On Wednesday, Billy Joel will play his 65th show at Madison Square Garden, surpassing Elton John as the artist with the most performances at the arena, and he will become the only person in the arena's history to have his name on two banners in the rafters. Joel's name is already on a banner for most consecutive concerts, which currently stands at 18, but he breaks that record monthly as his residency continues.
… For Joel, though, the real prize is performing at the Garden in front of audiences that are truly excited to see him. “We never take it for granted,” he says. “You have to be psyched. The band is always up. We always try to do something that keeps us on our toes. We play a song that we haven't played in 50 years, which I can now say without exaggerating. It makes it fun. Itzhak Perlman will come on stage to play. A string section will be added. John Mellencamp, Don Henley, that makes it fun. A little bit of edge is a good thing.”
… Joel says he plans to make his concert July 1 special. He has invited some friends to join him onstage that night, though he declines to identify any of them because the appearances depend so much on unpredictable scheduling.
“I'm not ego-tripping on it — it's a long road that culminated in this,” Joel says. “What's that story? 'The Tortoise and the Hare.' We were the tortoise, I guess, slow but steady.”
Read more at Newsday.
Billy Joel performs live in concert with Andy Cichon, Crystal Taliefero and Mark Rivera at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, on June 20, 2015.
Billy Joel and surprise guest Richie Sambora at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, on June 20, 2015.
Surprise guest Richie Sambora at Billy Joel’s concert at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, on June 20, 2015.
Billy Joel performs live in concert at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, on June 20, 2015.
Billy Joel performs live in concert with Dave Rosenthal, Tommy Byrnes, Chuck Burgi and Andy Cichon at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, on June 20, 2015.
Madison Square Garden Announces Billy Joel to Hold Both of the Venue’s Concert Performance Records
Legendary Artist Continues to Break the MSG Record for the “Longest Run of Any Artist” and on July 1, Joel Will Break the Record for “Most Number of Performances by Any Artist” in the History of Madison Square Garden
NEW YORK, June 29, 2015 — Music icon and Madison Square Garden franchise Billy Joel will be the first artist ever to simultaneously hold both of The Garden’s concert-related performance records. Joel continues to break his own record for the “Longest Run of Any Artist” at The World’s Most Famous Arena throughout his residency, and in July, he will break Madison Square Garden’s record for the “Most Number of Performances By Any Artist” with his 65th show at the venue. The record is currently held by Elton John.
In December 2013, Billy Joel became Madison Square Garden’s first-ever music franchise of The World’s Most Famous Arena, joining the ranks of The Garden’s other original franchises – the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty. Since January 2014, Joel has played one show per month at The Garden as part of the Time Warner Cable Concert Series. This hugely successful residency has led to 24 sold out shows through December 2015.
Coming off the success of last summer’s “Music Saturdays with Billy Joel,” the fan-favorite returns to MSG Network with a summer-long event featuring unforgettable concert specials from the legendary artist on Saturdays at 10:00 p.m. Now through September 5, fans will get to re-live some of Joel’s most iconic performances including “Billy Joel: Live at Shea” and “Billy Joel: Live from Long Island.” MSG now offers a rich visual history of Billy Joel and his many Garden performances through a scrollable timeline, featuring archival images, video insights from Billy, sharable images and lyrics, plus direct links for ticketing. Visit billyjoelmsg.com for more information. Join the conversation with #BillyJoelMSG.
Having sold 150 million records over the past quarter century, Billy Joel ranks as one of most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in history. The singer/songwriter/composer is the sixth best-selling recording artist of all time, the third best-selling solo artist and one of the highest grossing touring artists in the world. In November 2014, Billy Joel received both The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, which honors living musical artists’ lifetime achievement in promoting the genre of song as a vehicle of cultural understanding; entertaining and informing audiences and inspiring new generations, and the once-in-a-century ASCAP Centennial Award, which is presented to American music icons in recognition of their incomparable accomplishments in their respective music genres and beyond.
In December 2013, Joel received The Kennedy Center Honors, one of the United States’ top cultural awards. He is also the recipient of six GRAMMY?« Awards, including the prestigious Grammy Legend Award. Joel has been inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has received numerous industry awards. “Movin’ Out,” a Broadway musical based on Joel’s music, choreographed and directed by Twyla Tharp, took home two Tony Awards, including Best Orchestrations – Joel’s first Tony Award win – and Best Choreography. For his accomplishments as a musician and as a humanitarian, Joel was honored as the 2002 MusiCares Person of The Year by the MusiCares Foundation and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. Joel has also performed alongside other music greats at two of Madison Square Garden’s most extraordinary benefit concerts – “12-12-12, The Concert For Sandy Relief,” which raised awareness and money for those affected by Hurricane Sandy and “The Concert for New York City,” which was held to help aid 9/11 victims and heroes. Billy Joel received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, adding another milestone to his extraordinary career.
Billy Joel Set List – Madison Square Garden – New York, NY – June 20, 2015
Official photos by Jeff Schock