He really wants to give us all a heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack with how expensive these ticket prices are going to get. Billy Joel is ending his long-running phenomenon of a residency at Madison Square Garden, which began as a standing monthly gig back in January 2014. The piano man’s last show will be performed with fanfare in July 2024. Since its inception, Joel has become the artist with the most lifetime MSG performances, at 136, and he broke another record with 90 of them being consecutive shows. His final concert will place him at lucky number 150. Recently, there have been hints of Joel’s dwindling time in New York: In May, he put his Long Island mansion on the market to move to Florida, and he has been doing several joint stadium shows with Stevie Nicks around the country. “Madison Square Garden is more than just our office; it’s our home,” Joel said in an accompanying social-media video. “I think you always give it a little bit more here than in other places. I could never have imagined this in a million years. It’s been one of the best times in my life.”
When asked by Vulture in 2018 about a full retirement from touring, Joel didn’t believe it would be in his near future. “There have been times when I’ve felt, These are my last shows; it’s time for me to get off the bleeding stage. Then I just thought, nah,” he explained. “I have the greatest job in the world. You get up there, you make a lot of noise, girls scream, and you get shitloads of money. Are you fucking kidding me?” (We apologize, much respect.) However, he acknowledged that if his voice began to falter, it would signal the beginning of the end. “I’m already struggling. I wrote most of the songs that I’m doing when I was in my 20s and 30s, and it ain’t easy to hit those notes in my 60s. We’ve dropped the keys of some songs already,” Joel added. “Hopefully, it’s not that noticeable. If I’m having a tough time hitting notes, I call it throwing junk pitches. Instead of having a fastball, you throw off-speed. If I’ve got to throw too much junk, I’m going to consider stopping.” We’re assuming Phish will be crowned as Joel’s replacement in no time.