At home on Dean Street around 11 on Monday night, Alison Hildebrand noticed the ornaments on her Christmas tree had started to swing. The building started to rumble; her dog started to bark. From her apartment more than 30 floors up, it felt like an earthquake. Except oddly rhythmic. The seismic event turned out to be Travis Scott. Living behind the Barclays Center comes with certain domestic hazards — “There are concerts, games, events almost nightly,” Hildebrand says — but her building had never really quaked before. “Drake and Lil Uzi Vert had some noise and shaking,” she said, “but not like Travis Scott.”
Across the street at 212 South Oxford, Sanjit De Silva was watching Monday Night Football on the ninth floor when the couch underneath him began to move. It felt like the windows might crack from the vibration. “I was like, Oh my God, what the hell is happening?” De Silva says, as he too watched his Christmas tree sway. De Silva’s 16-year-old son knew what it was right away: “He said, ‘It’s probably the Travis Scott show,’ and I said, “No, absolutely not.’ De Silva called his super, who reported that the penthouse residents upstairs were also feeling the building move, and then he called 311, which sent the Fire Department. The NYFD actually came and checked out the roof, thinking it might be an electrical issue. (Father and son Googled “Travis Scott earthquake” to resolve the dispute. His 16-year-old was, of course, correct.)
The tectonic activity at Scott’s shows is apparently an international issue: At a concert in Rome in August, held at an ancient historical site, attendees jumped so vigorously that an Italian seismologist recorded the amount of shaking was equal to a 1.3 magnitude quake. (That followed the crowd crush at his 2021 Astroworld Festival in Houston, where ten people were killed.) Videos from Barclays show a massive teenage crowd jumping to the bone-shuddering bass as Scott performed. (Reportedly, this included a quadruple encore of “Fiend.”)
The building on South Oxford’s management addressed the issue the next day in an email with the subject line “INCIDENT REPORT”: “To address this matter promptly, we have arranged for both the building engineer and a secondary engineer to be dispatched to the building today,” the company wrote. “They will assess the situation and investigate the cause of the tremors.” Management is awaiting a formal report, but apparently the engineers recommended the building undergo a structural-engineering assessment too.
“It was really frightening,” de Silva says now from his no-longer quaking apartment. “If a concert can cause that tremor in a building, what happens if we actually have an earthquake?” At least on the second night of Scott’s Brooklyn tour, residents knew they were not experiencing a natural disaster. De Silva’s son is still riding the high of vindication. “Told you so,” he said.