Elton John in Madison Square Garden: How to Say Farewell to a LegendPhotos: Elton John performing at Madison Square Garden throughout the years, courtesy of Getty Images Travel Features elton john
If there’s a show to travel for this decade, it just might be Elton John at Madison Square Garden this April. Though the Garden has played host to many a great musician, athlete, and community, there likely is none more deserving of a proper send-off than John, the venue’s first Hall of Fame musician. From the show to the weekend recovery, here’s how to spend a day—or two—at and around the world’s most famous music venue, Madison Square Garden.
History of Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden has seen several iterations since it first opened in 1879. Though the location has changed, the venue settled into its place between 31st and 33rd streets among the west side of Manhattan. Since the move in 1968, Madison Square Garden has hosted some of the world’s biggest events like Muhammad Ali’s “Fight of the Century” in 1971, Frank Sinatra’s “Main Event” in 1974, the first WrestleMania, benefit concerts for 9/11 and Katrina, and countless concerts from musicians including Stevie Wonder, John Lennon, and, of course, Elton John, among so many others.
Though many have graced this legendary stage for shows that often serve as a rite of passage or a career peak like a stamp in a passport, the Garden has become a home to some—like Billy Joel’s monthlong, sold-out residency. But, one of its most beloved performers become the first inductee into the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame, and that was Elton John. He was inducted in October of 1977 and was the first non-athlete to be given the honor. Elton John also held the record for the most appearances there for a time and even celebrated his 60th birthday by performing his 60th concert at his favorite venue in March of 2007.
With so many memories at the venue for John, it only seems right to catch him there either April 6th or 7th during his final farewell tour. So, if you can score tickets, hold on to them and cherish the spectacle that is Elton John’s final production. It’s certainly a labor of love for his fans as he begins the second year of this last 3-year tour.
Book a room at the Moxy NYC Times Square for the weekend. It’s a fashionable, trendy spot for a comfortable stay that will make you feel sleek and edgy just like New York City while you’re in town. The best part, however, is that it’s just four blocks from Madison Square Garden, so you won’t have to worry about Uber surcharges, catching a cab, or battling traffic before or after the show.
Hit Pennsy Food Hall for a wide array of quick bites on the go before the show. If you’re still hungry afterward, head to The Ginger Man. They have 68 beers on tap and great dive bar bites. Of course, you can always grab a slice from Rose’s Pizza and head to American Whiskey where they have more than 150 whiskeys to choose from. Take a seat and bask in the awe that settles over you after you see Elton John tear up the keys. If the weather is warm enough, Local West is perfect for al fresco drinking. Regardless of where you end up within walking distance, you’re bound to be content after watching one of the best musicians and performers give it everything at Madison Square Garden.
All photos courtesy of Getty Images.
Molly Harris is a freelance journalist. You can often find her on the highway somewhere between Florida and North Carolina or taking life slow in Europe.