Billy Joel has been pop music royalty for over 30 years. Since the breakout release of 1974's "Piano Man," the singer/songwriter/pianist has climbed the golden ladder of Top 40 success, selling over 100 million albums worldwide and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. The New Yorkers audience spans all ages, striking a nostalgic note in hard-edged hipsters and laid-back retirees alike. So it comes as no surprise that, when Joel announced that he was going on tour, box office supplies were quickly depleted. Consequently, the artist added a half-dozen additional concert dates. This 2006 excursion marks the first solo performance bookings for the superstar since 1998-99 (He co-headlined with flashy fellow singer/pianist Elton John in 2003). Why the triumphant return to the arena? Joels upcoming run coincides with the November release of My Lives (Columbia/Legacy), a five-disc box set chronicling almost four decades of his kaleidoscopic career. The collection of demos, alternate takes, live cuts and covers is touted as "highly collectible material" for fans. After all, in the words of the Beastie Boys: if he didn't start the fire, then who the hell else did?
Sat., Jan. 7, 8 p.m.