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Not that it mattered, exactly. The energy level of the crowd was high and wild, even before entering the building. And it took a while to enter the building because we all had to snake through metal detectors to get into the arena, which could have been a bit of a downer if all of the people working at the Barclays Center weren't so completely nice and friendly. It seems like the training they received from Disney Hospitality really paid off, because they were considerate and did their best to move everyone along. Still though, one person on line did remark, "I wonder if everyone at the Leonard Cohen concert will have to go through this bullshit." Okay. That was me. I said that. And I do wonder that!
But despite metal detectors, kegs running dry, and long, LONG lines at the food counters, the crowd was intensely excited to see Jay-Z and to check out the Barclays Center. Done mainly in blacks and grays, the arena seems to be drawing a lot aesthetically from contemporary Brooklyn design. I know that sounds kind of bullshitt-y, but trust me, you can watch short films of the guys from Tri-Lox while you're waiting on line to get your food. Tri-Lox! That's some obscure Brooklyn design stuff for a major sports arena. The really notable thing about the Barclays Center, though, is that the seating in the arena doesn't incline at as gentle of a grade as it does at, say, Madison Square Garden. Instead, it ascends at what seems, from the floor, to be an almost straight vertical slope, which is an impressive look, if somewhat (totally) vertigo-inducing for the more delicate amongst us. That's me by the way. I'm super-delicate.
Anyway. Luckily, I was sitting low enough on the floor that I didn't need to worry about collapsing into a quivering heap of FEAR. So, I could enjoy the show. Which, leading up to Jay-Z, certainly seemed to enjoy itself. Before Jay came out, the stage flashed an orgy of Brooklyn greats—from the long-lamented Brooklyn Dodgers, to Adam Yauch, to Biggie—it felt like everyone was represented. And this was just the beginning of the non-stop stroking of the Brooklyn ego, which was just waiting for the climax of Jay-Z's performance.