CHARLOTTE, N.C. StartUp RockOn concert at Amos Southend
This invite-only concert featured a soggy red carpet following another late afternoon thunderstorm Monday. (And proved that you have to have infinite patience to be part of the paparazzi.) Around 8 p.m. DJs started with the usual dance anthems while guests enjoyed the open bars and if you had a VIP pass for upstairs, hors doeuvres.
Allen Stone and his band who event workers said have been touring with Dave Matthews Band this summer turned up in good spirits and mugged for red carpet photos. Allen was a sport and giving sound bites, which were lost under the blaring rendition of Carly Rae Jepsens Call Me Maybe coming from inside.
While Allen Stone got the show started, Hill Harper of CSI:NY, Melissa Fitzgerald of Chasing the Hill (formerly on West Wing) and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl also walked the carpet.
The party was a nod to Americas start-up culture, and higher-ups from Tumblr and Facebook fit that bill.
Other notables: members of the band Common, former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (who apparently went into the party via the general admission entrance) and ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who opted not to walk the carpet.
Event headliners The Roots were due to arrive around 10 p.m. but it was closer to 10:45 p.m. when they tumbled out of their SUV and onto the carpet. They allowed the media a few photos before their handler began herding them inside, saying there was no time to talk. Event organizers had slated Will.i.am as a special event guest, but alas, there was no trace of him.
Charlotte2012 party at the North Lounge of Bank of America Stadium
This event was definitely luxe and definitely closed to the press, we were politely (and firmly) told.
But one way or another we ended up upstairs where the theme was Charlotte Aglow, said one event official. The party entrance was a black-lit tunnel with glowing arrows on the floor, which opened into two floors of diffused Carolina Panthers blue lighting and featured Branford Marsalis playing live.
Harold Ford Jr. and Hill Harper were spotted here as well, and there was a steady stream of well-dressed delegates and politicos, but no sign of Michael Jordan, who at one point was an interested co-sponsor of the event.
A quick turn around both levels of the party showed there was no shortage of crudites or cocktails, but there was a Tin Man-esque character, all in silver and on stilts.
Not wanting to linger where theres no invite, we didnt stay long.
StartUp RockOn VIP Late Night at Elder Gallery
Another private event, this was a continuation of what started at Amos.
The doors opened shortly after midnight and the gallery was lit with striking shades of neon pink, purple and green. Separate spaces within the gallery were set up with seating one with a Wii, another, the bar and a popular photo prop was the O DNC 2012 logo ice sculpture.
A brief burst of applause signaled members of The Roots had arrived but they were whisked up to the legitimate-VIP level so quickly it was hard to tell who showed up.
Former Americas Got Talent contestant and rock/jazz pianist Elew received enthusiastic whistles and cheers when he opened his performance in the middle of the main gallery floor with a rendition of The Killers Mr. Brightside.
K. Forrest Beanum, a senior VP of government relations for Coda, said they wanted to be a sponsor of the StartUp RockOn events because this is the future, he said, taking in the crowd at Elder Gallery. This is the future like electric vehicles are the future.
Trenda: 704-358-5089; Twitter: @htrenda
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