Entries tagged with: Barclays Center
We already mentioned the Amnesty International Human Rights Concert would be going down in Brooklyn on February 5 at Barclays Center with The Flaming Lips, Lauryn Hill, Tegan & Sara, and others, and there's just been a very interesting addition:
Members of the Russian art collective Pussy Riot, who were recently freed from prison after 21 months, will participate in Amnesty International's landmark Bringing Human Rights Home concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on February 5, Amnesty International announced Tuesday.Tickets are still available.
"We are happy to support Amnesty International's work on behalf of human rights and political prisoners," said Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, whose imprisonment was the subject of hundreds of thousands of online actions by Amnesty activists after they were jailed for publicly criticizing Putin in a church. "We, more than anyone, understand how important Amnesty's work is in connecting activists to prisoners."
"A month ago we were freed from Russian prison camps. We will never forget what it's like to be in prison after a political conviction. We have vowed to continue helping those who remain behind bars and we hope to see you all at the Amnesty International concert on February 5th in Brooklyn!"
Pussy Riot's Nadezhda "Nadya" Tolokonnikova and Maria "Masha" Alekhina, who are now working to improve conditions for prisoners in the Russian penal colony system, will address attendees at the concert to raise awareness about prisoners of conscience--people who have chosen a non-violent path yet are jailed for their beliefs, color of skin, gender, or sexual orientation, and whose rights Amnesty has championed throughout its 50-year history. The star-studded lineup includes The Flaming Lips, Imagine Dragons, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Tegan and Sara, The Fray, Cold War Kids, Colbie Caillat, Cake and more yet to be announced.
"Today, as we work to improve human rights conditions in the United States, we can't abandon the fight for the rights of imperiled individuals around the world," said Amnesty International USA Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins. "When we come together on February 5 in Brooklyn, our voices will be amplified by the presence of Pussy Riot, who continue to demonstrate the power we share when we take a stand against injustice. Join us next month and become a part of the next wave of the human rights movement."
photos by P Squared Photography
Jay Z @ Barclays Center - 1/12/14
The show didn't feature an innovative stage design, as on Drake's recent tour. Neither did it include bejeweled masks, fancy dancers or a Jesus impersonator, a la Kanye West's crazy "Yeezus" show. Nor did it boast the presence of Justin Timberlake, who acted as a slick pop foil for the rapper during their co-headlining show at Yankee Stadium last summer.Jay Z brought his Magna Carter World Tour to his hometown of Brooklyn for his first of two shows at Barclays Center (which he recently announced he'd be selling his stake in) last night (1/12). With roughly two decades of music including twelve studio albums and multiple collaborative recordings to pull from, Jay pretty much delivered hit after hit, with favorites like "99 Problems," "Dirt Off Your Shoulder," "Izzo," "Big Pimpin'," "Hard Knock Life," "Niggas In Paris" and tons more. Pictures from the show are in this post.
For the first New York stop on Jay's "Magna Carter" tour, he played to his on-going strength - as a pure rapper, capable of fast-witted, and nuanced, verbal derring-do.
It wasn't just a smart move, it was probably a necessary one. At 44, the man born Shawn Carter doesn't have the young buck status Drake currently commands, or the cutting-edge outrage perfected by Kanye in his latest project. That leaves him to cut the precise figure he assumed at Barclays - as both an elder statesmen and a broad-minded observer of the world, refracted through the language of hip-hop. [NY Daily News]
Jay does it again at Barclays Center tonight (1/13), and his tour includes other area dates at Mohegan Sun (1/17), Nassau Coliseum (1/19), and Prudential Center (1/22).
More pictures, along with a video and the setlist from last night, below...
The Flaming Lips in San Francisco on Halloween (more by Chris Tuite)
The Flaming Lips, Lauryn Hill, Tegan & Sara, Cold War Kids and Cake are among the artists announced for the next Amnesty International Human Rights Concert, which takes place this year at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on February 5. The concert also features Colbie Caillat, Imagine Dragons, The Fray, and other special guests. Tickets go on sale Saturday (1/11) at 10 AM with an AmEx presale starting Thursday (1/9) at 10 AM and an Internet presale starting Friday (1/10) at 10 AM.
Some background on the Amnesty concerts, via press release:
Twenty-five years after its initial concert series, which featured U2, Sting, Lou Reed and others, Amnesty International is bringing back the concert - with a digital twist - to raise awareness about human rights to a new generation. The Amnesty International Bringing Human Rights Home concert will use technology to connect the music and message in real time from the stage of the Barclays Center to activists across the globe.Watch some recent Flaming Lips and Lauryn Hill videos below...
"The fight for global human rights begins at home," said Steven W. Hawkins, executive director for Amnesty International USA. "This concert is part of an evolving conversation about human rights that grounds the universal struggle for dignity and freedom in the injustices we see every day in our own backyard in the United States. We're bringing back the concerts to show a new generation of activists how to stand up for justice at home and abroad - whether it is fighting for the right to voice dissent peacefully on social networks or in the streets, protecting the rights of women and girls, or standing in solidarity with individuals persecuted for who they are or what they believe."
photos by PSquared Photography
Queens of the Stone Age & the Kills @ Barclays Center
As the house lights dimmed and a giant screen projected a 60-second countdown for fans to anticipate the arrival of Queens, they strolled on stage with instruments and drinks in hand and ripped it from the get-go. Opening with "You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire," and then jumping right into "No One Knows," to the first ...Like Clockwork single, "My God is the Sun," they managed to extend each song a bit by jamming and feeding off each other's playing as if they were an improv jazz group that were using roaring guitars and thick bass rather than trumpets and saxophones. "We were in Boston last night," singer Josh Homme told the crowd, which was met with a chorus of boos, "Boston has a lot of rules. This is New York City, you have no rules. You are at a Queens show, you can do whatever you want," he said just before going into "Burn the Witch." It is with that mentality that has gotten Queens the respect they deserve over the years. They are one of the few rock and roll bands, that still know how to be rock stars. They may not be trashing hotel rooms or discussing their womanizing, but they can surely play as hard as they want and encourage their audience to live as hard as they want. [Huffington Post]Queens of the Stone Age have had a big comeback year with ...Like Clockwork, the long-awaited followup to 2007's Era Vulgaris which reunited many of the musicians who were on the mega-popular Songs for the Deaf and ended up on many Best of 2013 lists, as well as being nominated for a Grammy. Around the time of its release, they played an intimate Brooklyn show at Brooklyn Masonic Temple, but over the weekend (12/14) they had their real victory lap when they headlined the Barclays Center. Their friends The Kills opened, and pictures of both bands are in this post.
More pictures from Barclays Center, along with QOTSA's setlist and a couple videos, below...
The Rock and Hall of Fame 2014 nominees were announced this past October, and now the inductees have been announced. Rolling Stone reports that Nirvana, Kiss, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt will all now be rock hall of famers. Additionally, The E Street Band will be presented with the Award for Musical Excellence, and Brian Epstein (Beatles manager) and Andrew Loog Oldham (original Rolling Stones manager) will both receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award for non-performers.
The induction ceremony takes place in Brooklyn on April 10 at Barclays Center, yet another high profile event happening at the new arena which also hosted the MTV Video Music Awards this year and which just announced a big show with Red Hot Chili Peppers. Tickets will be available in January, and it will air on HBO in May.
Nirvana's MTV Unplugged performance celebrated its 20th anniversary over the weekend. Watch that in full below...
RHCP at Coachella 2013 (more by Wei Shi)
The Red Hot Chili Peppers don't have much of a tour scheduled for 2014 at the moment besides some South American festivals, like Lollapalooza Chile & Argentina, but they've just added what appears to be a one-off in Brooklyn at Barclays Center on February 1. The night, presented by CBS sports station WFAN happens on the "biggest weekend in sports and entertainment" and is part of the venue's "Kickoff in Brooklyn" series which includes championship boxing (1/30) at the Nets vs Thunder game (1/31). Opening for the Chili Peppers at this big show will be MS MR, J. Roddy Walston & the Business, New Politics and Basic Vacation. Tickets for the show go on sale Friday (12/20) at 10 Am with an AmEx presale starting Tuesday (12/17) at 10 AM.
All upcoming RHCP dates are listed below...
Arcade Fire at ACL 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)
Last week, Arcade Fire added a third Barclays Center (8/24) show to their tour. Tickets for that show go on sale to the general public Friday (12/13) at 10 AM, but there's an exclusive BrooklynVegan presale on Thursday (12/12) from 9 AM to 10 PM.
Check back here at 8 AM on Thursday for the password. UPDATE: choose "Promotions & Special Offers" pulldown in "ticket type" and then use password "VeganFire3"
After the BV presale, a Live Nation presale begins at 10 AM. Tickets for Arcade Fire's other two Barclays Center dates (8/22 & 8/23) are still available.
Additionally, we've got a few pairs of tickets to giveaway to the third night (8/24), and details on how to enter to win those are below...
Queens of the Stone Age at ACL 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Queens of the Stone Age made a solid comeback this year with ...Like Clockwork, an album which has ended up on many year-end lists, including NME, Rolling Stone, Paste, SPIN, Q, Mojo, Amazon and Rough Trade. We asked them to send a list of their favorite albums of the year. They're a big band, and their list mostly includes other big bands (and big solo artists), but it's also got a certain Jack White-approved compilation, and two relatively smaller artists, Earthless and Kurt Vile, so kudos to those guys for being QOTSA-approved. You can check out the full list below.
QOTSA's best of 2013 list below...
Arcade Fire in Brooklyn in October (more)
As discussed, Arcade Fire are going on a massive tour in 2014 that comes to NYC on August 22 and 23 at Barclays Center. Since we last spoke, they've expanded the tour, and it now includes a third date happening at Barclays Center on August 24. Tickets for the first two nights are still available, and the third one is not on sale yet but you can check back at that same link for updates. Updated dates are listed below.
MGMT at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013 (More by Sarah Frankie Linder)
As discussed, indie-pop-turned-psych-weirdos MGMT are currently on a tour which brings them to NYC for a huge show at Barclays Center on December 13 with Dinosaur Jr. and Kuroma (fronted by a member of MGMT's live band). Tickets for that show are still available, but we're also giving away a pair. Details on how to enter to win are below.
If you're wondering what to expect from this ever-changing band at the Barclays Center show, this review on Memphis Flyer of Saturday's Orpheum Theatre show sheds some light:
You wanted to hear their big hits, like "Kids," "Time To Pretend," and "Electric Feel?" Score.Looking at the nightly setlists they've been posting on Instagram, they do change the order up from show to show. Speaking of their instagram, they're running a contest on it where you can win a chance to play the giant cowbell during "Your Life Is A Lie" on stage with them.
You wanted to hear the trippy stuff like "Siberian Breaks" and "Of Moons, Birds & Monsters?" Score.
You wanted to hear material from the new album? Score.
MGMT's set list broke down cleanly, with 6 cuts from Oracular Spectacular, 5 from Congratulations, and 5 from the newest album, MGMT.
You could use those numbers as a guideline and come up with many permutations of set lists, but MGMT elected to play their most accessible material. So they didn't play "4th Dimensional Transition" but they did play "Weekend Wars"; they didn't play "Lady Dada's Nightmare" but did "Flash Delirium"; didn't play the 2nd half of MGMT but did the first half.
In other Dinosaur Jr. news, J Mascis recently teamed up with Fred Armisen to cover TLC's "Waterfalls" at Berklee Performing Arts Center, which you can watch a video of below. J Mascis also just teamed up with Sharon Van Etten collaborator Doug Keith (not long after teaming up with Sharon Van Etten herself) to contribute a guitar solo to "Pure Gold In The 70s" off Doug's upcoming LP, Pony (due out 2/11). You can listen to that (via SPIN) below too.
Updated dates are listed, along with contest details, video and song stream, below...
Another year, another round of band holiday sweaters. This year we can get in the holiday spirit by wrapping ourselves in warm, cozy attire from the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Death From Above 1979, Descendents (again), Metallica, and more. Just like Grandma used to make. That's the QOTSA one pictured above, and the other three are pictured below.
As discussed, Queens of the Stone Age (who made Amazon's and Rough Trade's top albums of 2013 lists) will be in NYC for the holiday season when their tour brings them to Barclays Center on December 14 with The Kills. Tickets for that show are on sale now. Updated tour dates are listed below.
QOTSA's tour includes an Australia/New Zealand run in March with Nine Inch Nails and former Distillers singer Brody Dalle (who's also married to Josh Homme of QOTSA). Brody recently announced details of a new solo album (via Music Week), which will be out in early 2014 via Caroline. The record is set to feature contributions from Garbage's Shirley Manson, plus Warpaint singer Emily Kokal, Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi, QOTSA basist Michael Shuman, former Girls (and current Papa) member Darren Weiss, and more. And it's being produced by Alain Johannes, who's worked with QOTSA, Arctic Monkeys, and did Brody's Spinnerette album.
All QOTSA dates are listed, along with more sweater pics, below...
A Tribe Called Quest at Barclays Center - 11/20/13 (via)
Kanye West's tour currently has him in the midst of his 4-night NYC run, which included stops at Barclays Center with Kendrick Lamar on Tuesday (11/19) and A Tribe Called Quest last night (11/20). The run resumes at MSG on Saturday (11/23) with Kendrick and MSG on Sunday (11/24) with Tribe.
I feel silly saying they played classics. I mean... "Sucka N*gga," "Find A Way" (Dilla dilla, beats beats) and "Bonita Applebum"... I don't think there is such a thing as a non-classic Tribe tune! For "Bonita," a full bodied Stephanie Santiago painted head to toe in red, black, and green stripes ala the iconic Low End Theory artwork, mesmerized the crowd as she walked to the center of the arena holding a cut-out apple with "38-24-37″ written on the reverse side.A picture of the full setlist (also via Okayplayer) and a video of them performing "Scenario" with Busta Rhymes last night, below.
Tickets for both Kanye shows at MSG are still available.
Video and setlist below...
Arcade Fire in Bushwick in October (more by Eric Kayne)
To everyone really upset about us asking people to dress up at our shows... please relax. It's super not mandatory. It just makes for a more fun carnival when we are all in it together. So far these have been the best shows we have ever played.The above message was posted to Arcade Fire's Facebook after the internet-wide backlash to their request that you wear "formal attire or costume" to the shows on their upcoming tour.
See you soon.
As discussed, that tour hits NYC on August 22 and 23 at Barclays Center. Tickets go on Live Nation/LN Mobile App presales today (11/21) at 10 AM.
Kanye West in Sweden in 2011 (more)
Kanye West just premiered the video for "Bound 2," the final track on Yeezus, during his appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The video features (a topless) Kim Kardashian and was directed by Nick Knight. You can watch it, along with his Ellen interview, below.
UPDATE: The uncensored version of the video is out now, and you can watch that below. NSFW obviously.
On the "jackass" comment, Kanye admitted that "that's how the world felt," but that Obama shouldn't have responded negatively. "I don't care if somebody the President or not. I care about thoughts, and how you helpin' people, and what you bring to the world. My music brings joy to people. What I create brings joy to people, and I'm about people. Me, I'm not about me. I'm about, 'I got an idea that people gonna like.'"Yeezy's tour begins its four-night run in NYC tonight (11/19) at Barclays Center. It also hits Barclays on Wednesday (11/20) and then MSG on Saturday (11/23) and Sunday (11/24). Tonight's and Saturday's shows are being opened by Kendrick Lamar, and Wednesday's and Sunday's shows will be the "final" shows for legendary group A Tribe Called Quest. Tickets for all four nights are still available.
In between those shows, you might run into him at a local Wendy's.
Ye also just spoke on Bret Eason Ellis' new podcast, which you can listen to here. New videos and updated list of tour dates below...
Arcade Fire at Capitol Records in October (more by Marcus Haney)
Arcade Fire have done just about everything you can do to support a new album... except tour. But now that's changed because The Reflektors have finally announced a massive 2014 tour that brings them to arenas across the US and Canada including two nights in NYC at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on August 22 and 23. Tickets for all dates go on sale Friday, November 22.
All dates, with some gaps during the Coachella weekends, are listed below...
Black Sabbath at PNC Bank Arts Center in August (more by Greg Cristman)
Black Sabbath, who are currently reunited with Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler all in tow (no Bill Ward though), have a new album out, and went on a tour over the summer which brought them to Connecticut, New Jersey, and other places. It felt a little strange that they omitted NYC, but they've now announced another tour for 2014 which kicks off at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on March 31! Tickets for the Barclays Center show go on sale Friday, November 22 at 10 AM. No openers announced yet, but Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats are opening their November/December European tour. All dates are listed below.
Sabbath are also documenting their 2013 tour with a new live DVD/CD Black Sabbath: Live...Gathered in Their Masses, which will be out on November 26 via Vertigo/Republic. Check out the tracklist below and more info, including different combo pack options, here. Ozzy and Geezer discussed the album at the Grammy Museum last week (11/6), you can watch a video of that conversation here.
In related news, Tony Iommi is receiving a degree honor from Coventry University. Reports BBC:
The founder member of the Birmingham heavy metal band will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by Coventry University on 19 November.And in more related news, don't give Bill Ward a copy of Sabbath's new album. "I haven't heard anything off that album at all," Bill told Rock Cellar Magazine. "And to be quite honest, I don't care to either. It's too painful. If I want to rip my guts out, I'll put it on."
Iommi will be heading straight from the graduation ceremony at Coventry Cathedral to join Black Sabbath in Helsinki for the start of their latest European tour.
He has sold more than 80 million records worldwide during his career.
Iommi said was "a great honour" to receive the doctorate.
He added: "I'd like to thank everyone at Coventry University for my nomination and look forward to meeting them at the ceremony."
All dates are listed, along with the DVD/CD tracklist and a recent live video, below...
Justin Timberlake at Barclays Center - 11/16/13 (via @liliana_lgd)
Justin Timberlake just brought his tour through the NYC-area for a few dates with The Weeknd including a show at Brooklyn's Barclays Center last week (11/6). Check out JT's 30+ song setlist and videos of both artists from the show, below.
Justin's tour comes back to NYC for a show on February 19 at MSG, and since we last spoke, he's added a ton of more dates, including another show happening at MSG (2/20) a day later. Tickets for that show go on sale November 18 at 10 AM with Fan Club/Mastercard presales starting today (11/13) at 10 AM and Live Nation/Mobile App/Venue/Facebook presales starting Friday (11/15) at 10 AM. There are some tickets left for the first night, but "not many." No openers for these shows announced yet.
Updated dates are listed, along with videos and setlist from Barclays, below...
A Tribe Called Quest
As you may have heard, Kanye West's tour was plagued with some equipment damages which caused certain shows to be cancelled, but Kanye's since fully updated his tour schedule, and is set to pick things up again on 11/16 in Philly. As long as everything goes right this time, this means his NYC shows -- 11/19 & 20 at Barclays Center and 11/23 & 24 at MSG -- will happen according to plan. As discussed, the 11/19 & 11/23 shows are being opened by Kendrick Lamar, and the 11/20 & 11/24 shows are being opened by A Tribe Called Quest. Tickets for all four NYC shows are still available. Updated dates are listed below.
For ATCQ, these will be the legendary group's "final" shows. Tribe member Q-Tip tweeted, "In August, ATCQ did our last show FOR Cali. It's only right we do our FINAL 2 joints where we started...NYC."
Updated dates are listed below...
by Andrew Sacher
Justin Timberlake at Yankee Stadium in July (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Justin Timberlake is in a rare position where he's one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, but on (at least the first part of) his new album, he's doing the kind of forward-thinking R&B that usually comes from newer, comparatively smaller artists. So it's a welcome announcement that he's taking one of those smaller artists, The Weeknd, on tour with him. The Weeknd will open this week's NYC-area dates that happen on 11/6 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, 11/7 at XL Center in Hartford, and 11/9 at IZOD Center in NJ. Tickets for all three shows are still available. No opener has been announced for JT's MSG show (2/19) yet.
All dates are listed below...
Kendrick Lamar bowing down to the Queen (via Global Grind)
Power 105.1's Powerhouse came to Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Saturday (11/2) with a number of rappers, including Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Fabolous and more. During Kendrick's set, he brought out Brooklyn's Queen Bee Lil Kim to do "Get Money" and "All About the Benjamins." Check out a video of that below.
Meek Mill also brought out a surprise guest, Nicki Minaj, to do a few songs with him. You can also watch a video of that (via Vibe) below.
Backstage at the show, Nicki was also interviewed for Power 105.1, where she addressed not being mentioned in Kendrick Lamar's infamous "Control" verse, rapping versus going pop, and more. Video of that is below as well.
Kendrick Lamar will be back at Barclays Center when his tour with Kanye West hits the venue (11/19). Kanye's tour also includes an MSG show with Kendrick (11/23) and two NYC dates with A Tribe Called Quest.
confetti at Amanda Palmer's NYE show last year (more by Amanda Hatfield)
The fact that Phish will play the refurbished Madison Square Garden again this New Year's Eve is old news already, but Barclays Center just announced today (10/31) who will be playing the Brooklyn arena's second-ever New Year's Eve show, and the honor goes to.... Billy Joel (UPDATE: and the recently reunited Ben Folds Five) (last year was Jay-Z and Coldplay).
Here are a few already-announced New Year's Eve shows we're rather be at this year...
Andrew WK parties at Irving Plaza.
Mykki Blanco will help make Gramercy Theater ghetto fabulous.
Moon Boots plays Output.
Delta Spirit plays Brooklyn Bowl.
DIIV, Perfect Pussy, Potty Mouth and Nothing play Baby's All Right.
Patti Smith doesn't play on NYE proper, but does play year-end shows right before that on December 29 and 30 at Webster Hall.
Browse more NYC NYE Concert Options in our new year-round concert calendar.
Or maybe just head to Mexico!
P.S. If you're in Austin, you'll want to catch the Breeders.
As you may have heard, legendary soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone will conduct a 200 member orchestra and choir at the Cushman & Wakefield Theatre at Barclays Center on March 23, one of two US shows in 2014. Tickets for that go on AmEx and Internet presale today (10/23) at 10 AM. Internet presale code is "ENNIO".
words by PJ superfan Dominic Masi Jr., photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Pearl Jam in Brooklyn
While Arcade Fire was playing a Bushwick warehouse and CMJ was going on all around the city, Pearl Jam brought their tour to Brooklyn for two sold out shows at the Barclays Center. Choosing the new Brooklyn venue over the being-renovated MSG has been a recent trend, and for PJ to skip the Garden was a big deal for fans. Especially since they've had some of their most legendary shows there. Unofficial spokesman for the city and the building itself, Jay-Z, joined PJ onstage at the Made In America Fest in Philadelphia last year for a version of '99 Problems,' but this was Pearl Jam's first trip to Jay's borough. After a 30+ song set on Friday night, fans felt that the bar was set high but knew they could top it on night #2 and they did just that. On what was the 20th anniversary of the release of their second album, VS., Pearl Jam played for nearly 3 hours and 33 songs on Saturday (10/19) for what many fans are calling one of their best shows ever. Dennis Rodman was even in attendance, bumping elbows with the 10Club members in the pit. Everyone knew from the beginning it going to be "one of those nights."
The Avett Brothers are playing Barclays Center on March 7 with Old Crow Medicine Show. Tickets to that show go on AmEx presale today at 10 AM, with a general on-sale starting Friday (10/18) at 9 AM.
Single night tickets to see Hot Water Music drummer George Rebelo with his new band The Bouncing Souls at The Stone Pony go on sale today. Check out the openers for each night, including Youth Bridgade, Laura Stevenson, Restorations, The Flatlines, Boy Sets Fire, and more.
Browse our 'Tickets On Sale' tag for more recently announced NYC shows.
by Doug Moore
Nine Inch Nails at Barclays Center - 10/14/13 (via Peg Samuel)
Last night (10/14)'s Nine Inch Nails/Godspeed You! Black Emperor show was the first time I've ever been to the Barclays Center. For a show-goer who's mostly used to bars and shitty clubs, walking into the Center is a bizarre experience. The combination of its size, its quasi-organic design, and its many flashing lights & screens make you feel like you're boarding a spaceship. Fitting, I suppose, for the lineup in question.
As weird as the Barclays Center itself is, seeing Godspeed You! Black Emperor there was even weirder. It's not always immediately apparent from listening to their music, but GY!BE are a deeply political band whose main sources of inspiration are social injustices and the eventual collapse of industrialized civilization. (You may remember their harsh response to winning a Polaris Prize a few weeks back.) Watching any band play a huge arena is surreal, but watching these guys bang out their epic jams in one, despite their loud antagonism towards the establishment, was even odder.
Barclays was still about half empty when GY!BE played, which wasn't really their fault -- the venue publicized an 8pm start time for the show, but had the band begin their set at 7:30. Dick move, especially given how great they sounded. GY!BE always sound big, but in the giant reverb echo chamber that is the Barclays interior, they were truly massive.
NIN's set had no such timing miscues. In fact, aside from a few tiny live sound glitches, it really had no miscues whatsoever. Trent Reznor and the backup musicians he recruits have always leaned towards the slick and polished side of things, but seeing them crank through a full two-hour set in full arena rock mode, complete with an extensive light show, virtually without stopping was quite the big-money spectacle. The set leaned fairly heavily towards NIN's new effort Hesitation Marks, but Reznor threw enough golden-era material (including epic set- and encore-ending renditions of "Head Like a Hole" and "Hurt") to please the mostly late-20s/early-30s crowd.
Reznor's only talking break to speak of came during the encore, when he took a moment to express his gratitude (and disbelief) that his project has continued to do so well for so long. The point was well-taken. Most people never fill a single arena; Reznor's been doing so on and off for 20 years. Talk about living the dream.