Thursday, March 02, 2006

JCSU makes an entrance

JCSU's marching band sure knows how to make an entrance. They lined up in the lobby of the Charlotte Convention Center and then someone banged a drum. The band shouted J-C-S-U!

Everyone within hearing distance, gathered to watch -- the band go down the escalator.

The troupe lined up on the basketball court and their horns, drums and whistles filled the area. I felt bad for the Food Lion guest chef who was trying to make a chicken recipe because the band stole his shine. They did the theme song from the movie "Coming to America" and they performed "In Love With a Dancer."


Did you see JCSU perform? How did they do? What's the best band you've seen so far? Post your comments below and holla' at a sista if you see me in the streets.

Fantasia takes over Convention Center

One minute Fantasia's testifying about love, the next minute she's crunk like she's in the club. At the Convention Center, fans loved it all. They sang, danced and clapped along to the "American Idol" winner's half-hour set.

Fantasia loves the stage. Wearing knee-high black boots -- that prevented her from doing a split -- she strutted, stalked and stomped across the stage in that Holy Spirit way that makes her one of R&B's most dynamic performers.

Viticus Thomas, 25, stood in the back with the JCSU band shouting and singing along with her.

"She's so beautiful," he said. "It's about time we got some good talent that came out of the Carolinas."

Before Fantasia could get fully pumped, she beckoned fans inside the Charlotte Convention Center to move closer to the stage. She needed to feel their love and fans wanted to be closer to her too. During the show, she told all her crunk fans to move toward the stage, but security said no because it was too crowded.

"It's the CIAA," one woman yelled. "Do the d--- thing."

Fantasia sang "Free Yourself" and "It's All Good," off her debut album. She also did a jazzy version of "Killing Me Softly." My favorite was the rap tune at the end. She said it was a tribute to North Carolina. One of her singers rapped and Fantasia and another woman she called G. led the crowd in this body-jerk dance that was accompanied by a handclap. The rap was so-so, but the beat was something you'd expect from Missy Elliott, and teaming it with the dance made it even better.

Twilight Zone uptown

After all the hype about CIAA taking over Charlotte, the Forum's College night was the best party I went to on Wednesday. The dance floor was a mass of bodies, the bar area was full and girls danced on platforms. Bobcats Sean May stood against a wall soaking it all in. I even saw Tony da Tiger doing his usual breakdance thing. Although, it was a tad bit warm for that leather bomber he was rockin', but that's just Tony. The Pravda lounge was less chaotic. I ran into Forum
co-owner Gus Georgoulias and Morehead Street Tavern owner Alan Presley.

I started my night at the Omega party off Cedar Street in a place called Room With a View about 11 p.m. Apparently, I was too early because there were only a handful of people. They Omegas found a nice location and they'll be throwing parties there all week. The space has a wrap-around patio and glass windows instead of walls. You can see the Bank of America stadium and tower from the building. I'm sure more people will be throwing parties there.

Since the Omega party was just getting started, I stopped by Fire and Ice and met up with Mike Kitchen and Letha Taylor, who was hanging out with one of Steve Harvey's event coordinators. Poet Blue was there and J.C. and a few of the Dead Poets stopped in. Power 98 manager Terri Avery walked in a little later as well. Fire and Ice was like the launching place for everyone to disperse after a few cocktails and hugs.

After Fire and Ice, we rolled over to the Breakfast Club to catch Big Daddy Kane, and there was no one there. Me, promoter GiGi and club owner Jody Sullivan were surprised by the light crowd, and we wondered where are the CIAA fans. Kitch's theory is that early in the week, it's mostly CIAA alumni who hang out, but tonight the younger folks should be out. We'll see.

We finished about 3 a.m. at Athens, which had a handful of people and still the slowest service ever. Worse, the waitress said they probably will only have two waitresses working late nights this week. I hope she's wrong because they're going to be slammed. (Or maybe the folks at Athens are betting that the light crowds will continue.)

Were you out last night? What party did I miss? What's up for tonight? Post your replies below, and holla' at a sista if you see me in the streets.