Billy Joel and his music stands the test of time

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Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. Photos by Will Loschiavo.
Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. Photos by Will Loschiavo.

Billy Joel is still filling the seats at Madison Square Garden

In January 2014 Billy Joel launched a residency at Madison Square Garden which consists of the iconic performer playing one show per month at The World’s Most Famous Arena. A mere five years later, in January 2019 Joel celebrated his 60th residency performance at The Garden. That is a palatial accolade for a man who attempted suicide in 1970 and experienced subsequent depression-related struggles for decades thereafter.

Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. Photos by Will Loschiavo.
Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. Photos by Will Loschiavo.

He has managed to withstand the test of time. Before the consistently sold out show even begins men and women of all races, orientations and ages are there. They range from adolescence to the elderly, making it evident before the lights even dim that the Piano Man has had a lasting effect on those of all walks of life. It is a rarity within an industry known to compartmentalize anything and everything.

Performing an extensive setlist nearing 30 tracks over the course of a solid two and a half hours, Billy Joel manages to pull off the inconceivable. He takes no breaks whatsoever during his residency show. He makes it a point to completely alter the setlist with each show. And he never sticks to one particular playlist or theme. One can attend this specific show a dozen times and still be blown away. In a competitive industry where each artist is constantly trying to surpass themselves, Billy Joel effortlessly avoids his show becoming mundane, a rarity as far as residency showcases are concerned.

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Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. Photos by Will Loschiavo.
Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. Photos by Will Loschiavo.

A show of this caliber speaks to the level of admiration Billy Joel has accrued, especially during unforeseen moments when taking requests from the audience, offering the option to choose from a mega hit ala “Just The Way You Are” or a non-single track ala “Vienna,” to which the crowd unanimously opts for the latter choice. While the show is chock full of blockbusters and highlights, one of the most integral moments takes place when the Bronx-native performs a moving “New York State Of Mind.” It resonates on such an intimate level with the tri-state hometown audience. Another stellar moment comes when Billy Joel performs his #1 classic “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” perfectly executed from start to finish. It illustrates Joel has tactfully rounded up what may very well be the best band he has ever had backing him on stage.

Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. Photos by Will Loschiavo.
Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. Photos by Will Loschiavo.

This month Madison Square Garden announced the unprecedented 68th consecutive show by Billy Joel slated for Friday September 27th 2019. While this will mark Joel’s 68th residency show, it is actually marks his 114th all-time performance at The Garden. 2019 residency dates, all beginning at 8pm, are as follow:

  • April 12th 2019
  • May 9th 2019
  • June 2nd 2019
  • July 11th 2019
  • August 28th 2019
  • September 27th 2019
  • October 25th 2019
Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. Photos by Will Loschiavo.
Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. Photos by Will Loschiavo.

Watch Billy Joel open up his residency with his principal benefit anthem “Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway):” youtube.com/watch?v=Q1GMtShbAO0&feature=youtu.be