Billy Joel discovered a brand new “Uptown Girl” — one who was born lengthy after that traditional 1983 single grew to become one in all his greatest hits — at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday evening.
That can be Olivia Rodrigo — the 19-year-old pop sensation — who famously name-checked the Piano Man in her 2021 hit “Deja Vu”: “And I guess that she is aware of Billy Joel/‘’Cause you performed her ‘Uptown Girl’/You’re singing it collectively.”
And, fittingly, Rodrigo joined Joel to sing each “Deja Vu” and “Uptown Girl” for some within the viewers who have been sufficiently old to be her grandparents. But there have been surprisingly extra individuals within the crowd who knew the phrases to sing alongside to “Deja Vu” than you might need anticipated. Meanwhile, Joel smiled and nodded approvingly from his piano bench.
As bittersweet of a breakup track as “Deja Vu” could also be, it was all love between Rodrigo and Joel, because the giddy younger star made a shock look in the course of the latest of the New York legend’s live shows in his month-to-month residency at MSG.
“I really like her music — and so do my youngsters,” mentioned Joel from his revolving piano as he launched the three-time Grammy winner. And after letting Rodrigo have all the highlight on “Deja Vu,” Joel bought up from his piano and joined her for an “Uptown Girl” duet that was fizzy enjoyable. It proved simply how a lot the 73-year-old’s music transcends generations.
It was the latest in a string of shock friends — from Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi to Tony Bennett and Miley Cyrus — who Joel has welcomed since beginning his Garden residency in January 2014. And actually this one ranks among the many most stunning of all of them.
But it was additionally fairly ironic that Joel was embracing — and being embraced — by one of many hottest younger artists in the midst of Harry Styles’ 15-show run at the Garden, which kicked off final Saturday. It was virtually as if he was letting New York know that he wasn’t about to be the irrelevant outdated man in his personal home.
“I’d prefer to thank Harry Styles for taking the evening off, so we will sort of squeeze in right here,” he mentioned cheekily.
Joel then went on to thank the group for ready two years for this COVID make-up present that was postponed from 2020.
“I don’t know if I might do this for me,” he mentioned. “Anyway, it’s good to be again at the Garden. We’re the home band now.”