Jay-Z @ Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn, NY 9/28/2012

by ajcolores

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“Nothing feels like tonight,” Jay-Z kept repeating on-stage at last night’s Barclay’s Center-opening blowout, a night that Jay himself and NYC developer (/civic villain, depending on who you talk to) Bruce Ratner had dreamed up almost a decade ago. Though both were keen to enjoy their moment in the sun — high-definition video screens curled around the corners of the new arena flashed “Thank You Bruce Ratner” before the show began and Jay joked with Rolling Stone that “This is my one time to be selfish!” — there was a palpable sense of anxiety. Despite the impressiveness of Barclay’s gleaming, marble-and-steel interior and it’s imposing, alien-looking exterior, it’s easy to remember that none of this came easily, even on the backs of unstoppable personalities like Ratner and Sean Carter, as the Battle For Brooklyn fed years of longform hand-wringing. Phrases like “The End Of Brooklyn” have been thrown around in bushels. For an evening basically billed as a celebration of Brooklyn’s cultural impact, it was pretty tense.

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