On August 4, 2015, Billy Joel played the final show at the original Nassau Coliseum. Billy played for over 3 hours at the 43 year old arena with a setlist that touched on every decade of his career. The thing that made this show special was the way he built the show specifically for a Long Island Crowd. He had many Long Island anecdotes including his first gig at Holy Family Church in Hicksville, and fights he had in a Northport restaurant.
The place went crazy when Billy said “I’d like to bring out a fellow Long Islander and one of the great songwriters of our time” and out walked Paul Simon. It got even louder when he played the first few notes to “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard.” They also did a duet of “Homeward Bound” and then a horn section came to the stage and they played “Late in the Evening” for the last song with Simon. Later on, another Long Island native, Kevin James came out and did the intro to “Miami 2017” before Joel took over the song.
It was Joel’s 32nd concert at the Coliseum and the last before the $130 million renovation and featured Michael DelGuidice to open the show. It was a sad event for fans like myself who grew up going to Islander games and concerts at the Coliseum our entire lives. They couldn’t have picked a better person to end that chapter of the Coliseum’s history. That’s probably why Billy also reopened the arena on April 5, 2017.
Setlist: Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song), Zanzibar, Summer, Highland Falls, Everybody Loves You Now, No Man’s Land (first since 1995), Just the Way You Are, The Entertainer, The Longest Time (with Doo wop tribute intro), The Downeaster Alexa, Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard*, Homeward Bound*, Late in the Evening*, The Ballad of Billy the Kid, New York State of Mind, Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)^, Until the Night, Allentown, Goodnight Saigon@, Keeping the Faith, She’s Always a Woman, My Life, Captain Jack, I’ve Loved These Days, The River of Dreams, Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
Encore: Piano Man
* with Paul Simon
^ with Kevin James on piano
@ with veterans on stage
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