Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden: By the Numbers

Billy Joel can soon check off a major career milestone that most artists only dream of: notching 100 performances at the World’s Most Famous Arena. The native New Yorker first played Madison Square Garden 40 years ago, but has become a mainstay thanks to his concert residency which began in 2014. Joel has performed one show per month at the historic arena as part of the ongoing residency, and fans can’t seem to get enough, with shows being added as quickly as they are selling out. Ahead of his unprecedented 100th performance on July 18, take a look at the monumental success of Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden, by the numbers. 

1978  The year Billy Joel first took the stage at Madison Square Garden.

3  Number of consecutive shows that followed Joel’s first December 14, 1978 performance at MSG.

6  The number of albums he would go on to release following his Madison Square Garden debut. Those albums include The Nylon Curtain, An Innocent Man, The Bridge and No. 1 releases Glass Houses, Storm Front, and River of Dreams. Joel had previously released an additional six albums: Cold Spring Harbor, Piano Man, Streetlife Serenade, Turnstiles, The Stranger and 52nd Street.

17  Special guests who have joined Joel on stage since his residency began. Fellow musicians to make appearances include Tony Bennett, Miley Cyrus, Paul Simon, John Mayer, Sting and John Mellencamp. Celebrities and fellow New Yorkers Jimmy Fallon, Kevin James and Howard Stern have also surprised crowds onstage.

$9.50  The starting price of a ticket to Joel’s first MSG performance in 1978. That number is now ten times higher, costing fans $90 and change for one ticket including all fees.

$222.42  The average ticket price to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden today, according to Ticket Club data.

13  Record-breaking number of consecutive sold-out shows performed by a single artist at The Garden. Joel achieved the feat in 2015 after the completion of the first year of his residency. The previous record of 12 sold-out shows was his own, set back in 2006. Those dozen shows were recorded and were the basis for Joel’s 2006 live album, aptly titled 12 Gardens Live.

64  Previous record of most career performances by a single artist at The Garden, held by Elton John. Billy Joel surpassed his friend with his 65th performance in July 2015. The two renowned pianists/composers have also played the historic venue together on multiple occasions as part of their co-headlining Face to Face tour.

Elton John and Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden
Elton John and Billy Joel

40  Number of times Joel opened a show with “Miami 2017 (I’ve Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway).” Along with his classic standard “New York State Of Mind,” the song is a testament to the Big Apple and a favorite among a New York crowd.

1,000,000 and counting  Number of total tickets sold to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden.

3 – Other major New York City venues to have hosted Billy Joel concerts. He has played sold-out shows at Brooklyn’s Barlcays Center, the old Yankee Stadium and former home of the New York Mets, Shea Stadium. Joel was the last artist to perform a concert at Shea Stadium in 2008 before it was demolished the following year. The two-night event was filmed and recorded as a live album dubbed The Last Play at Shea. He also performed the last ever concert at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island in 2015.

And last but not least, 99 and counting  Number of times Joel has played his signature song, “Piano Man.”

How much more history is left to unfold for Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden? Be there to watch it for yourself. Tickets for all of Joel’s upcoming shows can be found here.

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