Billy Joel closes his legendary hometown Nassau Veteran Memorial Coliseum, a day before its long-awaited multi-million dollar renovation
Billy Joel kicked off the final show at the soon-to-be shuttered Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum with his 1977 hit Movin’ Out.
Originally from Long Island, the Hicksville, N.Y.-native performed the last show at the Coliseum on Tuesday before it begins a major $261 million renovation and partial demolition on Wednesday.
The bittersweet performance marked Joel’s 32nd show at the Coliseum – and his first solo show there in 17 years, Newsday reports.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who officiated Joel’s wedding to Alexis Roderick on July 4, introduced him – and was met with boos from the crowd, which apparently didn’t like the mix of music and politics, according to WCBS-TV.
Joel and Alexis are expecting a baby girl this summer.
The booing stopped, but only temporarily, when Cuomo announced Joel, 66, was a “Long Island boy.” The raucous crowd resumed again when Joel said this was his final show at the 43-year-old Coliseum.
Moment later, jeers turned to chants of “Let’s go Islanders!”
The Long Island hockey team is leaving the “Old Barn” and heading to its new home at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (geographically, Brooklyn is Long Island though die-hard fans may disagree).
Joel surprised the crowd with a guest appearance by Paul Simon. The duo sang three songs, including Homeward Bound.
King of Queens star Kevin James, a Stony Brook native, also made a surprise appearance on stage.
At one point, Joel joked that it’s fine if a road isn’t named after him, referring to a proposal to rename a stretch of Route 107 in his honor. “I’d rather be alive,” he quipped. The Associated Press previously reported an assemblywoman debating that such a thing should be a posthumous honor.
Joel closed the show, and the Coliseum, with a giant sing-along of the Piano Man and a standing ovation.
Fans who missed Joel singing the Coliseum’s swan-song can island hop over to Manhattan for one of his monthly performances at Madison Square Garden.