The confirmed gigs constitute a West Coast leg of what is shaping up to be an extensive tour for the pair, who have mounted three successful co-headlining outings in years past.

True to form over the last few weeks as speculation about the trek mounted, the dates appeared simultaneously on both superstars’ Web sites without much fanfare.

The tour kicks off January 19 at the Cox Arena in San Diego, and so far will stop in Vancouver, Portland, Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose, Los Angeles and Las Vegas in addition to shows already confirmed in Tacoma, Wash.; Salt Lake City and Phoenix.

Ticket prices for premium seats will top out at $175 in most markets.

Face To Face 2001 marks the fourth time Captain Fantastic and the Piano Man have teamed up for a concert trek. The duo has teamed for North American jaunts in 1994, 1995 and 1998.

During the last outing with Sir Elton, Joel developed throat and upper respiratory problems including persistent laryngitis and was forced to abandon a European leg of the tour.

He mounted a headline tour in 1999 but has largely taken this year off, with the exception of special one-offs such as Sting’s rainforest benefit in April.

The native New Yorker, who has repeatedly said he’s cutting back on touring in order to concentrate on composing classical music, most recently appeared at Yankee Stadium to sing the national anthem at the opening game of the 2000 World Series.

His last major concert was a millennium New Year’s Eve bash at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

John is in the middle of a European leg of what seems like a never-ending tour. He returns to the States December 2 for a week of shows kicking off in Louisiana. He’s scheduled to appear in six other secondary markets through December 10 in Montgomery, Ala.

The live recording of John’s October 20-21 Madison Square Garden shows, At Last – One Night Only, was released worldwide November 13 except in the United States, where it hit shelves a week later.