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Billy Joel Begins Historic Franchise At Madison Square Garden – Concert Reviews, Photos, Videos & Set List

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Billy Joel kicked off his historic residency at Madison Square Garden in grand style last night. No other rock star has ever attempted anything like this: a gig a month for as long as he wants, on his home turf, in the white-hot spotlight of the world's most famous rock arena. …It was a momentous occasion. …All night long, he played to the local crowd, as well he should. …And every minute of last night's show was a reminder of why Billy Joel can keep these monthly blowouts going as long as he's willing to show up. – Rolling Stone

Billy Joel began his tenure as a “franchise” at New York's iconic Madison Square Garden on Monday night (Jan. 27) with a crowd-pleasing set that delivered on every level, with the singer in fine voice and his sterling eight-piece band hitting on all cylinders. …Joel is clearly at the top of his game, and by the time he wrapped the set with perhaps his most defining track, “Piano Man” (intro’d with the coda from Eric Clapton’s “Layla”), the audience — and Joel — seemed ready for more. They’ll get just that every month as the Garden’s newest franchise is playing at championship level. – Billboard

Far from an average gig, Joel’s Madison Square Garden show represented the first in an open-ended run of once-a-month “residency” shows at the World’s Most Famous Arena. …His maiden residency show included a carefully selected give-and-take between can’t-miss hits and deeper catalogue items. …It helps it all go down that Joel remains an engaging entertainer. Looking at his seasoned face in the giant video screens, he said: “I didn’t think I was going to look like this. I look just like my dad. I thought I was going to look like Cary Grant.” Still, it’s the hummability of Joel’s tunes that make the strongest argument for their indefinite durability. Another draw comes from Joel’s working-man perspective. …From the ovations here, Joel seems well on his way toward morphing from musician to New York institution. – New York Daily News

Billy Joel is now a Madison Square Garden franchise. The new era began Monday night with “Miami 2017,” as Joel became the first musician to set up a residency at a major arena, while other superstars like Britney Spears, Shania Twain and Garth Brooks are opting for smaller spaces in Las Vegas. …Their groundbreaking partnership is working well so far, as Joel focuses on catalog rarities like “All for Leyna,” along with his well-known classics like “Piano Man.” – Newsday

Billy Joel Set List – Madison Square Garden – New York, NY – January 27, 2014

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Backstage at Madison Square Garden - January 27, 2014

Backstage at Madison Square Garden - January 27, 2014

Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden - January 27, 2014

Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden - January 27, 2014

Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden - January 27, 2014

Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden - January 27, 2014

Opening act Tom Odell at Madison Square Garden - January 27, 2014

Photo credits: Madison Square Garden #BillyJoelMSG

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