"I guess we all just have to adjust": music critic, once no fan of arena, celebrates Arcade Fire show
The lead to this review, I have to say, is exactly what developer Bruce Ratner and former Borough President Marty Markowitz were hoping for, an acknowledgment that what happens inside the Barclays Center erases previous opposition:
Moving Past the Feeling (Or, A personal account why I was — and still am — so moved by Arcade Fire)And, of course, forget.
When I moved to Prospect Heights, Brooklyn nearly a decade ago, I soon became aware that I was living in the epicenter of gentrification and development in the borough. I moved into a neighborhood that would rapidly change faces and façades, and I was by default among those thousands causing it, even though like many of its longtime residents, I also begrudged the idea of a sports arena breaking ground just blocks from my new apartment, on the corner where my new favorite dive bar stood. At the time, I wanted to live in “old Brooklyn,” a city that I’d constructed in my imagination naively based on television series like “The Cosby Show” and that looked very different form the one I landed in after abandoning the Florida suburbs. Somehow it didn’t matter then; I still optimistically clung to my ideals. And my soundtrack to that dying world that I was looking at through fresh eyes was an album thematically about growing up and that I listened to relentlessly, aptly called “Funeral.” I was the child that the Arcade Fire described in verse, holding my mistake up.
Nine years have passed — my first roommates have all escaped New York, the dive bar was demolished and I can no longer visualize what it once was that the Barclays Center arena replaced — but two things haven’t changed; I still call Prospect Heights home and I still tear up (with bittersweet longing for a lost time? With awe at how far I’ve come?) when I listen to Arcade Fire. I never thought that I would be beaming with joy while mouthing the lyrics to “Neighborhood #1″ — a song about the march of time — inside an arena I’d once opposed being built in my neighborhood, nor did I imagine myself among those filling the cold space between our energized bodies and the arena’s high ceiling with the wordless yet loaded chorus of “Wake Up.” I guess we all just have to adjust.
That's not a surprising phenomenon. But there may be other ways to refract Arcade Fire and Prospect Heights nostalgia.