Elton John finished up his two-night stint at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night and by all accounts it was a hit. Elton John tickets for the last show at his 'favorite venue in the whole world' were available on TicketIQ for an average price of just $209 and with a get-in price of under $50. Just as John was wrapping up his 64th show at MSG, another Garden legend, Billy Joel, announced that he too will be returning to his favorite New York haunt for a once-a-month residency starting next January. It's an unprecedented arrangement that effectively makes Joel the home-team troubadour for the World's Most Famous Arena, and secondary ticket prices for Billy Joel tickets are going for an average of over $500.
As the preeminent Piano men of their generation, John and Joel have a long history of performing at The Garden, both separately and together. Most recently they played together in 2001 as part of 9/11 benefit and then again in 2002 during their fifth joint Face To Face tour.
Elton John currently holds the record for the most shows at MSG with 64. He was also the first musician inducted into the MSG Hall Of Fame in 1977, and even spent his 60th birthday performing at the venue for the 60th time. He's also recorded several live albums there including 2000's One Night Only: The Greatest Hits and 1976's Here & There, the latter of which featured John Lennon's final ever concert appearance.
As part of his upcoming tour, Billy Joel will be performing at the Garden on his 65th Birthday and it will be a party with everyone in New York State of Mind. Joel once described performing at Madison Square Garden as 'an experience that never gets old.' He's demonstrated that by playing the Garden in ways that no other have. In 2006, he broke Bruce Springsteen's record for the longest consecutive run at Madison Square Garden with a twelve-night stint and became the first non-athlete to have a number retired at the home of the Knicks and the Rangers. He also ushered in the New Millennium at MSG there with a mammoth four-hour show dubbed 'The Night Of Two Thousand Years.'
While it's unlikely that fans will get four hours for his upcoming shows, people are paying up as if he might. The average price Billy Joel's opening show on January 27th is $583 per seat on the secondary market and prices for his next three confirmed dates aren't much cheaper: $479 for February 3rd, $536 for March 21st, and $522 for April 18th.
Currently Joel has played 46 shows at MSG, which means that he'd need 19 to break John's record. Garden officials have stated that the run will continue as long as there is demand. Of the currently-planned shows at MSG in 2014, only the New York version of the Jingle Balls tour has a higher average price on the secondary market. For Joel fans, that means he's likely to be around for a while.