See Billy Joel Bring Out Trey Anastasio at Penultimate MSG Show

June 9, 2024
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Guitarist and fellow Garden staple joins the Piano Man for “Sleeping With the Television On,” a partial “Layla,” and “You May Be Right”

There are two musical acts immortalized in the rafters of Madison Square Garden, and they both finally met onstage Saturday at the New York arena as Billy Joel brought out Phish’s Trey Anastasio for a couple songs during the Piano Man’s penultimate gig in his longtime MSG residency.

“No one plays the the Garden more than  Billy Joel and Trey Anastasio. Tonight they played together,” MSG noted of the occasion, which opened with Joel playing a track the Phish guitarist requested, “Sleeping With the Television On.”

The two artists shared responsibilities on the Glass Houses track, with Joel and Anastasio trading verses before the latter brought his talents for an extended guitar solo to close out the track. From there, Joel did a jam band move by segueing directly into the second half of Derek & The Dominoes’ “Layla,” with Anastasio again delivering the solo.

Anastasio would later return at the end of the Joel’s second-to-last residency show at the Garden for an extended, show-closing rendition of “You May Be Right”:

Joel and Phish have been mainstays at the Garden for decades, with the Piano Man performing over 150 total gigs at the World’s Greatest Arena and the jam band playing upwards of 80 shows, including their famed New Year’s runs and their Baker’s Dozen residency.

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Despite long sharing the same stage albeit on different nights, Phish — who have covered hundreds of different artists in their eclectic set lists over their five decades together — have never tackled a Billy Joel song live. As JamBase notes, there were long rumors of a Garden turf war between Joel and Phish after the two acts bickered over scheduling the arena, but that speculation was probably put to rest with Saturday’s collaboration.

Joel’s longtime monthly MSG residency will conclude next month with a July 25 show at the arena. He’ll continue to perform live — and likely return to the Garden on occasion — but the guaranteed monthly gigs will come to an end. Phish will kick off their own summer tour in July, the same month they release their new album Evolve.





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