Billy Joel’s return to the road is being greeted enthusiastically by ticket buyers. First tipped here (Billboard.biz, Nov 9), Joel’s first tour in nearly eight years went on-sale over the weekend and blew out several dates.
A Jan. 23 date for Madison Square Garden in New York City sold out quickly, and within an hour and a half, dates for Jan. 26 and Feb. 2 also went clean. Joel sold two shows for the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia (March 7 and 13), and sold out a Jan. 19 show in Boston at TD Banknorth Garden and a Jan. 10 date in Jacksonville, Fla., at Veterans Memorial Arena. Sources say talks are underway to possibly add more dates in several markets. The tour, booked by Dennis Arfa at Artists Group International, begins in Florida in early January and will include 30-plus dates.
The last time Joel toured solo was 1998-99, when he grossed $47 million from 64 shows that drew 1.1 million people, according to Billboard Boxscore.Since then, Joel’s tours with fellow piano pop superstar Elton John have made them the most lucrative co-headlining duo of all time. John and Joel last toured together in 2003, grossing $46 million from just 24 dates.