Cruising into his sixteenth straight sell out at the legendary Madison Square Garden, the one and only Billy Joel causally strolled on stage to thunderous applause, drowning out “What a Wonderful World” on the PA.
Joel didn’t convey a hint of well-deserved arrogance as he made MSG his home not-very-far-away from home. It only seemed appropriate to kick off the night with one of the numerous hometown anthems. As the lights went down and as the band scrambled to take their places, Billy went into the beautiful piano intro of “Miami 2017. ”
Released in 1976, “Miami 2017” was a love letter, written about the former city of New York and its people standing tall in the face of its eventual destruction. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks it has become both eerie and awe-inspiring to hear. I don’t get sentimental over patriotism or nationalism, but it takes a cold, cold heart to not get a chill when you hear 18,000 strong:
“I’ve seen the lights go out on Broadway/I’ve watched the mighty skyline fall”
Billy Joel continues his MSG residency, one show a month, right into the end of 2015. Judging by the sold out crowd at Sweet Sixteen, there’s no sign of slowing down.