Currently hanging up in the rafters of the Nassau Coliseum are banners honoring former New York Islander legends from Mike Bossy to Bryan Trottier. Off to the side hangs yet another, but it’s not for a hockey player. Raised just six miles from the Uniondale arena in the neighboring city of Hicksville, Billy Joel has earned himself the moniker “King of the Coliseum” for consistently performing at the famed arena throughout his career. Joel’s renowned nine sold-out shows during his 1998 world tour earned him a commemorative black-and-white banner that continues to fly today.
Joel is set to perform at the Nassau Coliseum on August 4, before renovations begin. Bruce Ratner and the Nassau Events Center, of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, are presenting the show, which is to be the last program in that spot until the Coliseum reopens in December 2016.
It will be a homecoming — of sorts. Joel, after all, never really left. The artist’s relationship with the Coliseum stretches back decades. His first performance dates to December 11, 1977, during his tour behind breakthrough record The Stranger, and in 1983 he recorded his concert film, Billy Joel: Live From Long Island, at the Coliseum. Joel has performed at the venue 31 times. It’s an astounding number, though still fewer than that boasted by the Grateful Dead, who hold the current record with 35 performances.
This August 4 show will come just a few days before Joel gives his monthly Madison Square Garden performance. As of now there have been no reports of Islanders fans and New York Rangers diehards throwing down their gloves to battle over Billy, but it’s safe to assume they can all chant, “HEART ATTACK-ACK-ACK-ACK-ACK” just as loud as Billy’s most devoted followers.
Billy Joel will play the Nassau Coliseum on August 4. American Express card members can purchase tickets here before the general public beginning Monday, April 27, at 10 a.m. through Thursday, April 30, at 10 p.m.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 24, 2015