EP 114 – Madison Square Garden Part 1 – The First MSG Show (December 14, 1978)

Thanks to a recently-unearthed audience recording, fans can now hear Billy Joel’s first performance at the legendary Madison Square Garden. The performance took place on December 14, 1978, more than a decade after Billy first took to a stage as a professional musician.

Listening to it in 2024, perhaps the most interesting aspect about Billy headlining one of the world’s most renowned venues is how little he has to say about it. There’s barely any stage banter, which had been a trademark of his shows for years. Concerts from previous tours were punctuated with jokes, offhand comments, and monologues.

Now, he only addresses the audience in a few brief moments. Fortunately, the music is there to do the talking. Billy’s between-song improvisations and even a few extended jams on a few numbers seem to convey his emotions throughout the night.

It’s not easy to describe in words. That’s what music is for, after all. So join us, as we head back to the 52nd Street Tour and we dig deep into Billy Joel’s first show at Madison Square Garden on December 14, 1978.

Audio courtesy of Paul Fierro – Listen to the full concert HERE.


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Produced by Michael Grosvenor & Jack Firneno for Glass Houses Media, LLC

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