For Billy Joel fans, Tuesday is like the holidays coming early, as the Hicksville native plays the final event at the Nassau Coliseum.
Joel has kept his plans for Tuesday night's show wrapped tighter than a present, only offering that he hopes to make the concert a Long Island-centric celebration of the Uniondale arena and its legacy. The night also has the feel of a New Year's Eve party, as the original Nassau Coliseum's 43-year history comes to an end and its next chapter, following a $261 million renovation, is set to begin.
"We'll probably make the set list a little more local," Joel said early in the concert's planning stages. "We might change some lyrics here and there. And if some other musicians are around during that time, it might be nice to bring them onstage."
However, Joel's appearance at Nassau Coliseum is noteworthy all on its own. Though it will be his 32nd concert at the arena, it is his first solo headlining appearance there in 17 years.
It's no wonder that tickets for the concert, which sold out in five minutes, are now going for several thousand dollars apiece for prime seats. Those still hoping for tickets should be keeping an eye on Ticketmaster Tuesday for the remote possibility that a handful of tickets become available after production issues are settled.
Fans with tickets will at least get a chance to spend a little extra time on the Coliseum grounds for the original venue's final event. The parking lots open at 4 p.m. Tuesday, with doors for the 8 p.m. concert opening at 7 p.m.
Brett Yormark, the Barclays Center CEO, who will also handle the operations of the new Nassau Coliseum, says Joel's show is the first of many big events the company has in store for Long Island.
"We're in the big event business in Brooklyn," he said. "We're going to be in the big event business in Long Island. In many respects, artists that play Brooklyn are going to play Long Island. We're going to package the two buildings together."
Nassau Events Center, the company created to manage the Coliseum renovation and retail development around the arena, plans to start partial demolition at the end of the month. The plan is to have the new Coliseum open in December 2016 with a college basketball game featuring the Kentucky Wildcats, followed by a string of high-profile concerts.
Yormark said his company never really considered anyone but Joel to close the original Coliseum and launch the start of the next Coliseum.
"Hopefully he helps to inspire people to think about when it gets reopened," he said. "Long Island deserves big events."
Forest City Ratner, which took over management of the Coliseum on Saturday, has contracted with Live Nation and Roadwerx, which will together run Tuesday's Billy Joel concert.
Forest City spokesman Barry Baum said both companies have worked directly or through subcontractors with the unions that were in place under the previous arena management company, SMG of Pennsylvania.
"As a result, we have been told to expect that the same workforce under the last SMG show will work the final concert tomorrow," Baum said.
Baum said that the venue will have concession food and drinks and retail merchandise for sale, including Billy Joel hats and T-shirts.
Parking will start at $20 and escalate to $50 for VIP spots.
With Robert Brodsky
Billy Joel at Nassau Coliseum
Showtime: Doors open at 7 p.m., concert starts at 8 p.m.
Parking: Lot opens at 4 p.m., $20; $50 for VIP parking
Tickets: The concert is sold out, but some tickets may be available on sites such as StubHub. Also a handful of tickets may become available after production issues are settled, so check ticketmaster.com