Friday, April 30, 2010

N*E*R*D at Webster Hall

The main event last night was N*E*R*D.  The place was packed pretty much wall to wall.  They came out and stirred the crowd into a frenzy so quickly that from 8 bars into the first song on, it was all euphoria. 

The set list was just incredible.  Then again, when you're N*E*R*D, you have so much crazy material to choose from that it almost doesn't matter what you perform.  We heard a little something from each album, including the yet unreleased 'Nothing'.  The new album's release date was recently moved to July 6th. 

The energy in the building when these guys were performing was crazy!  If the crowd was called on to jump, they did.  So much so that it shook the entire building.  Literally.  I could feel the floor moving under my feet every time we came down.  At one point, a most pit broke out and people began crowd surfing.  People were entirely lost in the music.

Band front man Pharrell handled most of the load for the evening but band member Shay Haley performed along side him for most of the early songs.  The chemistry was beautiful to watch.  The way they moved and complimented each other on stage was poetic.  They were never just standing and staring at each other.  It was organized chaos and I loved every second of it.

N*E*R*D is definitely one of the best shows I've ever been to.  This was my first time catching them live even though I've been a fan since Kelis' Kaleidescope album.  Now I know to make it a priority to see them whenever they are in town.  Thanks for the memory, N*E*R*D!

Jay Electronica at Webster Hall

First and foremost, Jay gave a really energetic show.  He even brought out Just Blaze when he performed Exhibit A and Exhibit C.  I was all prepared to do this dope writeup about the difference between being for the people and of the people.  I was ready to truly believe in Jay Electronica as an artist and, more importantly, as a man.  That was until the night took a sudden and odd turn south.

So without going into detail about his set, which was awesome, I'll just tell you about the weird part that overshadowed everything that came prior from him.

Jay opened for N.E.R.D.  I'll get into their set in the post following this one.  When N.E.R.D. was nearing the end of their set, Jay was in the crowd walking around, posing for photos with fans, exchanging BBM contact info, etc.  As an added tidbit for you: this was all barefoot.  He gave his shoes away when he was performing.  He also gave away his jacket, watch, hoodie, bead necklace and bracelet and.....socks.

So as I was passing him, I gave him my business card and let him know that I'd be blogging about the night and thanked him for his effort.  He shakes my hand and then asks, "Can I have your hat?"  Wait.  What?  Did a celebrity just ask me for my hat?  Yes.  Uhhhh.....

I shrugged my shoulders and gave him the hat.  I figured since he'd given so much to the fans, I'd give something to him.  Hell, he asked me for it.  He took the hat, put it on and put on his best B-Boy stance for a picture.  That was just after he leaned over to me and said, "I'm going to keep this hat forever."  I'm never one to get starstruck, but I thought to myself, "Holy crap that's cool."  Jay disappeared into the crowd and I went back to enjoying the tail end of N.E.R.D.'s set.

After N.E.R.D.'s encore performances, I made my way outside.  My wife stopped to have a cigarette and we were smiling and beaming from the adrenaline still pumping through our blood.  As we're standing there, I see a group of about 5 people buzzing with excitement.  Before I could key in on what they were talking about, I did a double take.  One of the guys was holding my hat in his hands.


I quickly asked the guy, "Where'd you get that from?  Did you take it from Jay?"  He replies, "No, he threw it off the balcony and I caught it."


The gentleman gave me no hassle at all and gave me my hat back.  I put it back on my head and went on about my evening.

Now I'm deciding which category Jay Electronica best fits into.  Is it lying douche bag or drunk and high douche bag?  Hmmm....decisions decisions.

New Era Iron Man 2 Caps Launch Party

The flagship New York New Era store held a launch party for the new Iron Man 2 caps. The caps incorporate heroes Iron Man and War Machine. As the event was supported by Crunch and Red Bull, both companies provided freebies for attendees. Crunch gave free 5 day passes to their gyms and Red Bull gave free cans of sugar free and Cola Red Bull.

DJ Jonesy kept the music playing while customers clamored over the Iron Man 2 hats, played NBA Live in the rear of the store and browsed the general selection.

I grabbed the newly unveiled "secret" War Machine fitted cap for my son.  This hat is exclusive to this store and limited production.  It was not advertised with the other 5 caps and I was quite surprised to see it at the store.  It's a really clean design and the center of the hand glows in the dark.  Very nice touch.

After the sales of the new caps slowed, the store held a raffle for some promotional Iron Man 2 goods.  There were movie posters, a few copies of the AC/DC Iron Man 2 CD/DVD and one lucky customer one 2 free early screening passes for the film. 

It was very timely and organized event.  I was very happy to be there shooting and I love the items that I got for my son.  He scored a poster and CD/DVD combo plus a hat from Mom & Dad.  Lucky kid.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

21 Mercer - Mr. Cartoon x Nike x USA Soccer

It was on and crackin' at 21 Mercer again tonight.  The legendary graffiti/tattoo artist Mr. Cartoon was in town to promote the release of his new collaborative effort with Nike sportswear.  Mr. Cartoon was commissioned by Nike to create a set of images and logos for USA soccer as they prepare for World Cup play in South Africa.

 Mr. Cartoon signs for a fan.

Dubbed the True Colors series, Nike sportswear also commissioned 5 other artists from Brazil, England, France, South Africa and the Netherlands.  Each artist brought his own flair to his home country's gear.  World Cup play kicks off in 43 days.

Mr. Cartoon put together this video with Nike talking about his work on the project, how it came about and his creative process.


The sports wear is available for purchase here.

As usual, it was a very nice time at the store.  I did my usual networking and shot the breeze with friends.  Fans of Mr. Cartoons work had the opportunity to customize t-shirts and the upcoming Nike Blazer x Mr. Cartoon release at the store.  Nike employees assisted customers on a special Nike iD site to create their very own products.  Those that customized t-shirts had their creations printed immediately in the store.

Here are a few pics from the event:

video via: