My Year of Concerts™: Billy Joel

September 14, 2023

#MyYearOfConcerts continued this past Sunday night when Cari and I caught Billy Joel live at Madison Square Garden, part of his residency there that started way back in 2014. Total bucket list show for both of us.

Little-known fact: 52nd Street is the first album I ever bought with my own money. My parents had a house at the Jersey shore in the ’70s, and one day I walked to this cool, little record store that was maybe a half-mile away and decided on 52nd Street because we’d always listen to it from start to finish when I was visiting my best friend’s house and hanging with him and his older brothers.

The show was great and, like just about every other show I’ve seen this year, brought me to tears several times — I think because we’re so close to the one-year anniversary of the accident that inspired this year of concerts, and also because it’s amazing how Billy Joel’s biggest songs run the entire course of my childhood and young adult life, from the ’70s thru the ’90s.

In 40 years of concert-going, I’ve only seen one artist do a hometown show: U2 in Dublin. Never saw Springsteen in Jersey. Never saw REM in Athens. Never saw Eagles in L.A. So I was pretty excited to see Billy do a hometown show, and it didn’t disappoint at all. My goodness, the absolute ROAR when he walked on the stage was no different than the U2 shows I’ve seen in Dublin. New York City LOVES Billy Joel.

Bucket-list show as I mentioned, also bucket list to finally hear “Piano Man” and “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” live. Re: the latter, you haven’t lived until you’ve sung “And there we were waving Brenda and Eddie goodbye” with 20,000 other people, each one of us singing at the top of our lungs and waving them goodbye as if they were there in the room with us. What a moment.

Posting this several days late because there’s already been another entry in #MyYearOfConcerts, so I’ll work on that post next.

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