Billy Joel Bows to Pope at Garden

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Billy Joel at MSG logoIn the New York City metro area, Long Island-born Billy Joel is a local hero of such immense proportions that he all but rivals – some would argue surpasses – the woeful New York Knicks as a regular Madison Square Garden attraction – 17 sold-out monthly concerts to date since he began a regular residency in January 2014 that will continue for as long as public demand lasts. His July 1 show at the famed arena will break the house record for most appearances at the venue as he hits his 65th time on the Garden stage.

Although MSG rarely reschedules one event to accommodate another, his September 25 concert has been moved to the 26th so another superstar can appear to the arena: Pope Francis. Although details have yet to be confirmed, the pontiff’s visit to New York City to address the United Nations on the 25th will now likely be followed with an appearance and possible mass at the Garden that evening.

Joel’s recent closing night show at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival showed that his “Dad rock” was a hit with the younger crowd. His set of his own hit songs and favorites also included a cover of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” sung by his roadie “Chainsaw” with Joel rocking out on guitar.

Meanwhile, back in New York, the state senate has passed a bill to rename a stretch of Route 107 in Oyster Bay on Long Island, where Joel lives, “Billy Joel Boulevard.” Passage by the state assembly and the governor’s signature seem likely to follow.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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