Billy Joel: Live at Shea Stadium
Preview the Concert

Shortly before the demolition of New York City’s Shea Stadium in July 2008, superstar Billy Joel electrified audiences with two memorable concerts at the historic arena. Joel’s special guests included Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks, and Sir Paul McCartney whose 1965 appearance there with the Beatles was so iconic.

Paul Crowder’s film, Last Play at Shea, a documentary about those concerts, which intertwined the history of the stadium and the New York Mets with Joel’s New York-centric biography, received accolades when it premiered at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival last October. Stephen Holden of The New York Times dubbed it “exhilarating,” noting of Joel’s musical selections, “His blunt, irresistibly tuneful songs, however autobiographical, are also nuggets of American cultural history.”

Now, those songs, mostly heard in fragmentary form in the documentary, are performed in full in Billy Joel: Live at Shea Stadium, which comes to PBS in March on Great Performances. (In New York, THIRTEEN will air the program Monday, March 7 at 8 p.m. ET, for other markets check local listings)

Watch a preview:

Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.

Joel and his band offer definitive and often transcendent versions of hits, rarities, personal favorites and crowd-pleasing surprises, including duets with guests McCartney (“I Saw Her Standing There,” “Let it Be”), Bennett (“New York State of Mind”), and Brooks (“Shameless”).

Built in 1964, Shea Stadium was the home of the New York Mets for 45 years. Designed as a multi-purpose stadium, Shea became the birthplace of arena rock when the Beatles appeared there on August 15, 1965, establishing the ballpark as a pinnacle venue for rock’s biggest names. The Who, The Police, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and others have all played Shea.

Chosen as the last rock act to play the venue, Billy Joel staged his “Last Play at Shea” concerts on July 16 and July 18, 2008, rocking a combined audience of 110,000 fans with one of the most emotionally charged shows ever played at the historic stadium. After 45 years, two New York Mets World Series victories, the arena debut of The Beatles and Billy Joel’s “Last Play At Shea,” the final section of Shea Stadium was torn down in 2009.

Songs
Angry Young Man
My Life
Always a Woman
New York State of Mind (with Tony Bennett)
Allentown
Shameless (with Garth Brooks)
River of Dreams/Hard Days Night
We Didn’t Start the Fire
Captain Jack
Goodnight Saigon
I Saw Her Standing There (Paul McCartney)
Italian Restaurant
Take Me Out to the Ball Game/Piano Man
Let it Be (Paul McCartney)

The concert will be released a CD/DVD set as well as a stand-alone DVD and stand-alone Blu-ray disc by Sony Music on March 8.

It was co-produced (with Steve Cohen) and directed for television by Jon Small, and edited by Laura Young. Executive producers: David Horn and Todd Kamelhar. For Great Performances, Cara Cosentino is producer; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.

Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, Vivian Milstein, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and public television viewers.

  • connie pozzo

    WHEN?!

  • Chris Dunne

    SO what time on our station?????????

  • JJ

    yes, Please advise? As your link is not delivering the info of when this concert will air.

  • Chris Dunne

    Tried again to find the listing and can not get there from your link, this really sucks!

  • John Stubberfield

    . . . and when is this landing in the UK ?

  • Cheryl Trepanowski

    When in Rockdale county GA? Comcast.

  • Rochelle

    I have not seen any listing for the South Florida area. And I get 3 PBS stations.

  • Connie

    I want to know when its going to air on PBS station WSKG in Binghamton, NY

  • Mary

    And Indianapolis!!

  • George M

    This is terrible promotion. When is it being aired?????

  • Judy

    When will it be aired in S. Florida?

  • Marla

    Thank you so much for airing this!!! I already have it written on my calendar & will be looking forward to it!

  • Jennifer Duff

    When will this air on WOUB ?

  • Kevin Kennedy

    I’ve checked the Detroit Channel, the Boston one as well as a Seattle station and they all have something different on. Both Boston and Detroit supposedly have a David Fostor special on instead of this, what a pity, I’d have loved to have seen it.

    -Kevin K.

  • david ernst

    Dear Viewers,

    We’re glad everyone’s so excited for Billy Joel: Live at Shea Stadium (we are too). PBS stations around the country will be broadcasting the show according to their own schedule. To make sure you catch this Great Performance check your local listings by clicking here to use our Great Performances schedule widget. Remember to select your local PBS station and television provider to make sure you get the correct results.

    You can also check your local stations’ websites by visiting pbs.org/stationfinder.

    Also, please note that the scheduling widget only shows the next 2 weeks of programming. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to post them here. We hope you enjoy the show.

    Thank you.

  • Nick

    This aired at 11pm on Sat, Mar 5, 2011 after David Foster’s show. David Foster’s show was excellent and I don’t understand why PBS elected to show Billy Joel at 11pm?

    Billy Joel was fantastic and I only hope PBS considers running it again. I love PBS and only wish they would do a better job of marketing themselves to their own audience.

  • Linda

    Again, PBS delivered. What a great show to broadcast. Thank you.

  • Bobbie

    Will Billy Joel be on PBS again. I missed and I love him.

  • anthony

    what was the shea stadium program/history being given for $250 donation?

  • Theresa

    Will Billy Joel be on again? I missed the show also.
    Thanks.

  • Poppy

    Does PBS anticipate showing the Paul Crowder film — Last Play at Shea?

  • Cyndi

    So far I am not seeing it at all in WVUT’s schedule (Vincennes, IN). Our cable system does not include WNIN (Evansville, IN). When will it be broadcast on WVUT?

  • barent

    i can’t believe how much space and time is taken up by posters,who don’t know when the damn thing is airing. there has got to be a more efficient way of finding that out,and thus leaving this space for more creative and interesting notions. the concert was bloody amazing………!!

  • LJ Cooper

    After viewing 35 agonizing minutes of the Billy Joel concert I suggest promoting another show. Mr. Joel appeared bored during beginning of the show as if singing the hits that made him a beloved performer was too much of an effort. Either his age or disinterest caused his voice to sound strained and/or wobbly and sometimes, unfortunately, at the same time. God love Tony Bennett! Although two decades older he still portrayed class and enthusiasm and all in good voice. Billy, we loved you in the 70s and 80s, but time has marched on and for you…not in a good way.

  • dunier

    beautifull program I enjoyed it very much

  • Barbara Necker

    What time today ( May21) will this concert be broadcast on WCNY tv, Syracuse?

  • Carol Keith

    Billy and the entire entourage knocked it right out of the ballpark.
    Made my evening, my day, my week, my month, my year.
    Who said we had to get rid of PBS?
    Your vast audience is verification of your ever evolving success. “Freedom of choice” isn’t it a lovely thing.
    Thank you

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