Billy Joel will be the last artist to play at Shea Stadium in New York with a July 16 concert billed as the Last Play at Shea, From the Beatles to Billy. Live Nation is promoting the show in association with Mitch Slater.
This year will be the final season for the New York Mets at Shea Stadium; the team moves into its new home at Citi Field in 2009.
The Joel show goes on sale Feb. 16. Joel will add to the list of Rock & Roll Hall of Famers who have played Shea, beginning with the Beatles in August of 1965, and also including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Police, Eric Clapton, Elton John, and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.
The concert, which comes the day after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, makes Joel the only artist to ever have played both Yankee Stadium (two nights in 1991) and Shea Stadium. Joel's show is the first in-season concert at Shea since Clapton and John played there during the 1992 season.
Joel is one of the top concert draws in the world, taking in $40 million in 2007 from only 29 shows, according to Billboard Boxscore. This year, Joel is "not touring, just working," his longtime agent Dennis Arfa tells Billboard.biz. "We put weeks together instead of months."
Joel is out for a brief run in February, beginning Feb. 23 at the Honda Center in Anaheim and including stops in Sacramento (26), Denver (28), Milwaukee (March 2). He then plays Des Moines on April 15 and Pittsburgh April 18, prior to headlining the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival April 26.
Slater's involvement in the Shea concert is intriguing, as he has not been publicly involved in the live music business since leaving SFX Entertainment (which evolved into what's now known as Live Nation) in 2000, outside of briefly owning promoter Metropolitan Entertainment in 2002. Slater has for years been affiliated with CKX chairman Robert Sillerman, and serves as senior executive VP/COO for CKX (American Idol, Elvis Presley Enterprises). Slater long promoted concerts in New York under the Delsener/Slater Enterprises banner before SFX acquired that company in 1997.
An 11:30 EST press conference at Shea today will announce the event.