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A Billy Joel State of Mind: Tribute concert honoring American music icon coming to Holmes Theatre

Minnesota musician Mick Sterling will present "A Billy Joel State of Mind," featuring a full 13-piece band, this Thursday, Jan. 17 at Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre. Curtain time is at 7:30 p.m. (Submitted photo)

"Big Shot." "Movin' Out." "She's Got A Way." "Uptown Girl." "Piano Man." "Only the Good Die Young." "It's Still Rock & Roll." "We Didn't Start the Fire"... Billy Joel has written and recorded some of the most iconic rock and pop hits of the past 50 years, so it's no surprise that other artists have looked up to him, covered his songs, and even made them into a jukebox musical that premiered on Broadway back in 2002.

What makes "A Billy Joel State of Mind," the tribute show conceived by Minnesota musician Mick Sterling, into something truly unique is that he delves deep into Joel's discography, including not only the aforementioned hits, but some of the more obscure tracks, like "Goodnight Saigon," "Until the Night," "Summer Highland Falls," and "Miami 2017."

"I'm a fan," Sterling says. "I saw his concert when 'The Stranger' came out in the mid '70s and it was one of my favorite concerts that I've ever seen. He's Billy Joel. He's an American music icon, and his songs still sound amazing. They're really well crafted pieces of music that stand up to this day...We do a lot of his big hits, but we also delve into some of his earlier tracks, from his first album ('The Stranger'), and '52nd Street,'and some songs that maybe weren't big hits but were important to his fans.

"In addition to including nearly 30 songs from Joel's 40-year repertoire, Sterling employs a 15-piece band, featuring horns, strings, percussion and a full complement of backup singers, in an attempt to stay as faithful to the original recordings as possible.

"This isn't like any other Billy Joel (tribute) show that's out there," he says. "It's a huge sound. It sounds like if Billy Joel had a band playing at the Holmes Theatre. I think any Joel fan will be satisfied — and maybe even a little surprised."

"A Billy Joel State of Mind" will be presented live at Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre this Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $28 for adults, $14 for students and may be purchased online at, by phone at 218-844-SHOW (7469), or in person at the Holmes Theatre Box Office, 806 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes.

Also this weekend

Besides Thursday night's show at the Holmes Theatre, there are a plethora of other shows scheduled for the coming weekend around the lakes area. Here is just a small sample:

• Jim Haney and John Evans, also known as The Lollygaggers, will perform a folk and roots "apres ski" concert at Ace's Wild Saloon, located inside the main lodge at the Detroit Mountain Recreation Area, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18. Call 218-844-SNOW (7669) or visit for details.

• Five-time Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Award winner, Christopher Cross, will perform live at Mahnomen's Shooting Star Casino, Hotel and Event Center on Friday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased by phone at 1-800-313-SHOW (7469), online at, or via the "Buy Tickets" tab on Shooting Star's Facebook page:

• The Cultural Center in New York Mills will present Glen Everhart and Pat Balder in "SongBlast Dueling Guitars" on Friday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. This hilarious and lively duo will be sure to have you jamming along with them and their set list at the New York Mills City Hall Ballroom. General admission tickets for this event can be purchased for $40 at Backwoods BBQ, the New York Mills Library, F&M Bank, or online at A limited number of VIP tables are also available for purchase online or by contacting the Cultural Center at 218-385-3339.

• Dwight Yoakam with special guest Dan Smalley, will perform live at Bemidji's Sanford Center on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $59 and are available online via or, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or 1-866-820-4553, or in person at the Sanford Center Box Office located at 1111 Event Center Drive NE, Bemidji.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 18-plus years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Detroit Lakes School Board. 

(218) 844-1454