On December 17, veteran rock and roll star Billy Joel performed at Madison Square Garden in New York, as part of his monthly residency. This was his last show of 2016 at the "World's Most Famous Arena." There was no opening act, and he performed for well over two hours, proving that he still is the one and only "Piano Man."

An eclectic set-list

Joel kicked off his set with "Movin' Out," which was met with a loud response from his New York fans. He was backed by his gifted and multi-talented band members Tommy Byrnes on lead guitar and background vocals, Andy Cichon on bass and backing vocals, Chuck Burgi on drums, Crystal Taliefero on percussion, Mark Rivera on saxophone, Carl Fischer on trumpet, as well as Mike DelGuidice on guitars and background vocals.

He continued with "The Entertainer" and it was followed by "Prelude/Angry Young Man," which he incorporated as a medley with "The First Noel." It was great to hear him perform "She's Right on Time," as well as "My Life" and "Jingle Bells." His New York crowd chose "Vienna" or "Just The Way You Are," when he polled them for their favorite selection. "Say Goodbye to Hollywood" was as captivating as ever, and the same was true for "Allentown."

"New York State of Mind" was an epic performance, featuring a killer saxophone solo, and "The Longest Time" was an added bonus, where the audience was singing along to the words of the chorus verbatim. Joel continued with his version of "Frosty the Snowman," "Keeping the Faith," and "Don't Ask Me Why." "She's Always a Woman" is always popular with his fans, and Joel delivered on his latest rendition of the mellow classic.

After "The River of Dreams," he gave the spotlight to his guitar player and background vocalist Mike DelGuidice, who belted out a heartfelt "Nessun Dorma" that would have made the late Giacomo Puccini proud. Joel accompanied DelGuidice on piano on "Nessun Dorma" and they both earned a standing ovation for an exceptional job.

Most impressive about DelGuidice is that he is the front-man of the Billy Joel tribute band Big Shot, which performs tribute shows all over Long Island and New York, among other states.

It was followed by the powerhouse songs such as "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant" and "Piano Man," prior to returning with the up-tempo and dynamic "We Didn't Start the Fire." Joel continued with more up-beat tunes such as "Uptown Girl" and "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me," prior to closing with "Big Shot," "Only the Good Die Young," and "You May Be Right."

The Verdict

Billy Joel's holiday show at Madison Square Garden was superb as always, and it was the perfect way to conclude 2016.

Fans ought to start buying their tickets for the next year since there is only one Billy Joel.

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