Billy Joel may be turning 70 this May, but the only obvious indicators of his age are his salt-and-pepper beard and the absence of that iconic tussle of brown hair atop his head. The rocker’s characteristically piercing eyes are as alive as ever, as is the long roster of hits that served as the soundtrack for American life for decades. There’s “Uptown Girl,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” and, of course, “Piano Man.” And while Joel hasn’t released anything new since the 1990s, it’s these hits, and the signature New York energy he pours into performing them, that have kept his fans coming back to see him play, year after year. Now, fans in the New York area don’t have to travel the world to keep up with Billy Joel, thanks to his newly instituted residency at the iconic Madison Square Garden.
The franchise is the first of its kind for Madison Square Garden. So, what does it mean, exactly? The arrangement is simple: The Garden is Joel’s musical “home,” in the same way it serves as the home turf for the New York Rangers and the New York Knicks. Joel will be the Garden’s resident artist, which means he will play one show every month at the Garden, starting in January and continuing until… well, no one is sure. But if the electrifying nature of his performances so far is any indication, Joel doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
Given his New York roots, taking up residency at Madison Square Garden seems like a match made in heaven. As Joel has made clear in several interviews, including this video looking back at his personal history with the Garden, he considers any performance there to be “a hometown gig.” Maybe it was that special hometown pull that drew him back to the Garden repeatedly over the years; in January, he played his 100th show at the venue.
In the same way that Joel’s classic hits still feel fresh today, his sense of humor hasn’t faded much either. In a recent interview with The New York Times, he offered an explanation for the secret of his longevity: “I haven’t died.” For that, we are thankful. Stay tuned for upcoming residency dates here. Planning to see Billy Joel at the Garden? Make a mini vacation out of it. Washington Square Hotel in historic Greenwich Village is a brief, 5-minute subway ride to the venue. Enjoy the evening to its fullest! Plan your Stay