Billy Joel had seen the lights exit on Broadway and at Madison Square Garden.
His residency at the famed enviornment, which started in January 2014 and included 73 straight month-to-month reveals, got here to a pause in March 2020 as New York shut down throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
For 20 months, the seats he’d usually fill have been left empty, the piano he performed was silenced, the stage he lit up was darkened.
Till Friday, when the common crowd shuffled in and the lights got here again on for Joel.
The homecoming started with a highlight shining down on the 72-year-old Joel as he fittingly opened with the piano intro to “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway),” kicking off a live performance initially scheduled for March 19, 2020.
“We’re back at the Garden,” Joel stated as the crowd erupted.
“I want to thank you for waiting since March 19th of 2020. Sorry you had to wait. They shut everything down, but we’re back,” he stated earlier than going into “New York State of Mind.”
The world could also be a really totally different place since Joel’s final Madison Square Garden live performance. However the draw of his presence and music remained the similar for a sold-out enviornment of roughly 20,000 followers, who had to present proof of vaccination to enter.
Friday’s live performance was the first of six make-up reveals by way of April 2022.
It was Joel’s one hundred and twentieth profession efficiency at the Garden, extending his report for the most of any musical artist. The hole between Friday’s efficiency and his 119th present — held Feb. 20, 2020 — was for much longer than anticipated.
Joel lately was requested on SiriusXM’s “The Howard Stern Show” whether or not being unable to carry out throughout COVID was aggravating or a welcomed relaxation.
“It was kind of aggravating,” Joel advised Stern. “Part of it was aggravating. Part of it was very enjoyable because I got to be home with my kids for a long time. I got to know them. I got to hang out with them.”
Joel additionally advised Stern that regardless of being unable to carry out throughout the pandemic he paid his band members their full wage for a 12 months.
“I wanted to take care of the band,” Joel said. “Cause musicians really took it on the chin. We couldn’t work. We couldn’t perform. We couldn’t appear anywhere. We couldn’t get jobs.”
The band has been again collectively and again to work since August, having performed stadiums in Boston, Orchard Park, Cincinnati and Texas.
Returning to their musical house at the Garden on Friday, Joel and the band sounded as in the event that they did not miss a beat, seamlessly going from hits like “Vienna” to “Allentown” throughout the two-hour, fifteen-minute set.
Joel capped a five-song encore with “You May Be Right,” concluding his long-awaited return house to the Garden.
“Thank you, New York City!” Joel stated earlier than he walked off stage and the lights went out. Till subsequent month.
SET LIST: Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway); Movin’ Out; My Life; New York State of Thoughts; All people Loves You Now; Zanzibar; Vienna; Allentown; Stress; Downeaster Alexa; The Entertainer; She’s All the time a Lady To Me; Don’t Ask Me Why; All for Leyna; Typically a Fantasy; River of Goals; Solely the Good Die Younger; Nessun Dorma; Scenes from an Italian Restaurant; Piano Man. Encore: We Didn’t Begin the Hearth; Uptown Lady; It’s Nonetheless Rock and Roll to Me; Large Shot; You Might Be Proper.