A part of my childhood sang its last song … and what a swan song it was. I’ll bet you know it — sing it with me: “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with saints / The sinners are much more fun / You know only the good die young!”
If you are from Long Island, NY, I am sure you already know what I am referring to — last night (Aug. 4) was the final concert at the as-we-know-it Nassau Coliseum Memorial Stadium in Uniondale. And the performer, none other than The Piano Man…Mr. Long Island…BILLY JOEL…brought down “The Barn” with a three-hour marathon of his greatest hits. Each one better than the last. Every person standing and singing along. As. It. Should. Be.
I have probably seen Billy Joel in concert about 10 – 15 times over the last 30 years, but this performance blew all other out of the water. Not necessarily because of the actual show. It was the crowd. It was Long Island. It was the end of an era.
A bit of my Nassau Coliseum love affair: during my childhood, my father brought me to countless New York Islanders hockey games. Often, we sat in the “nosebleed” seats, but it was just magical being there – Pat LaFontaine, Bobby Nystrom and Mike Bossy. The best of the best.
As I got a little older, friends and I would attend countless concerts and though I know I loved each of them at the time, I couldn’t begin to list them all. Bonus: great memories of tailgating and, of course, buying knock-off concert shirts in the parking lot!
As a parent, I brought my little ones to Sesame Street Live, The Wiggles, Disney On Ice and, of course, the Ringling Bros circus.
Recently, we brought the kids to one of the New York Islanders final hockey games on their home ice (before they move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn next season – BOOOOO!).
In May, I even went to WWE Monday Night Raw with my son.
And of course, one of my favorite memories of Nassau Coliseum was when a group of our closest friends and family joined us to watch as our son, Joey (aka “Dribbles), was honored as the 1 millionth social media fan by the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters.
So whether you call it “The Coliseum” or “The Barn,” it will always be the place where you went to see your favorite hockey team, the coolest concerts and best kid-friendly shows – but we must now bid you adieu. You will be missed.