There is nothing more Long Island than Billy Joel, and there is no place more of a shrine to Joel than Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum, the iconic Uniondale, New York arena that used to house the Islanders hockey team.
Tuesday night marked Joel’s 32nd show at Nassau Coliseum, but it was a special one, as it marked the venue’s last big event before it will shut down for extensive renovations. Joel took the stage with special guests Paul Simon and Kevin James. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced Joel and called the event a “bittersweet” moment for the Coliseum.
Joel explained the significance of the event in his recent interview with EW and said, “It was the first big arena I ever played, right after The Stranger came out in 1977. Very, very exciting. Everyone I knew in the world was there. Ex-girlfriends, you know…”
Nassau Coliseum is due to reopen in December 2016 as a new complex, with 4,000 fewer seats, according to CBS New York.
Joel’s residency at Madison Square Garden is still in full force, and he’ll continue to play there once a month. See fan-shot footage of Simon and Joel playing “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” from Tuesday’s show.