South O’ the Highway

Billy Joel Celebrates 70th Birthday with MSG Concert Tonight

Lucky ticket holders should expect some fun surprises at his 64th residency show.

Sag Harbor resident Billy Joel turned 70 years old today, but rather than lie back and take in the milestone moment at home, he’s celebrating his birthday with thousands of fans at Madison Square Garden.

The sold-out show marks his 64th consecutive concert at the NYC venue, part of his once-a-month residency which began there in January 2014. This May 9 show is also Joel’s 110th all-time performance at The Garden. Those lucky enough to get tickets for this special night should expect some fun surprises, considering the fanfare at other landmark shows in Joel’s residency.

Remember his 100th all-time performance at MSG last July? Bruce Springsteen joined Joel onstage for two songs, and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo pronounced July 18, 2018 “Billy Joel Day.” Joel’s 2-year-old daughter Della Rose and wife Alexis joined him as a banner was dedicated to mark the occasion.

We can’t wait to see who joins him tonight!

Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine about his big birthday and tonight’s concert. “I got mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I’m happy to be alive. On the other hand, I don’t know how much of a party I deserve just for making it to 70,” he told Andy Greene. “I mean, it’s a work night—you can’t have birthday cake, you can’t do any of that stuff.”

Later in the interview Joel mused about not recognizing himself in concert photos. “That don’t look right,” he said, adding, “I got old, I lost my hair. I was never a matinee idol to begin with, and there I am onstage still doing the same job I was doing when I was 16.”

After his 100th show last year, Joel told Vulture his farewell tour would feature a living-room set—“couch, TV, coffee table, food”—and bulletproof glass between him and the audience so he could come out, lie on the couch, grab the remote and start watching TV. “The crowd after a couple minutes goes, ‘F**k this,’ and starts throwing s**t at the glass,” he said at the time.

Jokes aside, he addressed the idea of a farewell tour more seriously, telling Rolling Stone it’s not going to happen like that. “I think the way it’ll happen is there’ll be a night where I feel like I can’t do it well anymore—I can’t hit the notes, I don’t have the physical stamina, I’m not into it. And that night, I’ll know it’s time to stop. I might even decide right then and there this is my last show.”

Thankfully, even at 70, it doesn’t appear Joel is anywhere close to reaching that point. And as concertgoers can tell you, he’s still hitting the notes like a champ.

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