Last night, in a noteworthy expansion of the famed game Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon, the actor and musician Kevin Bacon shared the stage with Billy Joel during a musical collaboration at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This appearance, which took place last night, saw Bacon’s participation during the 93rd monthly performance of Billy Joel’s record-breaking residency at the renowned venue known as The World’s Most Famous Residency. Bacon made not just one but two appearances on stage, in the middle of the show and for the grand finale.
Notably, the concert marked Joel’s 139th lifetime performance at The Garden. As his decade-long residency approaches its closure, with merely 11 shows left, Joel, also known as The Piano Man, has previously disclosed that this remarkable musical journey will come to an end in July 2024.
Staying true to his typical strategy for MSG performances, Joel curated a setlist that featured a combination of timeless classics and lesser-known gems. Amidst the playlist, the audience was treated to a surprise – the inclusion of the song “Half A Mile Away.” Originally part of Billy Joel’s 1978 studio album 52nd Street, the track has been sparingly performed live. The rendition on Tuesday marked only the ninth live performance of “Half A Mile Away,” according to Setlist.FM records. Notably, this performance was positioned as the ninth song of the night. While Joel had previously performed the song at MSG in June, the previous rendition dated back to 2019.
Following the opening with “Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway),” Joel and his band proceeded to enthrall the audience with hits like “My Life,” “The Downeaster Alexa,” “The Longest Time,” and “Allentown.” The surprise appearance of “Half A Mile Away” was succeeded by renditions of “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” and “She’s Always A Woman.” Following “She’s Always A Woman,” Joel announced the introduction of a special friend to collaborate on the upcoming song. Bacon then came onto the stage, where he demonstrated his musical prowess on both guitar and vocals on “The Entertainer.”
The remainder of Billy Joel’s setlist was packed with audience favorites, including “New York State Of Mind,” “Only The Good Die Young,” “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant,” and “Piano Man.” The artist, hailing from Long Island, concluded the night with a five-song encore, initiating with “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” followed by “Uptown Girl,” “It’s Still Rock & Roll To Me,” and “Big Shot.” The grand finale saw the return of Kevin Bacon, this time without his guitar, to join Joel in a collaborative rendition of “You May Be Right,” bringing the evening to a fitting close.
Watch a clip from the performance below.