Billy Joel Surprises Hometown With Benefit Concert

Tickets to the concert sold out in 15 minutes

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013  |  Updated 8:33 AM PDT
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Billy Joel is hosting a surprise charity concert on Long Island, his first in 11 years. But some of his fans were angered after tickets sold out, then popped up on online resale sites going for as much as $1,000. Greg Cergol has more.

NBC 4 New York

Billy Joel is hosting a surprise charity concert on Long Island, his first in 11 years. But some of his fans were angered after tickets sold out, then popped up on online resale sites going for as much as $1,000. Greg Cergol has more.

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Billy Joel surprised his fans with a decision to perform on Long Island Wednesday night.

The Piano Man made the spontaneous decision to play at The Paramount in Huntington while rehearsing there last week for his upcoming European tour.

The concert benefitted Long Island Cares, a Hauppauge-based charity founded by singer-songwriter Harry Chapin. The food shelter feeds 3,000 people a year. 

It was Joel's first Long Island concert since he played Nassau Coliseum in 2002 with Elton John.

Tickets for Wednesday night's show at the 1,555-seat Paramount sold out in 15 minutes. Ticket resellers marked the prices up extensively -- some sold for more than $1,000. The markup frustrated some fans who couldn't get into The Paramount to see the show.

"There are millions of Billy Joel fans on Long Island," said Brian Doyle, the venue's owner. "I don't know how we would please everybody."

The Long Island native will be honored by the Kennedy Center in December for his contribution to popular culture. 

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