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Review: Billy Joel, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott rock Madison Square Garden (Includes first-hand account)

This surprise guest was none other than iconic rocker Joe Elliott, the frontman of the acclaimed rock group Def Leppard, and they delivered a spitfire and upbeat version of Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” where they took the audience on a trip down memory lane to 1987.

Joel played the piano and sang backing vocals, and joining Elliott were the talented members of Billy Joel’s band, which included Tommy Byrnes on lead guitar, Andy Cichon on bass, Chuck Burgi on drums, Mike DelGuidice on backing vocals and guitar, Crystal Taliefero on percussion and background vocals, and musical director David Rosenthal on the keyboard.

This live performance was dynamic, high-octane and well-received. Joel and Elliott embraced afterward, as the crowd kept cheering them on. It was a fitting tribute to Def Leppard, which was just inducted into the coveted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past March.

Def Leppard

Def Leppard
Kazuyo Horie

Band member Mike DelGuidice also nailed the lead vocals on the Italian opera “Nessun Dorma,” as always, with Joel on piano. In his solo music career, DelGuidice just released his music video for “Mona Lisa,” which featured comedian and actor Kevin James.

On May 9, Joel previously performed at Madison Square Garden as part of his residency, where he celebrated his 70th birthday at the “World’s Most Famous Arena” in front of a sold-out audience.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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