Sag Harbor Piano Man Billy Joel played his much-anticipated 100th career Madison Square Garden show Wednesday night, and his longtime friend Bruce Springsteen joined him onstage as surprise guest.
The performance landed Joel in the record books as the artist with the most shows at the vaunted New York City venue. He played his first 40 years ago and has since made MSG something of a home with regular monthly shows as part of a music residency that began there in January 2014.
More than halfway through Joel’s performance, Springsteen appeared onstage and delighted fans with two songs. As the audience cheered and chanted “Bruce,” The Boss congratulated Joel and then began his 1975 tune “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” while sitting on his pal’s piano. Springsteen then put on his guitar and played his classic “Born to Run,” also from 1975.
Joel’s 2-year-old daughter Della Rose and wife Alexis also joined him as a banner was dedicated to mark the occasion. Earlier on Wednesday, fellow Hamptonite Governor Andrew Cuomo of Southampton proclaimed July 18, 2018, as “Billy Joel Day,” and Joel’s piano was put on view in the front of MSG.
Feeling the moment, Joel also played “This Is the Time,” noting, “It’s such a strange concept to me. I’ve done 100 shows at Madison Square Garden. Maybe it’ll hit me later.”
The landmark concert was Joel’s 54th consecutive sold out show at MSG. Earlier in the day, before the historic night, CBS This Morning‘s Anthony Mason sat down with Joel to discuss his achievement.
“I’m wondering, is everything else is going to be anticlimactic after you do 100 shows,” Joel told Mason, adding, “But we’ve already sold shows past this one…we’re at like 105, 106 now.” He went on to explain how he thought the residency would eventually “drop off” after a year or so, but “now the tickets are selling faster than at the beginning.”
Joel continued, “I may be doing this for the rest of my natural life, but I’m not complaining. It’s the best job I ever had.”
On a side note, Joel’s band member Mike DelGuidice, who can be seen playing in the Wednesday’s concert footage, is playing Joel’s music with his band Big Shot at Dan’s GrillHampton on Friday, July 20!