A dad, a friend and Billy Joel


Alexandra Johnstone/Castleton Spartan

As we walk into Madison Square Garden, there’s a snake-like line winding through the lobby up the stairs disappearing into the stadium. We push our way through the one-acre sized crowd just minutes before the concert begins.

     Finally, we break through the line and enter the doors to the suite section of Madison Square Garden. The crowds are gone and there’s a single employee waiting there to greet us. He hands us all our tickets and we step onto an escalator bringing us to the elevator that then transported us to our floor that had a dimly lit desk and one large bouncer.

     We were royalty.

     Castleton senior Daley Crowley and I start bee lining for our suite, but my dad wants to stop to use the restroom. Daley and I wait outside squirming like little kids, not to mention we might’ve celebrated a little before arriving. When my dad walks out of the bathroom, Crowley and I were already turning our backs to speed walk to suite 17.

     The suite had a bathroom, couch, three bars, a hot and ready buffet, a charging station for your phone (because God knows you want your phone at a concert), and a waiter serving FREE drinks all night. Did I all ready mention royalty?

     Before I know it it’s all ready 9:30 p.m. and Billy Joel is giving the crowd a choice of what song he should play next.

      I hear him say “Vienna,” our favorite song by him. Immediately Crowley and I were yelling like we were about to be murdered, using every bit of our voice to ensure “Vienna” would win. As soon as the first key was played I closed my eyes and began to savor the sounds. How can I be this happy I wondered, and pleaded in my head for it to never end.

     These extravagant plans to see my favorite artist were made back in April when my godfather said he could get tickets to a Billy Joel concert for me for FREE. We talked about it like it was years away, but soon enough six months passed and the day finally came.

     As we road into Port Authority to park, already I was amazed by the buildings that seem bigger than I can comprehend. After getting through the streets and lines, it was a short breeze to our suite where we waited and happily drank anticipating Joel’s grand entrance.

     When he came on stage, the stadium erupted with cheering, but all I could hear was my own. The beer was cold, I was with my dad and best friend and I was watching Billy Joel play the piano. I was high off life. The lights scanned the crowd in different colors and patterns illuminating Joel at his piano.

     For a while it seemed like it never was going to end, Joel played until 11:03 p.m. and even after he walked off I could still hear the music playing in my ears. We walked out of the suite with half the enthusiasm we walked in with and made our slow journey to the car. I still felt like royalty as we climbed into the elevator and watched us descend to the ground, reminding me once again that my night was coming to an end.

     It was quiet when we all climbed into the car. I was replaying the whole evening in my head, trying to hold on to every last detail to remember it entirely.

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