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July 19, 2018

Billy Joel’s Special Garden Night — An Old Friend Stops By

(Photo: Myrna Suarez)

Last night, with Billy Joel poised at his piano and Madison Square Garden already thumping, a fresh wave of anticipation rolled through the building and 20,000 rocking fans. A mystery guest was waiting in the wings to help Joel celebrate his record 100th show at The Garden.

“We go back a long ways,” said Joel, dropping a first clue. “An Oscar winner. A Grammy winner.” When he added, “Tony Award winner,” many were already chanting, “Bruuuce. Bruuuce.”

Out strolled Bruce Springsteen, instantly creating one of those seminal I-was-there-when Garden moments. Here they were, two old friends, musical giants bridging Long Island and New Jersey, meeting up in an iconic New York hub.

Fans who were there buzzed on social media that something special had happened.

@davemark tweeted that it was an “explosion of royalty.” @RobMooreMonthly described it as “epic.” And @ericMstrauss called it a “Fun Dad’s night out … Good times and a visit from some guy named Bruce Springsteen.” 

Even those not on hand chimed in wistfully. @CitizenCohn tweeted that “I am insanely jealous of each one of you 20,000 people who were there.”

The two singers collaborated for Springsteen’s “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.” It felt like a jam session with Springsteen at one point sitting on Joel’s piano, before they joined up for “Born To Run.”

Exiting the stage, the Boss planted a kiss on Joel’s head. And somehow the energy only built from there. Joel broke out “Only The Good Die Young,” and word spread throughout the country and across continents that something magical was unfolding at Madison Square Garden.

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About The Madison Square Garden Company

The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) is a world leader in live sports and entertainment experiences. The company presents or hosts a broad array of premier events in its diverse collection of iconic venues: New York’s Madison Square Garden, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, CA; and The Chicago Theatre. Other MSG properties include legendary sports franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA) and the New York Rangers (NHL); two development league teams – the Westchester Knicks (NBAGL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL); and esports teams through Counter Logic Gaming, a leading North American esports organization, and Knicks Gaming, MSG’s NBA 2K League franchise. In addition, the Company features the popular original production – the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes – and through Boston Calling Events, produces New England’s preeminent Boston Calling Music Festival. Also under the MSG umbrella is TAO Group, a world-class hospitality group with globally-recognized entertainment dining and nightlife brands: Tao, Marquee, Lavo, Avenue, Beauty & Essex and Vandal. More information is available at