Want to go out after dark? Here are my top nightlife picks for this week:
Friday: The Fillmore (1000 NC Music Factory Blvd.) hosts the Dead Meat Tour with flagship artist and founder Steve Aoki and Datsik - one of Dim Mak Records' most popular DJs (he headlined the Fillmore's recent New Year's Eve party). Expect something more like a rock concert than a typical DJ set, with stage diving, crowd surfing, and flailing arms. Aoki's set will include tracks from his full-length debut album, "Wonderland" (which features guests like LMFAO, Rivers Cuomo and Kid Cudi). 9 p.m. $47. www.livenation.com.
Saturday: While other clubs and bars are turning up the romantic heat ahead of Valentine's Day, The Epicentre (210 E. Trade St.) is making nerd-dom cool with its Where's Waldo Bar Crawl. Dig out those red-and-white stripes, glasses, and bobble hats, as the uptown entertainment hub goes for the Guinness World Record for the most people dressed as Where's Waldo in one place (number to beat: 1,052). Make sure to read the costume guidelines - they're specific. 5 p.m.-2 a.m. $10 advance tickets, $15 at the door; admission gets you into all Epicentre venues. whereswaldobarcrawl.eventbrite.com.
Saturday: Big Mamma's House of Burlesque hosts the sixth annual Valentease at Visulite Theatre (1615 Elizabeth Ave.). The burlesque and variety show promises playful, tantalizing performances from Silver Kitsune, Pandora Fox, Strawberry Tallcake, Meredith Sparkles, Cherry Muffin, Robyn Banx, Sasha VonSchtupp, Hannibal, and Big Mamma herself. 8 p.m. $18. 704-358-9200; www.visulite.com.
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Saturday: If you like your holiday a little kinkier, check out Purgatory's Black Hearts Ball at Amos' Southend (1423 S. Tryon St.). The alternative party boasts a VIP fetish playground, dark fantasy-themed vendors, performance art, DJs spinning electronic dance music and bottled True Blood. $12-$15, or $25 for VIP tickets. singlecell.us.