Mu­si­cal mile­stone

Billy Joel bests El­ton John, sets new record at Madi­son Square Gar­den with 65 per­for­mances

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Billy Joel bests El­ton John, sets MSG record.

Billy Joel set a record for most per­for­mances by a sin­gle artist at Madi­son Square Gar­den with his 65th show Wed­nes­day night, best­ing El­ton John.

The Pi­ano Man was full of energy as he per­formed for a fever­ish crowd of all ages in New York City for more than two hours. He sang hits like “Up­town Girl,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” and “Only the Good Die Young.”

“Welcome to Madi­son Square Gar­den - the cen­tre of the uni­verse,” he said as 20,000 fans roared.

“I didn’t know I’d be here 65 times, amaz­ing,” Joel said. “I want to thank you very much for mak­ing this pos­si­ble.”

A ban­ner rose to the top of the stage in hon­our of Joel’s 65th show. Ac­tor-co­me­dian Kevin James came on­stage to help the vet­eran mu­si­cian celebrate.

“I am so proud and hon­oured to be part of this his­toric evening,” James said. “I feel like body surf­ing, though we’d prob­a­bly set another record for most in­juries at a con­cert.”

The 66-year-old Joel, who was born in the Bronx, played pi­ano for most of the night, but also rocked on the guitar and har­mon­ica. He has been per­form­ing at MSG once a month since last year.

“I re­ally be­lieved a long time ago if I didn’t have a record ev­ery year on the charts, it would just go away. Peo­ple would stop com­ing,” he said.

“It’s amaz­ing - I haven’t had a record on the charts in 22 years.”

Joel was ex­cited through­out his per­for­mance, which fea­tured his top notch band. At one point, he was spin­ning the mi­cro­phone stand in the air and it landed on his face. He quickly re­cov­ered, threw the stand in the air and caught it - earn­ing yet another stand­ing ova­tion.

John, 68, pre­vi­ously had the MSG record with 64 per­for­mances. Joel sang John’s “Good­bye Yel­low Brick Road” as yel­low lights beamed from the stage.

“He’s a good man and a good friend and I’d like to ded­i­cate this song to him,” Joel said.


Billy Joel per­forms for a record 65th time at Madi­son Square Gar­den on Wed­nes­day in New York City.

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