The last time I witnessed New Year's Eve in New York was in 1992 in Times Square when I saw the most uneventful ball drop and everyone got excited about what I considered to be a rather banal event. The only thing I seemed to experience was pushing an shoving and the only pleasant experience I recall from that trip was picking up a limited edition Jimi Hendrix 'greatest hits' cd which I still listen to to this day. That, and seeing the Black Crowes 'Sometimes Salvation' film clip for the first time which really was something very different at the time.
Fast forward twenty years later and I am taking the train with a bunch of New Yorker friends on a train for Brooklyn to see Jay-Z and Coldplay at the Barclays Center. It is a state of the art facility which takes the whole experience of going to a concert to another level. Having also been to a corporate box in Australia, I can also tell you that being in one in the USA is a totally different experience. There is no nanny state here. You have full bottles of vodka and gin laid out, plenty of full strength beer, great food and you can do as you please. This is definitely an area which Australians could improve upon. We are so afraid of letting our citizens get drunk and disorderly that we take it too far in the opposite direction.
As for the concert? Whilst Coldplay performed an amazing set, I would have to say that it was Jay-Z everyone waited for with bated breath. As for how Jay-Z performed, that I would say was somewhat of a let down. Whilst he has the fashion down pat, the midnight blue Tom Ford dinner suit with black satin shawl lapel, the big black satin bow, the huge overcoat of patent leather and wool - the look of a man who has fused hip hop with black tie evening wear - unfortunately the rapping eventually blended into one long monotonous song to me. I do love Jay-Z and hip-hop, but as a former Dj and nightclub owner I will attest to the fact that it needs to be blended with other music for me. Too much of it and I just feel thuggish.
As a side note, and to pump myself up a little, as I left the concert that night I was standing outside the bathrooms waiting for my girlfriend in a Saxon bow tie with a red merino sweater, a Begg blood red cashmere scarf, a red pair of Holland And Sherry pants and an overcoat of black wool. A black man walked past me and said 'Man, you dressed better than Jay-Z!' . That was my start to 2013. Let's hope I can keep on that roll.