Piano man Billy Joel made an unprecedented announcement yesterday, revealing at a press conference that he will play a show a month at the famous Madison Square Gardens, making him its first entertainment franchise, alongside sports teams the Knicks, the Rangers and the Liberty.
“Playing Madison Square Garden is an experience that never gets old,” said Joel. “A show a month at the Garden for as long as there’s demand means more opportunities to connect with music fans and provides a unique and memorable show every time we play here.”
The Bronx-born Joel was joined at the conference by Governor of New york Andrew M. Cuomo who introduced the singer as a “worldwide superstar who values most that he is a hometown hero.” Joel first performed at MSG in 1978 and has since played at the venue 46 times, including a record run of 12 sold-out shows in 2006.
Rolling Stone reports, MSG officials unveiled a new Billy Joel logo next to ones for the sports teams. “Billy, having you as our music franchise feels a little like having the Pope as your parish priest,” said MSG Executive Chairman James Dolan. “I’m truly an admirer and I grew up with your music, too, and so I’m thrilled to death.”
The historic run begins in the new year with four already sold-out shows on 27th January, 3rd February, 21st March and 18th April. Joel will also perform a show on his 65th birthday, 9th May, with further monthly shows to be announced later.
In preparation for his MSG run, Joel will perform at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on New Year’s Eve. It is as of yet unclear whether he will perform any outside shows during his residency.