Billy Joel keeps a New York state of mind at MSG

Josh White, Photo Editor

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performer Billy Joel is at the Barclays Center for his fiftieth anniversary.  Before his concert in Brooklyn last December, it had been over seven years since Joel toured due to a severe depression he had been dealing with his entire life.  However, he still sang in small events from time to time, like the 12-12-12 concert.

Many of Joel’s songs are about particular struggles he had in life like depression and difficulty with love.  For instance, one of Billy Joel’s well known song “Pressure” is about how he suffered from a writer’s block while his marriage was falling apart, while attempting to create a tribute for John Lennon who had just been assassinated at the time.

On Dec. 3, it was announced that Joel would become a franchise of Madison Square Garden, playing one concert per month indefinitely starting in January.  It has been rumored that this “franchise” at Madison Square Garden would be terminated if he were unable to sell out his monthly concert.  Despite that, Billy Joel has already sold out ten concerts and most of them within the first ten minutes the tickets were available.  Not only is Joel set to perform once a month at Madison Square Garden, he is also touring around the U.S. with two additional concerts a month on average.

In each of these shows at Madison Square Garden, Joel has played the same set of about ten of his top hit songs mixed in with other fan favorites that he “cycles” through concert-by-concert.

Joel, who turns 65 in May, is still as playful as he was when he started his career in 1964, and is able to reach all of his high and low notes.

Joel plays the piano and sings for most of his songs, occasionally breaking out the harmonica.  He makes jokes and even interacts with his fans, giving advice for those trying to get home on the treacherous snowy roads that were left from the snowstorm from the day before: “Don’t drink and drive.  Do what I do.  Drink and have a chauffeured limousine drive you home.”

Billy Joel has transformed music with his phenomenal voice and picture-perfect piano playing.  The six-time Grammy Award winner is a show that everyone should see at least once in his or her lifetime.