NEW YORK – Barbra Streisand was visiting the new Barclays Center and was happily singing to her Brooklyn roots. Thursday’s performance was at least three-hours and a signature move for returning to her hometown. The “Back to Brooklyn” tour will be coming up on Saturday.
Barbra is one of the music industry’s most successful performers — selling more than 140 million albums worldwide (71.5 million in the U.S. alone). The RIAA says that Streisand holds the sought-after record for the most top-ten albums by any female recording artist. She’s locked up a total of 31 top-ten albums since 1963. So obviously, coming home to Brooklyn is a pretty big deal.
Although Streisand is now 70 years old, that didn’t stop the 18,000+ crowd from showing up to see her in her flowing skirt and black blazer. She sang many of the classics, including “The Way We Were”, “Evergreen” and the very popular “People”. As she held the microphone with both hands to show that she still had the voice, the crowd went wild. At one point, she said “Hello Brooklyn,” and the crowd erupted.
To compliment the great vocal performance, Streisand told jokes and responded to the screams from the passionate audience. A video played on the big screen depicting people from Streisand’s neighborhood who discussed their experiences with the singer — pointing out her personality traits, talents, and even prominent body parts — particularly her nose.
She exclaimed, “I left Brooklyn to pursue my dreams and Brooklyn never quite left me.” The legend of a singer wowed the audience and often carried on conversations or poked jokes at fans. The people laughed and seemed to have an incredible time cheering her on.
The light show was fantastic, and the musical group played in a pit by the stage. As she strolled around the stage, the visuals of purple and blue lights adorned the stage and orchestra. Although Streisand is older now, she was performing both while sitting and standing, at times she would break to answer questions from fans who had submitted questions before the show. The audience was curious about her thoughts on lip syncing. She replied, “I’ve heard about that. I could never do it because I’m so bad at it.”. The crowded laughed and overall it was a great time.
It would seem that politics came into the picture a bit when she commented on “Big Bird” — referring to the Romney vs Obama battle.
Streisand was complimented by fellow trumpet player Chris Botti and her son Jason Gould. Jason at one point earned an ovation, with the crowd standing up on their feet. The ovation was greeted by Jason’s mother saying “Oh my God”.
Barbra referenced Donna Summer by performing a song they sang together called “No More Tears”. She also gave a tribute to composer Marvin Hamlisch — her late friend by singing, “The Way We Were”.
One of the best moments of the night was when she referenced another Brooklyn artist, Jay-Z. She changed some of the lyrics of her song “You’re the Top” by saying Jay-Z lyrics like “You’re an Brooklyn Net, on a private jet”, which made some of the younger crowd quite enthused.
Overall, Streisand overwhelmed the audience who seemed satisfied and yearning for more. The “Back to Brooklyn” tour continues… on November 9th Barbara Streisand will perform at the Hollywood Bowl.