Billy Joel is keeping his Madison Square Garden residency interesting, as he really seemed to settle into his new home for the third show Friday night.
The addition of a four-piece string section allowed him to play “Surprises” from 1982’s “The Nylon Curtain” album for what he said was the first-time ever live. Then, after a lovely sing-along for “She’s Always a Woman,” he introduced AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, who delivered “You Shook Me All Night Long” with Joel and the band.
Yes, that really happened. “That’s how it’s done!” Joel said, as Johnson left the stage, which had been properly shaken by the metal classic.
“Here’s something I heard on the Internet,” Joel said, before doing The Tokens’ “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” which he performed on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Thursday night and became an Internet sensation on Friday.
The format of Joel’s show also allows him to roll into bits of songs to illustrate his stories. The 64-year-old Hicksville native did The Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four” following “The Entertainer,” as he talked about how he was wrong about being off the charts would hurt his career. He also slipped in a bit of Elton John’s “Your Song” after he talked about his plans to keep changing his setlist for the show, something John was against when they were playing the “Face to Face” tours.
After joking about the authenticity of John’s line “I don’t have much money,” Joel added, “We’re good friends – despite what you may read.”
SETLIST: Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway) / Pressure / The Entertainer / When I’m Sixty-Four (snippet) / The Ballad of Billy the Kid / The Lion Sleeps Tonight / Zanzibar / Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song) / I’ve Loved These Days / Surprises / Where’s the Orchestra? / Allentown / Your Song (snippet) / Big Man on Mulberry Street / New York State of Mind / She’s Always a Woman / You Shook Me All Night Long (with Brian Johnson) / Don’t Ask Me Why / River of Dreams / A Hard Day’s Night / Scenes from an Italian Restaurant / Piano Man // ENCORE: Uptown Girl / It’s Still Rock ‘n’ Roll to Me / Big Shot / You May Be Right / Only the Good Die Young