Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Finally! A Big Hip-Hop Concert In Charlotte

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/18/2008 No comments
Lil Wayne is bringing his I Am Music Tour to Charlotte on January 2 at Time Warner Cable Arena. His opening acts include T-Pain, Keyshia Cole, Gym Class Heroes, and Keri Hilson. Tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. Click here for more info.

I've blogged before about the need for Charlotte to have big hip-hop concerts. Well, we're kicking off the New Year with a show that will feature the hottest rapper in the game (Lil Wayne), the artist who is on the radio more than anybody else (T-Pain), and a singer who is one of best voices of my generation (Keyshia Cole). Now, we need to make sure we support it.

Charlotte is notorious for not supporting hip-hop concerts. That's why we usually get one-act shows that play at smaller venues like Neighborhood Theatre or Amos' Southend. It's too much of a risk for promoters to put up high dollars to bring in several big-name artists to the city's largest venue. People have complained about the lack of hip-hop concerts at Time Warner Cable Arena (formerly Charlotte Bobcats Arena), but I can assure you it's not because the arena wants to keep hip-hop out. While the arena does decide who they let in, it's the individual promoters who book most of the shows. And too many promoters have been burned by poor turnout in Charlotte.

Earlier this year I went to see my favorite rapper, Jay-Z, in Greensboro. If big-name hip-hop concerts come to this state, they usually go there. Greensboro turns out--the Jay-Z/Mary J. Blige concert sold out.

I moved to Charlotte a couple of months before the uptown arena opened in 2005 and the only big hip-hop concert I can think of that's come there is Kanye West's Glow in the Dark Tour in May. And even that was far from a sellout ("We're Building It, So They Should Come"). Hopefully we'll get 2009 off to a good start with a sellout at Lil Wayne's show (if you want to make promoters happy, buy tickets in advance and not the day of) and that will lead to a great year of concerts in Charlotte.


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