Jump’. The duo then brought out the big guns (Grohl’s daughter Violet) for a version of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Take the Box’.
But just like the James Bond franchise when it gets a bit too big (Moonraker to For Your Eyes Only, Die Another Day to Casino Royale), Grohl and Kurstin have implemented a soft reboot of the special, bringing the proceedings back to their humble origins. No special guests, no big reaches: just Grohl, Kurstin, and Billy Joel’s ‘Big Shot’.
I’ll be completely honest: Grohl doesn’t sound complete happy to be singing a Billy Joel song, just like I wouldn’t want to be caught dead at a Billy Joel concert. But I would go if someone offered me a ticket, and Grohl takes on the song with a similar kind of reluctant secret enjoyment of the track. Billy Joel ranks above the Eagles in terms of coolness, but not by much.
In any case, Grohl gives it his best, even though Kurstin is actually the star this time around: featuring an impressive marimba performance on top of his usual blend of synths, Kurstin is making a solid case for himself as a remarkable multi-instrumentalist.
That is until he and Grohl come in with a two-man kazoo solo, and then all bets are off. That’s the best part of this whole thing: it’s so goofy and ridiculous to its very core that you can’t help but have a great time watching these two grown men have a silliest of times covering artists that they probably have no business taking on. It’s all part of the charm, and there’s plenty of charm to throw around in this Billy Joel cover.
Check out the cover of ‘Big Shot’ down below.