Friday, May 9, 2008

We're Building It, So They Should Come

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/09/2008 No comments
Kanye West's Glow In the Dark Tour was in town last night. Were you there? I wasn't, only because I had a previously committed engagement, Charlotte magazine's BOB Awards, which was a great event at SouthPark Mall (pick up the May issue of the magazine if you haven't yet). My brother and a couple of my friends went to the concert, though. As should be expected with a bill that features Kanye, Lupe Fiasco, Rhianna, and N.E.R.D., I heard it was an awesome show. But I also heard that Time Warner Cable Arena was far from being sold out. What a shame.

Snippet of Kanye West performing during Glow In the Dark Tour in Charlotte.

Up until a few years ago, Charlotte didn't have as nice a venue to bring in such high-profile concerts. But we do now and we should act like it. This market, for some reason, does not support hip-hop concerts very well. But we'll often complain when big shows pass us by for Greensboro, N.C. or Greenville, S.C. In fact, last month I went to Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige's Heart of the City Tour in Greensboro. A concert like that should be in Charlotte—North Carolina's largest and most urban city. But you know what, Greensboro supports its hip-hop shows, and that's why promoters continue to bring them. Not only does its area residents buy tickets, but they do it early enough so the promoter doesn't have to panic during the days leading up to the show. I saw Nas in concert here last year at Neighborhood Theatre, which is a great venue for small, intimate shows. The place only seats 1,000 people and the day of the Nas show tickets were still for sale.

The Glow In the Dark Tour is the biggest hip-hop concert that's come to Charlotte in a long time. It'll be interesting to see what comes next. Don't get your hopes up too high, though.

So I couldn't make the concert, but I had the privilege of attending the official Glow In the Dark afterparty last night at HOM (pronounced Home). It was an invitation-only party (shout out to Arthur Smith of AGS Media for getting me on the list). The afterparty was sponsored by Absolut 100, which is also the sponsor of the tour. HOM was the perfect nightclub for this. It opened last fall, in the former Menage space, and it is by far the nicest and trendiest club in Charlotte, with three posh and very different levels. If you haven't been yet you should check it out. Each time I've gone to HOM has been for special events like this, so I can't tell you would it's like on an average night, but last night was great. The organizer of the event made sure a lot of ladies got in, and the Absolut 100 girls were very impressive. Plus, there was free Absolut until midnight and the Absolut 100 girls passed out complimentary pairs of the shutter shades Kanye has made famous. (I think they're cool, but where would I wear them?)

The free Kanye West shades Absolut 100 gave out in addition to the free booze.

HOM has been a great addition to Charlotte's nightlife scene, a scene that I've seen greatly improve during the nearly three years I've lived here. There's still a lot of room for improvement, however. But if we support these venues like we should, more will come.


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