Watch Elvis Costello Join Billy Joel for ‘Pump It Up’ at MSG

December 20, 2023
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Billy Joel had a special guest on deck last night at Madison Square Garden. Midway through the piano man’s performance, he called Elvis Costello onstage to perform Costello’s 1978 tune “Pump It Up” along with his own song “Allentown.”

Costello sang the lively “Pump It Up” while Joel played piano, and the pair joined vocals to duet on “Allentown,” off Joel’s 1982 album The Nylon Curtain.

Joel is in the midst of closing out his historic monthly concert series at Madison Square Garden. The residency will come to an end in July 2024, over a decade after he kicked it off. The final gig will also mark his 150th career show at the New York City arena.

The monthly residency started January 14, 2014, and was suspended only for Covid and a handful of occasions when medical issues forced them to delay a show. He promised to keep playing “as long as the demand continues,” and the demand only grew as the years went by despite the fact it’s now been 30 years since he released his last album of original pop songs.

“I’ve gone onstage and said, ‘I don’t have anything new for you, so we’re just going to play the old shit,’ ” Joel said to Rolling Stone in 2019. “And the audience goes, ‘Yeah!’ I’ll be sitting in the stadium looking out at 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 people, thinking, ‘What the hell are they all doing here? Why now?’ I guess, in a way, I’m an anachronism. There aren’t that many of me left. There’s a rarity to it, which gives it value.”

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Many surprise guests joined him throughout the past decade at Madison Square Garden, including Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Miley Cyrus, Olivia Rodrigo, Jimmy Fallon, Tony Bennett, Sting, and Jon Bon Jovi.

Costello, meanwhile, will be touring the Southern U.S. to start the new year. The musician recently announced that he’ll be heading on the road with the Imposters, including blues guitarist Charlie Sexton for the run of shows. The tour will see the group commence their tour on Jan. 10 in Tallahassee, before making stops in Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina.





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