Billy Joel dedicated his Friday night concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden to those affected by the Orlando shooting, and to pay tribute to the victims of the “senseless massacre,” Joel performed his optimistic “You’re Only Human (Second Wind)” for the first time since 1987.
“We’re gonna do a song I haven’t done in, I don’t know, 25 years or something. We may screw this up, but at least you know we’re not on tape,” Joel said of the Greatest Hits – Volumes I & II track. “It’ll be an authentic rock n’ roll fuck up.”
Prior to the performance, Joel spoke of “the shock and the sorrow” of the terror attack on the Pulse nightclub that killed 49 people in Orlando.
“We’re no strangers to terrorism and mayhem and grief, maybe here in New York more than any other city in America,” Joel said. “Us guys have been to Orlando many times, and we will be back there again, and I just want to dedicate tonight’s concert to the people of Orlando, especially the families and friends and the loved ones of the victims of this senseless massacre, you’re with us and we’re with you.”
Joel is the latest artist to pay their respects to those killed at Pulse June 12th in what was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Earlier in the week, Adele remembered the victims during her Antwerp, Belgium concert – “The LGBTQ community, they’re like my soulmates since I was really young, so I’m very moved by it,” the singer said onstage – while Melissa Etheridge and Christina Aguilera both dedicated new songs to the victims.
Lady Gaga delivered a powerful speech in the aftermath of the shooting at a Los Angeles vigil, and Nick Jonas similarly remembered victims at an event outside New York’s historic Stonewall Inn. Elton John also opened up about the “devastating” shooting during a London concert, while Taylor Swift penned handwritten condolences to the victims’ families.