Billy Joel, Long Island’s venerated native son, with his indefinite monthly concerts at Madison Square Garden, has immediately established himself as a new franchise and institution. …His two-hour set, cannily mixing crowd favorites, deep album cuts and — in an affectionate nod to the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, several Fab Four covers — revealed the entertainer to be having as good a time as the rapturous crowd.
…He was in playful mode throughout, making jokes about such things as the throat spray he constantly ingested; the previous night’s Super Bowl (“Good weather, shitty game”) and the snowstorm that blanketed the New York area early in the day, which seemingly prevented no one from getting to the arena. The latter was accompanied by a spirited, boogie-woogie piano version of “Let It Snow.”
It’s obvious that Joel seems intent on varying the set list for the monthly shows, including plenty of die-hard hits for casual fans while thrilling the loyal ones, and obviously himself, with, in this case, such relatively lesser-performed numbers like “Everybody Loves You Now” (from his 1971 debut album Cold Spring Harbor), “Vienna,” “And So It Goes,” “A Room of Our Own” and “Captain Jack.”
Billy Joel Set List – Madison Square Garden – New York, NY – February 3, 2014
Photo credits: Madison Square Garden #BillyJoelMSG
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