“Nothing feels the way tonight feels.” Jay was right, tonight, I got an opportunity to experience a once in a lifetime event. I was blessed enough to watch my favorite musician and a truly inspirational human being on the grandest of stages in front of his home crowd. Now, I’m not talking about Madison Square Garden, no offense, but rather the brand new Barclays Center in Jay’s hometown of Brooklyn, NY. BTW, the Barclays Center is amazing right down to every detail from the outside, two giant loops wrapped in black snake skin perfectly placed on top of each other resembling a spaceship, to the inside, beautiful hues of blues, blacks, and greys.
As Jay tells it, raised in a single parent household, in low income housing, and now a minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets. Take a moment to let that sink in. Words can’t describe this feeling, but that feeling was on display all night long.
I’ve been to a dozen of his shows, but this was just, different. Jay was more comfortable on stage than ever before, smiling from ear to ear, even dancing, all without a care in the world. It wasn’t even just Jay, all the Barclays Center employees were smiling and greeting each guest with such joy, it was infectious. You could feel the difference in the crowd as well, as each borough tried to out hype the other as DJ ProStyles spun one New York track after another. It felt like we were all one big family for a night, hopefully for even longer, we could use more of that in this world.
Jay went through his massive catalog of hits from “Reasonable Doubt”, “The Blueprint”, “The Black Album”, “The Blueprint 3” and on and on. My friends even turned to me at one point and said they forgot how many songs he had. Yup, Jay’s got hits for days! By the end of the show, Jay visibly fatigued from doing 7 shows in a row, was humbled, he thanked the crowd over and over again, he had conversations with his new family, he even signed a jersey, and he left us all with this message, “Be great Brooklyn, be great everyone.” From Marcy to around the world a dozen times over, he’s finally home.
Photograph: Kevin Mazur/WireImage