The performance marked the second time this year that Joel had played the Sgt. Pepper’s finale: At his monthly Madison Square Garden concert in May, Joel discussed the impact the album – which is celebrating its 50th anniversary – had on his career.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. Fifty years ago, the Beatles put out an album in 1967, it was called Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” Joel said on May 25th prior to performing “A Day in the Life.”
“I had just gotten out of high school, it was ‘the Summer of Love’… It was a remarkable album, they were my favorite band, and they inspired me to do what I do now and what I’ve done all my life… this is a tribute to those guys.”
Joel also dedicated that May performance to the victims of the Manchester terror attack that happened three days earlier.
The singer has a long history of playing Beatles tracks live as he’s covered roughly 25 Fab Four tracks live over the course of his career, from one-off renditions to set list staples like “A Hard Day’s Night” and “She Loves You,” which he performed with Paul McCartney at New York’s Shea Stadium in 2008.