For nearly 50 years Madison Square Garden also known as MSG and "The Garden" has hosted many legendary concerts and historic sporting events. MSG is known in sports for being the oldest NHL Arena and 2nd oldest NBA arena. For concerts MSG is known for many important shows such as the benefits for Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina as well as well as a record breaking 13 shows in a row this year from Phish and since 1978 Billy Joel has played MSG 92 times, 45 of which have taken place since starting his MSG residency in 2014. When Joel is not playing MSG, he's touring major sports arenas and stadiums around the world for an outstanding 2.5 hours of nothing but hits. Billy Joel is the 3rd bestselling solo artist in American History, 6th bestselling artist worldwide and is one NYC's most revered artists so it's easy to see how he sells out every show of his residency and has become MSG's 4th tenant after the Rangers, Nicks and Liberty.
At 8:20 p.m. the lights went out and the band walked out and then the Piano Man himself darkly lit and playing "Miami 2017" (Seen the Lights Go Out On Broadway) being a good fit as there's just 3 months left of 2017. Since Miami 2017 has a slower start in the beginning and develops into a faster pace song as the show goes until full production with lights and video screens, it was the perfect choice for the opening song.
Following "Miami 2017" was "Pressure" which is usually played earlier in the set and was the first song of the show in which Billy's piano rotated 180 degrees. Next Billy played a few verses of Elton John's "Your Song" whom he toured with on their historic Face To Face tours. On the lyrics "Don't Have Much Money," Joel always stops to make a joke and this time it was I beg your pardon? You don't have much money? You've got enough money to move the piano around—but no, the piano just stood there. Come on, man—spin the motherfucker!"
This led up to the first fan selected song of the night which Billy did several of with the audience choosing between "Just the Way You Are" and "Vienna," the audience choice "Vienna".
To get warmed up for the next song which was the first major Doo-Wop song in over a decade at the time, Joel and the band sang a bit of Dion's "Teenager In Love" and “Runaround Sue" before leading into his hit "For The Longest Time."
Joel continued with "The Entertainer" and "Zanzibar" before bringing out his first guest of the night. To bring out another one of NYC's most treasured artists, Billy Joel said” From the borough of Queens – please welcome Mr. Paul Simon." Joel is known for bringing out great surprise guests and Paul Simon was the perfect choice. Simon did two songs with Joel and his band, the first was the Simon and Garfunkel classic “The Boxer,” which was a great fit with Joel’s boxing background and his solo hit “Late In The Evening.” After Simon exited the stage Joel continued with four more hits starting with Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song) and following was Joel doing his best Bruce Springsteen impersonation on “Born To Run,” and after a few verses said “You’ll have to go to Broadway to figure out the rest of that one.” Although it seemed like Springsteen could be the next guest, Joel surprised the audience with an unexpected duet with Miley Cyrus on “New York State of Mind,” who did a fantastic job. Joel kept played another four big hits then Joel’s singer/guitarist Mike DelGuidice sang the incredible opera song “Nessun Dorna” which led into “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant. DelGuidice had his own Billy Joel tribute band Big Shot before joining Joel 4 years ago.
Although nearly all songs performed in the set we’re sing-alongs, Joel let the audience take over the chorus in “Piano Man,” which was the last song before a 6-song encore.
Simon and Cyrus came back out for the first song of the encore “You May Be Right,” and Led Zeppelin’s “Rock N’ Roll” was added in. After Simon and Cyrus said farewell, Joel picked up a guitar for “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” and stayed out front for “Uptown Girl,” and “It’s Still Rock N’ Roll to Me.” Joel returned to the piano to close out the show with “Big Shot,” and “Only the Good Die Young.”
If you missed this show, Billy Joel will back at MSG on Oct. 20.
- Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out On Broadway)
- Longest time
- The Entertainer
- The Boxer with Paul Simon
- Late in the Evening with Paul Simon
- Movin’ out (Anthony’s Song)
- The Downeaster Alexa
- She’s Always a Woman
- Don’t Ask Me Why
- New York State of Mind with Miley Cyrus
- My Life
- Sometimes A fantasy
- The River of Dreams
- Nessun Dorna
- Scenes from an Italian Restaurant
- Piano Man
- You May Be Right/ Rock N Roll (Led Zeppelin) with Paul Simon and Miley Cyrus
- We Didn’t Start the Fire billy guitar
- Uptown Girl
- It’s Still Rock & Roll to Me
- Big shot
- Only the Good Die Young