Billy Joel fans had a few nice surprises during the “Piano Man's” Friday night (September 27th) gig at Madison Square Garden — including his first performance of his 1986 Top 10 hit “Modern Woman” in 32 years. The tune, which served as both the lead single to that year's The Bridge album, was also featured in the Bette Midler – Danny DeVito comedy, Ruthless People. Billy told the crowd it was the song's live debut — having forgotten it was a part of his 1986/87 setlists.
Other highlights in the show included Billy's first performance of “She's Got A Way” in a year, the 52nd Street hit “Honesty” first appearnace since 2016 — and in tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' Abbey Road, Billy included a portion of “Oh! Darling” in the middle of “The River Of Dreams.”
The Bridge was released on July 9th, 1986 and marked Billy Joel’s last album produced by the legendary Phil Ramone. Shortly before Ramone’s death in 2013, he shed light on why he felt Billy believed that The Bridge was one of his few flawed projects: “I thought we were moving forward. I never felt he was completely comfortable in that album. Somehow it was disjointed; a matter of time, and taste, and things that would normally congeal. . . I think it was a critical place for him to not be sure that this album. . . was maybe a copy of some other things we had done before. 'Cause we had always done vast, different things before — at least in our minds.”