Billy Joel is returning to Madison Square Garden on January 27th for his first full show at the New York arena since his record setting 12-night run in 2006. Joel hasn’t played a full-length concert in New York City since his Last Play at Shea gigs in 2008, but he will perform at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve. Tickets to the Madison Square Garden show go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. EST.
Joel has been off the road since early 2010 when he took a break to recover from double hip replacement surgery. His performance at the 12/12/12 Hurricane Sandy benefit last December was highly praised, and he eased his way back to playing regular concerts earlier this year with a pair of festival gigs in Australia and Louisiana. He recently wrapped up a mini-European tour where he focused his set on huge hits like “My Life,” “Piano Man,” “Pressure” and “Allentown,” though he did sprinkle in a few lesser-known cuts like “Blonde Over Blue” and “Where’s the Orchestra?”
It’s unclear exactly how many concerts Joel plans on staging in 2014. He has four shows in Florida booked for January. It’s possible he will add on additional Madison Square Garden gigs in the likely event the first one sells out, though MSG’s calendar is relatively booked up in late January and early February. There are open nights on February 2nd, February 3rd, February 9th and February 13th.
In April, Joel spoke with Rolling Stone about the possibility of performing his classic albums in concert. “I got tired of doing the greatest-hits set,” he said. “If I was going to play again in places like New York, I would probably feature entire albums. It would give me a chance to do songs we haven’t played . . . I’m thinking we’d do these shows in Philly, New York, Washington D.C., Detroit and Chicago.”
There’s no indication the MSG show will feature a complete album performance.