Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lady Cats Battle In Dance Team Bracket

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/31/2009 No comments
The Lady Cats are competing in NBA.com's Dance Team Bracket. They're currently in the third round and are taking on the New Jersey Nets Dancers. You can vote for this round beginning today at 2 p.m. In an NCAA Tournament-style bracket, that pits NBA dance teams from the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference, the Lady Cats have beat the Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons dancers in the first two rounds (click here for the full bracket). The Miami Heat Dancers have won this competition the last three years and if you've ever seen them then you understand why (one of them appeared in this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue).

Click here to vote on the match-up between the Lady Cats and Nets Dancers.

Dale Jr. Has Another New Product

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/31/2009 1 comment
I just saw this TV commercial for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s new motorcycle figurine collection. When it first came on, I thought actual motorcycles were being sold. But these models are about eight inches long. Dale Jr. continues to be the ultimate product endorser ("The Future of Dale Jr.'s Camaro?") and it seems like I'm seeing him in more commercials and advertisements than ever ("Dale Jr.'s Got Bank").



NASCAR is hurting from the economy, but Jr.'s not. Some of the other race car drivers, who win far more races than Jr., have to be ticked. I can't think of any other sport where the guy who makes the most money and receives the most endorsements isn't the best in his field. I'm not knocking Jr.--he always comes across as being very humble and I believe he's working hard on the track--but he isn't even a top-ten driver. He finished 12th in last season's Chase and he's currently 16th in the standings after six races this season.

But Dale Jr. will continue to be the most popular driver in NASCAR for several years to come. And now you fans can add another piece of memorabilia to your collection. Visit www.dalejrbike.com for more on the motorcycle figurines.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Events for the Week: March 30-April 5

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/30/2009 No comments
Your best weekly list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. This isn’t intended to be a complete list of what’s going on, but instead are the events GPT recommends. More events may be added throughout the week.

Tuesday, March 31

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Los Angeles Lakers
This will likely be the Bobcats’ seventh sellout of the season when Kobe and company come to town. The ‘Cats won the first match-up this season in L.A. and now their playoff hopes are on the line. 7 p.m. $10-$300. Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St. www.timewarnercablearena.com.

Tone-X and Friends (weekly event)
Come laugh at the jokes and skits by Power 98’s Tone-X, Chris “Funnyman” Robinson, and other comedians. Music by DJ Stacey Blackman. 8 p.m. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Skandalos, 5317 E. Independence Blvd. www.myspace.com/tonexandfriends.

Best Damn Spring Fest 2009
Come meet your favorite reality TV stars. Drink specials include $2 Miller Lite and $5 vodka energy drinks, plus everyone in the door before midnight gets a free tab. 9 p.m. Cost varies. Whisky River, 210 E. Trade St., inside the EpiCentre. www.whiskyrivercharlotte.com.

Wednesday, April 1

NABFEME Napkin Night: Women In Media
The Charlotte Network of the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music and Entertainment presents this networking event and panel discussion. Scheduled panelists for the event are Bea Thompson, V101.9 FM; Nsenga Burton, RushmoreDrive.com; Cheris Hodges, Creative Loafing; Tonya Jameson, The Charlotte Observer; and Stephanie Grant, ESPN Regional. Bridgette E. Wright, Charlotte Style Magazine’s publisher and editorial director, will serve as the evening’s moderator. 6-8 p.m. Free. RSVP to Felisha Fletcher at ffletcher@nabfemecharlotte.org. Mez, 210 E. Trade St., inside the EpiCentre. Mez will validate parking at EpiCentre’s garage.

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. Starts after work but runs past midnight. Music by select DJs. Sponsored by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. www.apostrophelounge.com.

Neo Soul Listening Party (weekly event)
This soulful evening is hosted by V101.9 personality Chirl Girl. Featuring live music by Kobi Keys and Company. 6-10 p.m. Free. Utopia Restaurant, 10210 Berkeley Place Dr. www.utopianc.com.

Thursday, April 2

Top Notch Thursdays (weekly event)
It’s billed as a party for “local celebrities, young professionals, ordinary people, and superstars.” Sounds like it’s for everyone. Plenty of drink specials. Hip-hop and R&B spun by DJ Elementz. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Free. Tilt, 127 W. Trade St. www.tiltcharlotte.com.

Friday, April 3

Ben Bernanke Speaks
The Federal Reserve Chairman will be the closing keynote speaker on this the second day of the two-day Credit Markets Symposium. Continental breakfast 7:30 a.m.; Bernanke speaks 12 p.m. Marriott City Center Hotel, 100 W. Trade St. www.richmondfed.org.

South End Gallery Crawl
Tour seven art galleries throughout historic South End during this monthly gallery crawl. Participating galleries are Charlotte Art League, Ciel Gallery, DoMa Gallery, Elder Art Gallery, Hidell Brooks Gallery, McColl Fine Art, and Siskate Gallery. 6-9 p.m. Free. Begin the crawl at Charlotte Art League, 1517 Camden Road. www.historicsouthend.com.

Free Fridays
The first Friday of the month means free admission at one of Charlotte’s swankiest lounges. Featuring DJ C-Rob playing the best in hip-hop, R&B, and reggae. On this night, the club often reaches capacity by 11:30 so get there early. 10 p.m. Free. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.kisscharlotte.com.

1st Fridays Charlotte
It’s touted as the number one urban event and after-party, and it draws a large crowd each month at a different venue. This month is at Charlotte’s newest nightclub. Presented by Dee Autry, Troy Veale, and Thomas Washington. Music by Power 98’s Danny Diaz. D├ęcor 1202, 1202 Charlottetowne Ave. 10 p.m. Cost varies; ladies free before 10:30. www.1stfridayscharlotte.com.

Saturday, April 4

Biz Markie’s Celebrity Birthday Bash
Your favorite old-school rapper slash DJ is back in town to party and has invited celebrity friends. 10 p.m. Cost varies; ladies free before 11 p.m. Stir, 3500 E. Independence Blvd. www.stirnc.com.

Platinum Saturdays
Party at one of Charlotte's hottest clubs, which is also "where the stars party." 10 p.m. Cost varies; members free until 11:30 p.m. (visit website for membership). Club 935, 935 S. Summit Ave. www.club935.com.

Sunday, April 5

SSSHH: Sensual Seduction Sundays at Happy Hour (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candlelight. Live performance by Lil G of R&B group Silk. Hosted by poet Bluz. After-party and dancing follows. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. $10. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mike Epps: Coming Back Friday After Next?

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/29/2009 1 comment
I just talked to a friend of mine who went to the Mike Epps and Friends show last night at Ovens Auditorium and she says all hell almost broke loose when it was announced that Epps wouldn't be performing at the eight o'clock show. Apparently it had been around 10 p.m. when it was announced that Epps, who is the reason the show was sold out, wouldn't be taking the stage. Folks started booing and someone threw a beer on the stage. Then when people began filing out, Epps came on stage and apologized--in his own funny way--and told the crowd to hang with him later at Club 935. All of this was bizarre since there was still an 11 p.m. show with Epps scheduled. In fact, that second show was added a week earlier because of the sellout of the 8 p.m. show.

My thinking is that the 8 p.m. show was running so far behind schedule after the opening acts performed that it would have cut into the time for people who were arriving for the 11 p.m. show, which would have made things even more chaotic. You gotta blame the promoters for this one. I was curious as to how they would squeeze in an 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. show and how they would get the audience cleared out of the first show in time for the second. I don't know what happened with the 11 p.m. show, but I'm guessing Epps did his stand-up. I wonder what time he made it to Club 935 to host the after-party I heard advertised on the radio Saturday--2 a.m.?

Word on the street is that Epps will be coming back to Charlotte on April 10 to make up that 8 p.m. show and people's tickets will be honored. In case you're wondering, April 10 is "Friday After Next."

30 Days of Service for Volunteer Month

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/29/2009 No comments
In recognition of National Volunteer Month, Leadership Charlotte is coordinating "30 Days of Service" with volunteer projects each day between April 1-30 around Charlotte. The projects range from working in Crisis Assistance Ministry's Free Store to delivering meals for Friendship Trays to helping out Teen Court with the Assistance League of Charlotte. This is a great opportunity for you to get involved in the community and you have more than 30 projects to choose from. Most of them only require about four hours of your time so it's no reason you can't volunteer at least once, right? Plus, it's very easy to register for a project by visiting 30days.leadershipcharlotte.org.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Lot On Curry's Plate

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/28/2009 No comments
Davidson basketball star Stephen Curry appeared on ESPN's Pardon The Interruption yesterday, and even though the nation's top scorer isn't playing in the NCAA Tournament, where we'd all prefer to see him, there's no other college basketball player getting as much media attention right now. You can find stories about Curry in the sports section of just about every major newspaper this weekend and he's all over the 'net. The sports world is anxiously awaiting his decision as to whether he'll return for his senior season at Davidson or enter this year's NBA Draft.

After Davidson was eliminated from the NIT on Monday, Curry stated the next day that he's 50-50 on his decision to return to college and that he would talk to his parents this weekend to evaluate his options. Yesterday on PTI, he joked that he's now 53-47. I would imagine some interesting discussions are taking place this weekend between Stephen, his father Dell, and mother Sonya.

If I had to place a bet, I would put my money on Curry coming back for his senior year. While I agree with most basketball analysts that he would likely be a lottery pick in this year's draft and that he doesn't have much to gain by staying another year at Davidson, I think he's going to defy expectations and decide to stay. The opinion that he doesn't have much to gain by staying in college--Davidson isn't likely to be a contender for the NCAA championship next year, which is why some players in his position opt to come back, and last year when he led them to the Elite Eight was probably their peak--isn't as much of a factor for Curry because I believe he truly loves the college game. And I know we love the attention he brings to college basketball in this area. If he leaves, there'll be no more reasons for Davidson's games to be televised nationally and no reason for them to play a couple of home games a year at Time Warner Cable Arena.

I'll reserve my opinion for now on how I think he'd do in the NBA, because I hope that reality is a year away.

See the video below of Curry's appearance on PTI, in which he talked about what will factor into his decision, whether he plans to consult BFF Lebron James, and what he knows about his brother Seth's plans to transfer to a larger school. And that's another reason for Stephen to stay. Since Seth has decided to leave Liberty and will likely transfer to a school in a major conference like the ACC, which means he'll have to sit out next season due to eligibility rules, if Stephen leaves we'll have to go a year without seeing a Curry shoot the lights out in college games.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gotta Love Leilani

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/26/2009 No comments

Leilani Munter appears on the cover of the April issue of Lake Norman Magazine and she's hotter than asphalt on a racetrack in August. The 33-year-old race car driver competes in the ARAC and Indy Lights series and lives in Cornelius. Yes, the Danica Patrick comparisons happen all the time. And don't forget about Ashley Force. There are only a handful of drivers in stock car racing and most of them are hot. Man Law?

Read more about Munter on ThatsRacin.com. And click here for the slideshow of photos from her magazine shoot (The Charlotte Observer owns both ThatsRacin and Lake Norman Magazine; photos by Richard Rudisill). Also, a bit of bad news fellas: she got married last week.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Events for the Week: March 23-29

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/25/2009 No comments
Your best weekly list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Wednesday, March 25

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. Starts after work but often runs past midnight. Music by select DJs. At tonight’s edition, Flawless Make Up will be offering beauty services. Sponsored by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. www.apostrophelounge.com.

Neo Soul Listening Party
This soulful evening is hosted by V101.9 personality Chirl Girl, featuring live jazz and drink specials. 6-10 p.m. Free. Utopia Restaurant, 10210 Berkeley Place Dr. www.utopianc.com.

Thursday, March 26

Skirt! After Work
Skirt! magazine presents this networking event. The ladies mag will be raffling off a tote bag filled with goodies to raise money for Planned Parenthood Health Systems. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. www.apostrophelounge.com.

Center City Vision Awards
This annual awards event honors and recognizes the contributions of individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made the Center City more vibrant. Among those being honored will be Hugh McColl. Presented by Charlotte Center City Partners. 5:45-6:45 cocktail hour; 7-8:30 p.m. program. Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St. www.charlottecentercity.org.

Cufflinks and Cocktails (monthly event)
Presented by Charlotte’s Kappas, this event is held at a different bar each month. Come mingle with a group of well-dressed professionals, from 20- to 40-somethings. Drink and appetizer specials will be served. 6-10 p.m. Free. Andrew Blair's, 1600 Montford Dr. www.cufflinksandcocktails.com.

Whitney M. Young Jr. Awards Celebration
The Urban League of Central Carolinas will present the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to Kevin A. Henry, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Coca Cola Bottling Consolidated. The highlight of the night will be a performance by Raphael Saadiq. 7-11 p.m. $90. (Concert only: $35 in advance, $45 at the door. 9:15 p.m.) Wachovia Atrium, 301 S. Tryon St. www.urbanleaguecc.org/wmy.

Friday, March 27

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking event, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy drink and appetizer specials. Presented by Talk of the Town. 6-10 p.m. Free. Zen Asian Fusion, 1716 Kenilworth Ave. www.zenasianfusion.com.

Whitney M. Young Jr. Celebration of Friends
The Urban League of Central Carolinas continues the celebration with this evening that promises to “engage, entertain, and elevate.” Live music by Fifth & York Band (9:30 p.m.) followed by DJ Crush spinning into late-night. 8:30 p.m. $10 minimum donation. Utopia Restaurant, 10210 Berkeley Place Dr. www.utopianc.com.

Christian Audigier Fashion Show
Fashion Friday presents this fashion show with host Brittney Cason and live band Slow Dose. Special giveaways and drink specials all night. 9 p.m. $10 before 11 p.m. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.fashion-friday.com.

Hom Grand Reopening
Two months after shutting its doors, the once-popular three-level nightclub is reopening as an upscale hip-hop and R&B club. Music by DJ Cut Creator. 9 p.m. Cost varies. Club Hom, 116 W. Fifth St. www.clubhom.com.

Spring Fever
Digital Divas is hosting a party at their favorite spot and the party is sure to be live from the bar to the patio. Look for many of Charlotte’s young movers and shakers. Music by DJ Stacey Blackman. 10 p.m. $10 in advance, more at the door. Sunset Club, 1820 South Blvd. www.digitaldivasevents.com.

Saturday, March 28

Carowinds Opens for 2009 Season
The Carolinas’ popular theme park opens for the season with a new ride, Carolina Cobra, and plenty of ticket specials. 14523 Carowinds Blvd. www.carowinds.com.

Mike Epps and Friends
See the funny actor/comedian live. With opening acts Domonique and Kenny Howell. Two shows: 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. $38-$44. Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd., www.ovensauditorium.com.

Soul Bowl Lounge
The popular bowling and social networking event is held in a dozen cities nationwide including Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York. In addition to knocking down pins, enjoy great music, billiards, and card games. Live music by Jus Once Band & Show and on the turntables will be Danja Mowf. 10 p.m. $25. AMF Carolina Lanes, 11210 Brigman Rd., Matthews. www.soulbowllounge.com.

Sunday, March 29

The Lotus Look of Spring
Lotus presents this fashion show which serves as a fundraiser for the Assistance League of Charlotte. Featuring live music and drink specials. 7:30 p.m., show begins at 9. $10. Blue Restaurant and Bar, 214 N. Tryon St. (corner of Fifth and College streets). www.bluecharlotte.com, www.ladyinlotus.com.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Watch 'Oprah' Today and Tomorrow

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/23/2009 No comments
Today's episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show features comedian and radio personality Steve Harvey discussing his new book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. This episode was taped nearly a month ago and was the reason Harvey skipped on coming to Charlotte during CIAA Week. When his radio show broadcast live from the convention center, Bill Bellamy filled in for him (and was just as funny).

Tomorrow's episode of the big O is about "extreme life extension" and features techniques and treatments that some believe will allow them to live to be 100 years old. The show came to the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis to interview a few doctors and will spotlight some of the innovative work going on at David Murdock's $1.5 billion biotech hub.

RushmoreDrive Adds 'Vibe'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/23/2009 2 comments

RushmoreDrive.com announced today that it has reached an agreement to deliver site and Web search results for Vibe.com, the website for Vibe magazine. RushmoreDrive, a Charlotte-based company that launched a year ago, replaces Google as Vibe's search engine.

RushmoreDrive is billed as the first-of-its-kind search engine for the black community, and it was launched essentially to take a chunk out of Google's dominance over Internet search engines. According to RushmoreDrive, which is a subsidiary of InterActiveCorp (IAC owns dozens of brands including Ask.com, Match.com, Citysearch.com, and Evite.com), it will make available its proprietary identity search platform to Vibe.com. Vibe's new results will include text-based results as well as images, videos, and other custom results tailored to the Vibe audience.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Charlotte Rapper to Appear On '106 & Park'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/20/2009 No comments
Cutty Boi, an up-and-coming rapper from Charlotte, is scheduled to appear on BET's 106 & Park on April 1. He'll be performing during the show's "Wild Out Wednesdays" competition and his record label says he'll perform his song "Carolina Swag." Click here for more on the artist and to hear his music.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

You Can Still Have Packer Guide You

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/19/2009 No comments
March Madness officially kicks off today with the start of the NCAA basketball tournament. It's the greatest event (or series of events) in all of sports. From the first tip-off to when "One Shining Moment" will play three weeks from now--I love it! The first of today's 16 first-round games tips off at 12:20 p.m. on CBS. Employers please take note: You're not going to get much productivity out of your male (and some female) employees today and tomorrow. I remember in 2003, at my first job after college, bringing a portable TV to work and putting it in the conference room so I could check on the games throughout the day. Now, just a few years later, we can watch every game live online. My, how things have changed.

Something else that's changed, but not in a good way, is that we won't be hearing Billy Packer giving his colorful commentary during broadcasts. CBS let him go last year. He'd covered every NCAA Men's Division I basketball championship, including the Final Four, since 1974. It's going to feel a little less familiar this year without Packer. But all's not lost.

Sixty-nine-year-old Packer, who lives here in Charlotte with his wife (and he's the father of WFNZ's Mark Packer a.k.a. The Packman), has a new weekly television show, Survive And Advance, that's running Sunday nights on Fox Sports Net (FSN) through April 5. It kicked off last Sunday with his co-star Bob Knight. You can also see the two college basketball legends share tournament insight on SurviveAndAdvance.net, along with special guests.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Coming Back: Hom

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/18/2009 No comments
According to a job posting yesterday on Craigslist for bartenders and servers, Hom nightclub is "reopening March 27 as an upscale urban R&B/hip-hop club." As you may recall, the once-popular, ultra-chic, three-level nightclub (Liv, Feast, Play) shut its doors at the end of January ("No Place for Hom"). It's no surprise to me that it would be reopening just two months later. There was just too much money invested in the place for it to sit. I'm trying to find out more details, such as what changes will be made, if there's new management, and whether the name will stay the same. The fact that it will be branded as a hip-hop club signifies many changes in itself. Stay tuned.

Fiddy Is Coming!

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/18/2009 No comments
A simple message on Fall Out Boy's website has answered the question from my previous blog post. 50 Cent will be among the acts performing when the band's tour comes to the Queen City. "Looks like the lucky folks in Charlotte, NC are in for a treat! Fiddy will be on the Believers Never Die Part Deux tour on April 24th," is the message just posted on FOB's official site, FriendsOrEnemies.com.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Will 50 Cent Come to Charlotte?

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/17/2009 1 comment
Fall Out Boy announced yesterday that 50 Cent will perform on select dates during the band's "Believers Never Die Part Deux" tour. The tour kicks off April 3, and Fiddy's first appearance will be April 17 in Grand Prairie, Texas. Additional cities where 50 Cent will be performing will be announced on Fall Out Boy's website in the coming days.

The tour comes to Bojangles' Coliseum on April 24. It would be great if 50 came here because, to my knowledge, he's never performed in Charlotte. He's also the only rapper on the bill--the other bands are Cobra Starship, Metro Station, All Time Low, and Hey Monday. Charlotte is one of only a handful of Southern stops on the 34-city tour.

Events for the Week: March 16-22

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/17/2009 No comments
Your best weekly list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Tuesday, March 17

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Paddy’s Day Specials at Blue
If you’re barhopping along College Street, stop in for some drink specials. $3 Guinness, $6 Luck of the Irishtini, $6 Irish coffee, as well as 2 for $10 appetizers (in the bar 5-7 p.m.) 5 p.m. Free. Blue Restaurant and Bar, 214 N. Tryon St. (corner of Fifth and College streets). www.bluecharlotte.com.

Tone-X and Friends (weekly event)
Come laugh at the jokes and skits by Power 98’s Tone-X, Chris “Funnyman” Robinson, and other comedians. Music by DJ Stacey Blackman. 8 p.m. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Skandalos, 5317 E. Independence Blvd. www.myspace.com/tonexandfriends.

Wednesday, March 18

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. Starts after work but often runs past midnight. Music by select DJs. This week features "The Elements of Style: Infusing Fashionable Chic into Your Pop Life" with Dem Fresh Katz. Sponsored by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.apostrophelounge.com.

Thursday, March 19

Third Thursdays: Live Jazz
Enjoy live jazz, light refreshments, and great art during special late hours at the museum. This month’s featured band is the Calvin Edwards Trio. Sponsored by V101.9 FM. Mint Museum of Craft + Design, 220 N. Tryon St. Free. 5-8 p.m. (music 6:30-7:30 p.m.) www.mintmuseum.org.

Friday, March 20

NoDa Gallery Crawl
Visit art galleries and shops, watch street performers, and duck in and out of bars for drinks and live music during the popular crawl in Charlotte’s art district. 6 p.m. Free. Hub of activity is corner of N. Davidson and E. 36th streets. www.noda.org.

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking event, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy drink and appetizer specials. Presented by Talk of the Town. 6-10 p.m. Free. Zink, 201 N. Tryon St. www.talkofthetownent.com.

Drinks @ Kiss
This monthly party is now held on the third Friday. Enjoy “crazy” drink specials while listening to hip-hop, R&B, and reggae. Presented by Mingleberry.com. 9:30 p.m. $10 and up. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.mingleberry.com/drinks.

Saturday, March 21

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Charlotte Goes Green Festival
Enjoy Irish music, Irish dancers, bagpipers, food, vendors, and plenty of beverages. More than 40,000 people attended the festivities last year. Parade begins 11 a.m. at Tryon and Ninth streets. Festival is 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. at S. Tryon between First and Third streets. www.charlottestpatsday.com.

Retrofest
It’s a 70s disco party that promises to be a blast into the past. Wear your favorite hip huggers, wigs, and tie-dyed T-shirts, listen to music by Foxxy Cleopatra and get your boogie on. Proceeds will benefit the eWomen Network Foundation and Girls on the Run. VIP at 6:30 p.m., general admission at 8 p.m. $40-$75. Grady Cole Center, 310 N. Kings Dr. www.businesssorority.com.

Sophisticated Saturdays (weekly event)
It’s a party for the mature and well-dressed. Q92.7 broadcasts live from 10 p.m.-midnight. Ages 25 and up. 9:30 p.m. $10 and up. Ladies free before 11. Tempo, 4809 Wilkinson Blvd. www.tempocharlotte.com.

Sunday, March 22

Special Blend @ PJ’s
Special Blend presents genres of artistry, music, visual, and humor in the spirit of good times and good people. Come experience it while relaxing in a trendy lounge. 6 p.m.-midnight. Free. PJ’s Coffee & Lounge, 210 E. Trade St. (inside the EpiCentre). www.pjscharlotte.com.

SSSHH: Sensual Seduction Sundays at Happy Hour (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candlelight. Hosted by poet Bluz. After-party and dancing follows. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. $10. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Curious Case of Ben Bernanke

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/15/2009 No comments
I'm a Sunday news show fanatic. There's not much I enjoy more on the Sabbath day than catching episodes of Meet the Press in the morning and 60 Minutes in the evening (I managed to squeeze in church today, too). And I just saw one of the best interviews ever on 60 Minutes--a profile of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that took up more than half of the hour-long show. Correspondent Scott Pelley and the CBS News team demonstrated journalism at its best. And as is pointed out, this was the first time the fed chairman had ever done a television interview.

Bernanke talked a lot about the state of the economy and what the Federal Reserve is doing to try to fix it. He also took us inside the massive and rarely seen headquarters in Washington, D.C. But what I found most interesting was part two of the segment (the part that aired after the commercial break) that chronicled Bernanke's upbringing. He grew up in Dillon, South Carolina, a small town with only about 6,000 people. He worked hard all of his life and was raised by a middle class family. During the segment he said, "I come from Main Street. That's my background. And I've never been on Wall Street. I care about Wall Street for one reason and one reason only--because what happens on Wall Street matters to Main Street."

It's comforting to know that Bernanke, who "aside from the president [is] the most powerful man working to save the economy," as Pelley said, grew up like most of us. I, especially, can relate to his small-town upbringing because I grew up in a small town in South Carolina as well. Although it's not mentioned in this interview, Bernanke has several ties to Charlotte, including that his brother is a lawyer here and a few years ago he was awarded the Citizen of the Carolinas Award by the Charlotte Chamber.

Below is video of part two of the 60 Minutes segment in which you get to learn about who Bernanke is. There's also an interesting and ironic moment when his childhood home is shown. His family sold the house years ago and the last owner let it go into foreclosure.



Click here to see all of the 60 Minutes coverage, including a behind-the-scenes look into the Federal Reserve Bank.

Friday, March 13, 2009

See the Speed at Home

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/13/2009 No comments
You probably didn't know Charlotte had a professional indoor football team. Well, the Carolina Speed play their home opener tomorrow night against the Columbus Lions, and they're coming off a season-opening win last Saturday against the defending champion Florence Phantoms. The Speed are in their third season as part of the American Indoor Football Association (AIFA), but this is their first season playing in Charlotte after the new owner moved the team here from Concord.

Tomorrow night is the first of seven home games at Bojangles' Coliseum (formerly Cricket Arena). All home games start at 7 p.m. You can also meet the players and coaches along with the Velocity Girls (the Speed's cheerleaders) tonight during a special event at the Double Door at Lake Norman. Click here for more details on this event and the Speed's season.

One 'Richgirl' Is From Gastonia

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/13/2009 No comments
I attended the Teen Summit last evening, a forum for local tweens and teens put on a few times a year by Girl Talk Foundation, Inc. The nonprofit organization is led by Power 98's Janine Davis and they provide programs and outreach to young girls to help build self-esteem and educate them on how to deal with the challenges they face during this very influential time in their lives. The Teen Summit is open to both boys and girls and this edition attracted about 300 of them for a two-hour session at the Albemarle Road Recreation Center.

It was a great event and I commend Davis and her team for the excellent work they do. This is, however, Grown People Talking, so I don't talk much about teens. But the Teen Summit had something we grown people could appreciate. Even though the adults were ushered into a separate room (called CMS Parent University) so the teens could feel comfortable talking without being concerned with their parents' reactions, I managed to duck in for something worth a grown man seeing.

Up-and-coming R&B group Richgirl made an appearance, performed a couple of songs, and hung around until the end to sign autographs. I'd heard of this group and their first single "24". They were signed to a record deal and are produced by Rich Harrison, the popular songwriter who has written songs for Amerie (most of her first album and the hit "One Thing" from her second) and Beyonce ("Crazy In Love" and Destiny's Child's "Soldier"). With a talented producer behind them and the looks of supermodels, these girls are destined for stardom.

I now have a favorite girl group: Richgirl.

I was standing in the lobby talking on the phone when they walked in and I was rendered speechless. I wasn't sure who they were at the time but I knew I had to stick around. After seeing them perform, I was even more impress. They have great voices. One of them actually sounds a lot like Beyonce, largely because they sing those fast-paced R&B songs Beyonce has become known for. The four-member group consists of Audra from San Diego, Brave from Baltimore, Seven from Haines City, Florida, and Lyndriette, from Gastonia. That's right, nearby, tiny Gastonia.

You can learn more about Richgirl by visiting their Myspace page and by reading this recent Billboard article.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Because of the wet and chilly forecast for this weekend, the annual Charlotte St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Charlotte Goes Green Festival have been rescheduled from this Saturday and will be held on Saturday, March 21. We've gone from a sunny high of 83 degrees yesterday to a rainy high of 41 forecast for Saturday--ridiculous this weather of ours.

Event organizers promise all of the same bells and whistles for the festival and parade, which drew more than 40,000 people last year. Click here for details.

BofA Is Officially Number One

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/12/2009 No comments
According to a new study by SNL Financial, Bank of America is now the largest U.S. bank, ranked by assets. The Charlotte-based bank has total assets of almost $2.5 trillion. Before the recent acquisition of Merrill Lynch, BofA would have been ranked third. Even though the Merrill Lynch deal has proved to be an ongoing headache as New York's attorney general has led an investigation into the massive executive bonuses ML dished out, at least we can take pleasure in knowing we're number one. Take that New York! And Ken Lewis has won...for now.

BofA knocked off former number one JPMorgan Chase (New York), which is now second on the list with $2.17 trillion in assets. Citigroup (New York) is third with $1.9 trillion; Wells Fargo (San Francisco), which acquired Wachovia at the end of the year, is fourth with $1.3 trillion; and HSBC (Mettawa, Ill.) rounds out the top five with $467 billion.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

YouTube's Next Dancing Star?

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/10/2009 No comments
If you have a talent, there's perhaps no better place these days to display it than on YouTube. Former Lady Cats (Charlotte Bobcats) dancer Ana Ogbueze has taken her moves to the tube. She's recently posted a series of videos of her performing original choreography, such as this video below of her dancing to Lady Gaga's "Starstruck." GPT approves. I think what Ogbueze should do next is put together a group of dancers and audition for America's Best Dance Crew.



Click here to see more of her videos.

Events for the Week: March 9-15

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/10/2009 No comments
Your best weekly list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Tuesday, March 10

Tone-X and Friends
Come laugh at the jokes and skits by Power 98’s Tone-X, Chris “Funnyman” Robinson, and other comedians. Music by DJ Stacey Blackman. 8 p.m. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Skandalos, 5317 E. Independence Blvd. www.myspace.com/tonexandfriends.

Wednesday, March 11

Pink Slip Networking Party 2
Charlotte Center City Partners is coordinating its second networking party for job seekers (the pink slipped). Event will feature direct-hire companies and recruiting firms in finance, accounting, IT, project management, and more. Enjoy drink and appetizer specials and door prizes. Due to the overwhelming turnout at last month’s event, capacity is limited at 200 and you must RSVP to attend: rsvp@charlottecentercity.org. 4-7 p.m. Free. Blue Restaurant and Bar, 214 N. Tryon St. (corner of Fifth and College streets). www.charlottecentercity.org.

Second Annual Elevate Lifestyle Awards
Elevate Magazine honors its award winners, as voted on by readers, in dining, entertainment, fashion, nightlife, and more. Featuring complimentary appetizers, drink specials, and a silent auction. 6-9 p.m. Free. Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, 139 S. Tryon St. www.elevatelifestyle.com.

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. Starts after work but often runs past midnight. Music by select DJs. Sponsored by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.apostrophelounge.com.

Thursday, March 12

Top Notch Thursdays (weekly event)
It’s billed as a party for “local celebrities, young professionals, ordinary people, and superstars.” Sounds like it’s for everyone. Hip-hop, R&B, and reggae spun by DJ D-Rock. 8 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Free. Tilt, 127 W. Trade St. www.tiltcharlotte.com.

Touch One Thursdays (weekly event)
Enjoy live music by local artists and spoken word by Charlotte’s slam poets. Hosted by JC the Poet. An after-party follows with DJ Flemingo. Presented by Touch One Productions. 9 p.m. $10. Wine Up, 3306 N. Davidson St. www.wine-up.com.

Friday, March 13

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking event, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy live music and drink and appetizer specials. Presented by Talk of the Town. 6-10 p.m. Free. Rooster’s Wood Fire Restaurant, 6601 Morrison Blvd. (SouthPark). www.talkofthetownent.com.

Flirtatious Fridays by CharlotteVibe.com
To celebrate the website's success, everyone will be admitted free and free drinks and movie passes will be given away. To get on the guest list, text TEMPO to 95495. 9:30 p.m. Free with text. Tempo, 4809 Wilkinson Blvd. www.tempocharlotte.com.

Saturday, March 14

Green Party
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a few days early by rocking out with renowned Irish rock band Black 47. Entertainment will also include a variety of Irish acts such as dancers from the Walsh Kelly School of Irish Dance, Ceol na Gael, and a 15-piece Irish pipe band. Drink and appetizer specials will be served. 4 p.m. (Black 47 headlines at 7 p.m.) Free. Pavilion at EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St. www.pavilionatepicentre.com.

Sophisticated Saturdays (weekly event)
It’s a party for the mature and well-dressed. Q92.7 broadcasts live from 10 p.m.-midnight. Ages 25 and up. 9:30 p.m. $10 and up. Ladies free before 11. Tempo, 4809 Wilkinson Blvd. www.tempocharlotte.com.

Platinum Saturdays: NFL Pro Bowl Celebration
Party with NFLers Chris Hope, Johnathan Joseph, Ko Simpson, and Fred Bennett, while Pleasure P performs live. 10 p.m. Cost varies; members free until 11:30 p.m. (visit website for membership). Club 935, 935 S. Summit Ave. www.club935.com.

Sunday, March 15

Special Blend @ PJ’s
Special Blend presents genres of artistry, music, visual, and humor in the spirit of good times and good people. Come experience it while relaxing in a trendy lounge. 6 p.m.-midnight. Free. PJ’s Coffee & Lounge, 210 E. Trade St. (inside the EpiCentre). www.pjscharlotte.com.

SSSHH: Sensual Seduction Sundays at Happy Hour (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candlelight. Hosted by poet Bluz. After-party and dancing follows. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. $10. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Charlotte Mans Up

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/09/2009 No comments
Sperling's BestPlaces, the popular city data analyzing firm, has released its list of "America's Manliest Cities," with Charlotte ranking second.

The 50 largest metropolitan areas had their manliness determined by such criteria as the number of major league sports teams, popularity of tools and hardware, frequency of monster truck rallies, how many American-made cars were driven in the city, the number of sports bars and barbecue restaurants, and level of salty snacks consumption (snack food company Mars Inc. commissioned the study). Nashville ranked first on the list "because of its concentration of NASCAR enthusiasts and barbecue restaurants and its popularity for hunting and fishing." The same could be said for Charlotte regarding the first two factors.

New York ranked dead last at 50th and Los Angeles only fared one better at 49th. Cities lost points in the study for having an abundance of home furnishing stores, high minivan sales, and subscription rates to beauty magazines. Man Law.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tweeting for a Job?

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/05/2009 No comments
You may now be able to put your addiction to Twitter to work for you--literally. A Charlotte-based company recently launched TweetMyJobs.com, hoping to capitalize on the growing popularity of Twitter and people's increasing needs to find work. It's a free service and fairly easy process: you sign into your Twitter account (or sign up if you don't have one), subscribe to TweetMyJobs job channel by the city and job type you want to follow, and you'll begin receiving job notifications on your cell phone. Employers can post jobs to TweetMyJobs.com as well.

I haven't taken the dive into the Twitter world just yet, and I don't see myself doing it anytime soon. I'm just now getting acclimated to Facebook. But tweeting for a job, especially in this recession, is as good a reason to join as any. Good luck in your job search--in 140 characters or less.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

As you'll notice in my Events for the Week, J. Holiday will be at Pop Life tonight at Apostrophe Lounge. The news has been buzzing through email and Facebook all day about the free event. But I just wanted to clear up any potential confusion. At Pop Life tonight will be J. Holiday the singer. I'm J. Holliday the blogger. He spells Holiday with one "L"; I spell Holliday with two L's (because the Ladies Love cool J). And J. Holliday (Jarvis Holliday) is my real name. His real name is Nahum Grymes.

You, too, could be J. Holiday.

Even though I go to Pop Life somewhat regularly, ladies: I hate to disappoint you but I will not be there tonight. You'll just have to make do with the guy who sings "Bed".

(I'm only poking fun, by the way. I think the guy is talented and is representing our name well.)

Opportunity to Go to Grad School for Free

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/04/2009 1 comment
Wake Forest University is offering fellowships in its Master of Art in Management program, providing a full scholarship and stipend to promote diversity. Here's a description of the fellowship:

The Master of Art in Management program is designed specifically for liberal arts majors only. The MA degree program is a 10 month intense study of the basic functional areas of business. After graduation and working for approximately two years, all MA graduates are eligible to apply to Wake Forest as part of the MA/MBA joint degree program and get the MBA in one year. The new dean, Steve Reinemund, has created a new scholarship for diverse students pursuing the MA degree called the Corporate Fellowship. The Corporate Fellowship provides full tuition and a $21,000 stipend to cover living expenses.

This sounds like a great opportunity, but an insider at the school says, "response to the program has been dismal." So if you or someone you know might be interested, act quickly.

For more details, contact Debra Jessup at 336-399-5403, debra.jessup@mba.wfu.edu, or visit www.mba.wfu.edu.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Events for the Week: March 2-8

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/03/2009 1 comment
Your best weekly list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Wednesday, March 4

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. Starts after work but often runs past midnight. This edition will be a listening party for R&B singer J. Holiday, who will be stopping by. Sponsored by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.apostrophelounge.com.

Afterwork Showcase (weekly event)
Enjoy neo soul jazz; R&B, and poetry, with music by DJ Stacey Blackman and a live performance by Malakia Janelle. Drink specials include $7 martinis. Presented by Preston Kelly. 6 p.m. Free. Rustic Martini, 616 N. Tryon St. www.rusticmartini.net.

Thursday, March 5

Dress in the Queen City
This charity fashion show will showcase top bridal fashions from Hayden Olivia boutique and feature the famous Vivienne Westwood gown worn by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. Proceeds will benefit Dress for Success Charlotte. 7-10 p.m. $30-$40. Suite, 210 E. Trade St. (inside the EpiCentre). www.haydenolivia.com.

Touch One Thursdays (weekly event)
Enjoy live music by The Hot Damn Band featuring Shableek and spoken word by Charlotte’s slam poets. Hosted by JC the Poet. An after-party follows with DJ Flemingo. Presented by Touch One Productions. 9 p.m. $10. Wine Up, 3306 N. Davidson St. www.wine-up.com.

Friday, March 6

South End Gallery Crawl
Tour seven art galleries throughout historic South End during this monthly gallery crawl. Participating galleries are Charlotte Art League, Ciel Gallery, DoMa Gallery, Elder Art Gallery, Hidell Brooks Gallery, McColl Fine Art, and Siskate Gallery. Presented by The Silos at South End. 6-9 p.m. Free. Begin the crawl at Charlotte Art League, 1517 Camden Road. www.historicsouthend.com.

Before It Hits Home
This award-winning play shows sides of homosexuality not often discussed in the black community. Playing two days only. 7 p.m. $12. Afro-American Cultural Center, 401 N. Myers St. www.aacc-charlotte.org.

Free Fridays
The first Friday of the month means free admission at one of Charlotte’s swankiest lounges. Featuring DJ C-Rob playing the best in hip-hop, R&B, and reggae. On this night, the club often reaches capacity by 11:30 so get there early. 10 p.m. Free. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.kisscharlotte.com.

First Fridays Charlotte
It’s touted as the number one urban event and after-party, and it draws a large crowd each month at a different venue. Presented by Dee Autry, Troy Veale, and Thomas Washington. Jillian’s, 200 E. Bland St. 10 p.m. Cost varies; ladies free before 11. www.1stfridayscharlotte.com.

Saturday, March 7

Before It Hits Home
This award-winning play shows sides of homosexuality not often discussed in the black community. Playing two days only. 7 p.m. $12. Afro-American Cultural Center, 401 N. Myers St. www.aacc-charlotte.org.

Elton John and Billy Joel: Face 2 Face Tour
It’s two music icons on one stage. 7:30 p.m. $53.50-$179. Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St. www.timewarnercablearena.com.

Sophisticated Saturdays
It’s a party for the mature and well-dressed. Q92.7 broadcasts live from 10 p.m.-midnight. Ages 25 and up. 9:30 p.m. $10 and up. Ladies free before 11. Tempo, 4809 Wilkinson Blvd. www.tempocharlotte.com.

Swag Like Me Saturdays
If you’re looking for an all-out hip-hop party, this is the place. Hosted by Power 98’s No Limit Larry and music by DJ Buttafingaz. 10 p.m. Everyone free until midnight. Club Ice (formerly Club Crush), 300 E. Stonewall St. www.clubicenc.com.

Sunday, March 8

Special Blend @ PJ’s
Special Blend presents genres of artistry, music, visual, and humor in the spirit of good times and good people. Come experience it while relaxing in a trendy lounge. 6 p.m.-midnight. Free. PJ’s Coffee & Lounge, 210 E. Trade St. (inside the EpiCentre). www.pjscharlotte.com.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Scenes From CIAA Week

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/02/2009 No comments
The CIAA basketball tournament has packed up and left Charlotte, leaving behind Johnson C. Smith University as winners of the men's and women's championships, and thousands of locals and visitors resting up from several days of partying. (I'm sure today's snow day was welcomed by many who got the day off from work.) I didn't manage to make it to any basketball games (shame on me), but below is a glimpse of what I experienced throughout the week.



You can see more photos on Charlotte magazine's Spotted site.
The Jonas Brothers were jet-setting across the country over the weekend, stopping in several cities for their "Theater Invasion Tour." The three brothers were promoting their new movie, Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience, and on Saturday the quick-stops tour brought them to the Regal Stonecrest theater where they surprised hundreds of screaming young fans. Charlotte isn't foreign to them because it's their father's hometown.

MTV was along for the ride. See video below.

Happy Snow Day!

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 3/02/2009 No comments
My backyard is a winter wonderland. Is this Charlotte or Minneapolis?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

If you're a fan of Southern hip-hop, then Bojangles' Coliseum (formerly Cricket Arena) is where you needed to be Thursday night. T.I. and Young Jeezy co-headlined a concert that also featured surprised sets by Pastor Troy and Young Buck. The only opening acts that were actually on the bill were the GS Boys (of "Stanky Legg" fame), Charlotte native Young S.Dub, and Columbia, SC rapper Lil Ru.

Here's a rundown of what I observed, along with a little video footage.

  • The concert started at 7:30, but it was evident that a lot of people don't care to see the opening acts because the coliseum was less than half full at this time. They missed out, though, because of the surprise guests.
  • Lil Ru got a good response from the crowd when he performed "Nasty Song." That song has been big in South Carolina since last summer and has recently begun getting played on Power 98 and other North Carolina radio stations.
  • Young S.Dub was the hometown act, but he didn't get as much enthusiasm from the crowd as he expected. He kept reminding us he's from Charlotte, but most people weren't familiar with his music, which makes it difficult to rock to. I saw him perform at Alive a couple of months ago and his set was better because he brought a live band. He didn't have that privilege on this night.
  • No Limit Larry was the emcee for the night, introducing the acts and keeping the crowd hyped during transitions. You could tell that No Limit lives and breathes this kind of Southern rap and it was like he'd drank three Red Bulls or something.
  • Pastor Troy came out as a surprise act and performed a few songs. Wearing long braids that some women would probably envy and his trademark wrestling belt on his shoulder, the Pastor was an obvious crowd favorite. After performing a couple of songs, including "Throw It Up," he went into "No Mo Play in G.A." The audience went crazy. He reminded us that the song is ten years old, which is hard to believe but I remember seeing him perform it during the summer of 1999 at a concert in Columbia.
  • The smell of weed was taking over.
  • Next up was Young Buck, which caught the crowd completely by surprise. The former G-Unit rapper has been very low key since his highly publicized (and embarrassing) feud with 50 Cent. He walked onto the stage and asked, "Do you miss me?" He performed "Get Buck" and "Shorty Wanna Ride" and also took time to explain that he's a real G, before launching into a nice freestyle. I'm pretty sure Pastor Troy and Young Buck graced us with their presence since they each were in town hosting parties around CIAA.
  • After Buck and his entourage of 20-plus left the stage, the GS Boys came on. I think most people feel the way I do in expecting that this group is destined to be a one-hit wonder, but I don't knock them. I'm not a fan of "Stanky Legg"--the dance or the song--but I'm not going to bash them or talk about how they're not "real" hip-hop. They had a short set that lasted only about 15 minutes, and they kept it entertaining.
  • Just about all of the fans have arrived by now and the coliseum is about 75 to 80 percent full. Shame on you, Charlotte. A concert with T.I. and Young Jeezy at a venue that holds 10,000 should've been a sellout. And you wonder why promoters don't bring more big-name hip-hop acts.
  • Young Jeezy came out to "Welcome Back" from his current album. He performed many of the hits from his three albums as well as his legendary mixtapes. He did one of my favorites, "Go Crazy," even though Jay-Z wasn't there to do his verse. He got the loudest cheers from the crowd when he performed "Put On," "Soul Survivor," and "My President."
  • Jeezy has the hits in his catalog to keep the crowd going, but his stage presence isn't very strong. Homeboy looks like he's been eating really good so I guess he can't run around like we'd want. All in all he had a good set though.
  • At about 10 p.m. it was time for the biggest star in the building to hit the stage. T.I. ran out to the intro from Paper Trail, with his nephew Kolby, who couldn't be more than three years old, in tow. He performed many of his older hits like "Rubberband Man," "Bring Em Out," and "24s." And he performed nearly every song off of Paper Trail, which is fitting since the album is full of hits and, in my opinion, is his best to date.
  • Before launching into most songs, T.I. would tell a quick story, like about his legal troubles (he said he'd gotten locked up in Mecklenburg County several years ago), or take shots at haters. He also addressed the tough time Rihanna is going through and asked the crowd to sing along to "Live Your Life." When he went into "Swing Ya Rag" I was surprised at how many people pulled rags out of their pockets, even though I'm sure they weren't Louis or Gucci. There wasn't a dull moment in his set. I think my favorite T.I. song is "What You Know," which he performed, and he closed out his set with "Whatever You Like."
  • I wish T.I. and Jeezy would've performed a couple of songs together, like "Bang" and "Top Back Remix." That would've taken the show to another level. Still, the concert ticket was money well spent even though, as Jeezy says, "it's a recession and everybody's broke."



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