Tuesday, June 30, 2009


In 2008, OUTTOWN was in its stride in regards to reporting the hot newz topics (hard newz and entertainment) of the week in the ST. Louis area with some peppering of newz happening in other areas in Missouri as well as in Illinois. We also were posting multiple posts per week (the record is seven in October 2007) and putting our comments on the newz to make it more opinionated newz. . We also got many of the city’s top freelance photographers to contribute photos of events that OUTTOWN were not able to attend. The following are some of the tidbitz that OUTTOWN reported on this time last year that was going on.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Hello OUTTOWNers! It is Wednesday Welcome to The Beginning of Year Four of OUTTOWN! Before we get into the newz we got a breaking newz story: BREAKING NEWZ: Congrats to Culinary student Christina Machamer (PICTURED)from Maplewood., Mo. She won top chef on Fox 2’s reality restaurant show “Hell’s Kitchen” Tuesday. She will become executive chef at Chef Gordon Ramsay’s new London West Hollywood restaurant which will open this summer !


Its back and forth on the Imbev buyout of Anheuser Busch. Last week, Imbev sued AB in federal court to try and dismantle the executive board so they can buy out AB. Well, AB countersued Imbev this week. The lawsuit, filed in St. Louis federal court, claims that InBev is deceiving Anheuser-Busch shareholders about the company's $46 billion takeover bid by concealing a number of facts. The suit says InBev doesn't have the solid financing to underwrite the deal, as the company claims, and that it has not disclosed that it operates a brewery in Cuba, which could complicate its efforts to operate in the United States. Anheuser-Busch claims that Belgian brewer InBev's unsolicited takeover bid isn't just bad for the bottom line, but is an "illegal scheme" that threatens to defraud Anheuser-Busch shareholders if a federal judge doesn't step in.

InBev took out a full-page ad in Tuesday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, saying the takeover would make for a stronger, more competitive global company. It says Budweiser would be expanded globally, and St. Louis would serve as North American headquarters. Anheuser-Busch questioned that promise in its lawsuit, saying InBev's presence in the U.S. could be prohibited by federal law because of the brewer's operations in Cuba.

In the meantime, the whole Inbev-AB bruhah hah can be read in this issue of Time Magazine that has Florida, Missouri native/humorist Mark Twain on the cover. But with all of this suing and hostility, one expert in all of it said it best, regardless if AB was St. Louis owned or if InBev owned it, folk will still be layed off of their jobs because of the economy and other plants laying off (Chrysler Plant in Fenton two weeks ago is one big example). St Louisans over the July 4/Cards-Cubs game weekend were asked by various media reporters on the possible hostile takeover, the majority said that they would boycott the AB products by not drinking (Yeah, ok) and what was next changing Busch Stadium to Inbev Stadium .

But our question is, has anyone forgot that the one sole exec board member who was 50 percent owner of Grupo Modelo, the Mexican based brewery, and quit the Board a few weeks back cuz he didn’t want conflict. Yet, AB wanted to buy the other 50 percent of Modelo to own that brewery and its operations just to curb Inbev’s interest in buying AB. Now what’s the difference between what AB is trying to do and what Inbev is trying to do as far as taking over another company? We just sayin.

Democratic Presidential nominee Sen.Barack Obama had to jet back to the STL Monday after his Midwest charter had a problem keeping the nose up on takeoff from Chicago. The plane, an MD-80 Midwest charter, had a problem keeping the nose at the necessary angle, as it left for Charlotte, N.C. An FAA spokeswoman, said the plane did not declare an emergency, but simply "requested a diversion for mechanical issues they called a flight control problem."On the ground, Obama read the paper in the front cabin, but ventured briefly to chat with the press at one point. "I just thought we'd spice things up a little bit today," Obama said, smiling and joking.The Illinois senator and a small entourage eventually left the plane to wait out the maintenance at a local hotel on Natural Bridge (DA HOOD YAWL); the North Carolina trip was postponed until a future date. But the campaign said he would deliver his speech on the nation's economic woes, intended for the Charlotte audience, to his traveling press corps here in the STL, a battleground state he hopes to win in the fall. He had two fundraisers in Atlanta scheduled for Monday evening. Upon takeoff from Chicago, passengers had felt the plane dip briefly, causing a stomach-rolling sensation like being on a roller coaster, but the unexpected movement didn't alarm the frequent fliers on board. To see his press conference on his economy plan go to

Meanwhile, Obama addressed over 30,000 folk from the African Methodist Episcopal Church Saturday during the church’s convention at America’s Center where he defended his religious identification telling the jovial crowd that they should have no doubt of his commitment to his Christian faith, his nation or his political principles. Obama said his faith would continue to influence his performance and his politics if he wins the White House, and he recounted the strong role that churches have played in tackling numerous issues — including slavery and women's rights — facing Americans since the colonies declared independence 232 years ago. Obama ignited repeated cheers and standing ovations as he reaffirmed his proposals to expand on faith-based government initiatives begun by President George W. Bush.

Conference organizers, meanwhile, said Saturday they had yet to hear from McCain, who also had been invited to address the gathering, which runs through this Thursday. Hmm, now they have to understand that McCain, who is a Senior Senator in Arizona, is the same man who voted HELL TO THE NAW to the Passing of Dr. King’s B-day becoming a National Holiday, so go figure. And speaking of The Cain, he will return to the St. Louis area on July 15 for a fundraiser and a separate public event. The fundraiser will be at Hunter Farms, the estate of Hunter Engineering executive Stephen Brauer and his wife, Kimmy Brauer, that has been a popular GOP fundraising locale for more than a decade. McCain also will hold a public event. As of this blogging, the particulars appeared to be still in the planning stage. McCain was last in the St. Louis area in March for an evening fundraiser in Frontenac, followed by an early morning speech/town hall the next day at Savvis Inc., an information technology company in West County.

The July 4 weekend was a fulfilled weekend for sure with Live Off the Levee, The AME Church Convention at America’s Center, Obama speaking to the AME’s and the Cards v Cubs series going on at Busch Stadium which the latter caused a bit of a strike beyond the dugout. Former Cardinal outfielder (ooops)....We mean Cubs outfielder Jim Edmonds spent his first few weeks as a Cub asking the media to stop referring to him as a former Cardinal, hoping Cubs fans would accept him for who he is, not for the rival player he was. But when Cards manager Tony La Russa shot back in an interview with the media, saying Cardinals fans should "honor his request [and] ignore the fact that he was ever here," Edmonds ripped his former manager for comments he called "the most asinine I've ever heard."
This dugout battle occurred Friday at Busch Stadium. Edmonds pointed to a Chicago reporter and insisted he could verify that Edmonds never had said anything about "not wanting to be a Cardinal." But on several occasions, Edmonds had chided the media for bringing up his past with St. Louis, even saying they tried to "ruin" him with Cubs fans with constant references to his former team. La Russa apparently saw several of Edmonds' comments and answered back. The two did not speak on the field before Friday's game, though Edmonds joked he would "punch him in the mouth" if La Russa ignored him and La Russa told reporters he would shake his hand if they met. Then during that game, Edmonds received a big ovation when he came to the plate in the second inning, and he tipped his cap to the fans in turn. "I think he's just trying to stir it up," Edmonds said.
Speaking of the Cards, the ball club will have two players on the NL squad for the All-Star Game on July 15 at Yankee Stadium., Cardinals outfielder Ryan Ludwick (selected by the fans) and First baseman Albert Pujols (selected by LaRussa) In a bit of controversy, Houston’s Lance Berkman outpolled Pujols for the starting first base job in the balloting among Major League Baseball fans. And speaking of Pujols, he hit his 300th career home run on that same Friday night game where the Edmonds-LaRussa quibbles took place prior , becoming the fifth-youngest player to reach the milestone.The Cardinals slugger lined his 18th homer of the season on a 2-2 pitch from the Cubs' Bob Howry in the eighth inning, the ball banging off the foul pole in left field. He beat Hall of Famer Mel Ott for the fifth-fastest by one day.Pujols reached the mark at 28 years, 170 days. Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees is the youngest player to reach 300 homers at 27 years, 249 days.Pujols is 5-for-9 with two homers in his career against Howry.
In other STL sports newz, a few weeks back, St. Louis native Deandre “THE BULL” Latimore (19wins-1 loss with 16 KO’s) scored the biggest win of his career as he stopped #1 IBF Junior Middleweight Sechew Powell in the seventh round at the Hard Rock CafĂ© in New York City. The bout, is being called an early contender for upset of the year. About Latimore’s next bout, it was reported that he would like to have a big fight in St. Louis with either Verno Phillips or Cory Spinks, who, with him also in St. Louis, would make a perfect cross town showdown. This may be true, but is the STL getting waned from the STL boxing hype especially after the dismal turnout of the Spinks—Phillips fight at Scott Trade Center in March where folk were giving away tickets on the day of the fight?

The Shawn Hornbeck Foundation -- which gained notoriety after last year's rescue of its abducted namesake --is under scrutiny for delays in filing required IRS reports and "failure to be transparent," the Better Business Bureau warned this week. The Missouri-based foundation countered that it is working with the federal government to ensure that all necessary reports have been filed. The Better Business Bureau said it made several unsuccessful attempts to obtain information about the foundation, which operates out of a home that was donated to the Hornbeck family after Shawn Hornbeck (PICTURED) was rescued Shawn's mother, Pamela Akers, is the newly elected president of the Shawn Hornbeck Foundation; her husband, Craig Akers, is the vice president. In a joint statement issued Monday, the Akers said the donations to the foundation have been used to fund free programs that benefit the public, and that there are no paid employees at the foundation. That’s all cool, but who forgot to send those tax documents to Uncle Sam, that’s the problem.

Former Missouri Sen. John C. Danforth believes the National Park Service has made up its mind against any changes or improvements to the grounds of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. He described a meeting this week in Forest Park, and another one next week at the Old Courthouse downtown, as "window dressing." Danforth reportedly said. Park Service officials say they're keeping an open mind. Danforth has puzzled over the riverfront problem for years. He has made various attempts to change and improve it. He and his associates - which include civic leaders and officials of his family's philanthropic Danforth Foundation -- believe the riverfront has potential to be a regional asset and a magnet for residents and tourists alike. He believes - and there is reasonable consensus here - the ragged, forbidding connection to the grounds from downtown is a serious problem. There are various ideas of ways to solve the problem, and at various times various schemes have been presented. Another problem, more complex than a connection, is that the Arch - magnificent as it is - is not enough to stimulate visits by large numbers of people, and that the services and exhibits under the Arch are inadequate,. In particular, Danforth advocates the establishment of a brand new attraction such as a museum on the Arch grounds.
Meanwhile, Danforth supporters have set up a web site and committee and wants the public to join. The group, called Groundswell for Change, established a committee comprised of civic, business, labor, disability rights and government leaders who want the National Park Service to make changes to the Riverfront and Arch grounds. The group will continue to collect public input until July 14. People who would like to join Groundswell for Change

Local radio station Z 107.7.FM introduced a new personality to their weekly lineup—sort of speak. Radio personality Ryan Seacrest. His syndicated show, “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” began airing this week which airs right after the syndicated morning show MJ Morning Show. It airs 10 p.m. to 1p.m.). The show, which is headquarted in Los Angeles station KIIS-FM, airs prior to Taylor J’s Afternoon Show. Seacrest’s show is the second syndicated aired on z 107.7 FM (The first was “
American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest” that was aired earlier this year) Clear Channel Radio (which markets both Seacrest’s shows) and Seacrest partnered in February to create a new national entertainment news program.

You wanna be on top? That’s the slogan for entertainment mogul Tyra Banks highly rated show, America’s Next Top Model.” Well young women in the STL area who got what it takes, the Producers of ANTMN will be in the STL area July 19. They will hold auditions for Cycle 12 (or Season 6 in regular seasons) at the Missouri College of Health Careers in Fenton. Those interested, can contact Suzi Schrappen 314-447-6360 But you had to have your application in before the audition (which deadline is July 25) Out of curiosities sake, we checked out the application and here were some of the interesting things that potential models must go through to be a part of the show: OH AND BEFORE WE GET STARTED, WE DON’T THINK MISS TYRA WILL BE AT THE AUDTIONS.
If selected as a participant, you must be willing to live in a house or loft located at a location and in a city as determined by Producers for approximately one and a half months sometime around October through December 2008 with approximately nine to fourteen other female strangers, where you will have little or no privacy. (AKA. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN AND CATFIGHTS WILL ENSUE)
If you are chosen to be a participant, it is your responsibility to make any necessary arrangements with your employer and family in anticipation of your extended absence from home. Finalists must hold a current U.S. passport, as international travel may be required of all participants. (AKA. DON’T THINK THE PRODUCERS ARE GONNA ACCEPT CALLS ASKING WHY YOU DIDN’T COME HOME)
The house is extensively outfitted with video and audio recording devices which will record, broadcast and exhibit your actions and voice at all times, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week in every room of the house as well as any and all locations and settings outside of the house for the duration of your participation in the Series. You will be observed at all times by the Producers as well as the general publicwatching on television and possibly the Internet. (AKA YOU HAVE NO CONTROL ON HOW THEY WILL MAKE YOU OUT NOT TO BE)
You must not now be a candidate for public office, and if selected as a participant, you must agree not to become a candidate for public office until after the initial broadcast of all programs in which you appear. (AKA. YOU CANT USE THEIR NAME TO GET VOTES UNTIL YOU ARE VOTED OFF THE SHOW) \
You understand and agree that you may be required to pose and be photographed or videotaped while clothed, partially clothed or naked. (AKA. THEY OWN YOUR ARSE)
If you are selected to be interviewed, you will be given, and must complete and return (prior to the date of our personal interview in Los Angeles) a Medical History Form. (AKA MAKE SURE YOU WONT GO OFF IF THEY DIG UP SOME SKELETONS )
If selected as a finalist you must complete a participant package, which will be furnished to you by the Producers and will include among other things, release forms and waivers for you and your immediate family. (AKA YOUR FOLK CANT TELL THAT YOU IN THE SHOW AND WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE SHWOS RUN CUZ THEY WONT HAVE NOBODY WATCH—SPOLIER!)
If selected for interviews, you must also submit to physical and mental examinations by medical professional(s) in Los Angeles selected by the Producers and meet all physical and psychological requirements. (AKA AGAIN, MAKING SURE YOU WONT DO OR BE THE ALREADY MENTIONED WITH A SECOND OPINION. YOUR DOCTOR DONT COUNT.)
By applying for participation in the show, you authorize the Producers to conduct civil, criminal, financial, driver-history and any other type of background checks deemed necessary by the Producers. (AKA IF YOU GOT SOME SCANDAL, IT WILL WORK WELL WITH THE RATINGS!)

According to
http://www.panachereport.com/ rapper Nelly has suffered terrifying experiences with stalkers - including a crazed fan who claimed to have given birth to his son. Nelly insists he has been targeted by dozens of fanatics over the years, but only took action after a woman turned up at his house accusing him of fathering her child. Nelly insists that he had never seen her before and was forced to take the unnamed woman to court in a bid to stop her harassing him. He says, "I've had so many stalkers that lie about me and write stuff on my MySpace (internet page). I had this woman drive over to my house from Texas back in 2003 with her son in the back of the car. "And she swore that I was from Texas and her son was mine. I felt sorry for the kid. She'd been telling him he was mine for as long as he could understand. He was 14 at the time and I was like, 'What, did I have him when I was 12?' "I had to get a restraining order out against her in the end. It was scary, because I didn't know what she was going to do next."

In regards to his upcoming CD, “Brass Knuckles’ which will be relased next month he was interviewed Monday, and reportedly said, "I'd rather eat a fresh dirty diaper than listen to my own music. Its amazing that there was someone in the studio that actually liked what sounds were coming through the monitors. If you had those headphones on, I can tell you, there were not pretty sounds coming out. I'd rather stick with my pimp juice." Hmmm. That doesn’t sound too assuring. Oh oh.
In unrelated news, Nelly chilled in the STL for a few weeks to attend a few functions. There was a private industry party held at Posh in the CWE (where we heard STL stars such as his St. Lunatic band mates Murphy Lee, Kyjuan, Slo Down Ali and City Spud as well as Cedric The Entertainer’s manager Eric Rhone were in attendance ). He also attended his manger T-Luv’s b-day party at Lush (SEE www.maatspear.blogspot.com OUT 434) and Derrty ENT/UC ME/Loose Cannon’s packed out Red, White and Blue Party held at Mocha Lattes event Best Damn Fridays Period at the Skybox last Friday(SEE www.maatspear.blogspot.com OUT 439) Mr "Bodyguard," Kevin Costner was in Springfield, Mo, Sunday to screen his new movie, "Swing Vote.” The Oscar-award-winning actor, director and producer hosted the worldwide preview of his most recent film in Springfield, where he is also encouraging support for local charities. Costner was there as part of a fundraising event hosted by Springfield-based Bass Pro Shops to benefit the Upper White River Basin Foundation and the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks. The screening of the movie was held at the Campbell 16 Cine Theater. Costner is an avid fisherman, longtime customer of Bass Pro Shops and friend of the company's founder, Johnny Morris, and his wife, Jeanie. Costner wears a Bass Pro Shops cap in many scenes in the movie, in which he portrays Bud Johnson, described as a "good ol' boy" … whose one vote will determine the election of the country's next president. The film, which is a Walt Disney Pictures production, is scheduled for release Aug. 1.'

Besides culinary student Christina Machamer who won on “Hell’s Kitchen,” two area St. Louisans were featured on two reality based TV shows.

The first was Fenton- bred Tom Vize, who is comic Kathy Griffin’s tour manager and star of her Emmy winning reality show “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List” seen on the Bravo Networkl. On the episode entitled
Home Is Where the Profit Is that aired last week, where Griffin visited the hometowns of her crew. Griffin visted Vize’s hometown of the STL where she was performing a sold out concert at the Fox Theatre) in Feburary. In the show, Vize receievd a Proclamation from Mayor Francis Slay making that day Tom Vize Day, he appeared on "Show Me St. Louis" and he was seem taking Griffin and crew to the Bulls Eye Firing range in Manchester (hmmm, Machamer was from Mapelwood. Hmmm) . Oh and shots of the Arch and the Metrolink also were in the shots. Of course. In an interesting sidebar Griffin is quoted on her website as saying about the episode’s publicty, “Basically at this point my assistants are more famous than I am. Tom is from St Louis. But the St Louis Post Dispatch, THE paper for St Louis, is not feeling the show’s press release about tonight’s episode from The Lou. Why? The press release refers to St Louis as a small town. Excuse me?!”

The other “ St. Louisan” is comic Andi Smith —who moved to St. Louis from Wisconsin after graduating college--competed last week in the semi-finals on the comedy competition Last Comic Standing that were held
Las Vegas at the Paris Hotel & Casino. She won a spot in the semi-finals after her audition in Houston. Unfortunately she didn’t make the Final Top 12.
Happy belated b-day to STL jazz diva Mae Wheeler!
STL rapper Ebony Eyez is back. She tells her story of the ups and downs of the biz in the newest issue of Inbox Magazine, the multi-city distributed print and online entertainment magazine published in East St. Louis. To peep it out go to

We hear that rapper Lil Webbie and LIl Boosie will be in the Lou this Saturday to pick video girls for a video shoot at Club Society. We didnt get if thr video shoot will be just club footage or a whole video, but if you think you got what it takes sistas, Web Boose and Trill Entertainment will be at Club Society there from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. So get hoochified!

Break a leg (more like flex a leg) to Clayton Bally Trainer Deanthony

......................STl Fitness Model Fred Williams

........................and STL Barber Steve Lacy , who are among the STL bodybuilders who will compete in the 2nd annual Natural Body Building and Figure Classic on July 12 at the Roberts Orpheum Theatre.

STL Poet Floyd IMPAKT Boykin and his wife Jacquette would like you all to votes for their baby boy Floyd Jr in the Majic 104.9 Baby Idol Cutest Baby Contest! He is listed as "Floyd B" under the "E-J" button. Voting started Monday. Please go to the web site and vote for him to win (

YOURS TRULY Ma’atkins would like to thank all who came through Subzero Sushi Bar and Restaurant last Saturday to celebrate his born day and blog day. It was the best kept secret in the STL from what we heard especially after events at Vitos and the Skybox did not go well as planned. Sorry to those who couldn’t make it or heard that it was off the chain and you decided to be elsewhere. We aint gonna say no names (Thanks to the uninvited one for spreadin’ how crunk it was. LOL)

Ma’at and his guest s had a reserved room next to the bar and clowned it up (and from the pic taken we see Ma’at did his share of clowning with them dranks. LOL). Again, Ma’at would like to thank all of those who made his b-day celebration a night to definitely remember,. And d thanks Lakisha Dickens for the pic! In unrelated Ma’at NEWZ, YOURS TRULY will be one of nine mannequin models in Urban Expressions the Body Art Show and All White Party this Friday at the Polish Heritage Center (SEE EVENT SPOTLIGHT BELOW FOR MORE INFO)
*** \
And lastly, we heard at OUTTOWN Tuesday that Whats Ya Flava’s Keisha Daniels was moving away from the STL. We heard she is moving back to Minnesota (Wow who woulda thunk! LOL). You were a party people socialite for real who kicked it with her hearty laugh and didn’t give a fuck who knew what was up with her as far as her sexuality and we loved her for it. You will be deeply and greatly missed on the STL social scene.

IN The MIA(MISSING IN ACTION) FILE. Whatever happened to STL Rapper singer SK?
BLIND BITZ. Which night club had a bloody brawl that rang out a few weeks back that involved a mob of sistas against one brotha after the brotha disrespected one of the sistas in the click calling her a bitch? (Hint, the club is not in St. Louis City, but its name represents St. Louis)

Monday, July 07, 2008
OUT 439--DERRTY ENT/UC ME/LOOSE CANNONpresent RED, WHITE AND BLUE PARTY at Best Damn Fridays Period at SKYBOX at July 4

Photos by King Yella

Loose Cannon's S.L.I.M. aka Wellz Fargo and UC ME's Kyjuan(derful) were chillin up at the Skybox

UC Me's Muphy Derrty up in the dee-jay booth

East St. Louis pro b-baller/Skybox co-owner Darius Miles (second from left) and Skybox co-owner Nelly came through. DJ Quinn (fourth form left) was the dee-jay for the poeple who were partying outside.

The Infamous DJ Quinn did what he did best for the VIPs and Gen Pub.

It was wall to wall packed! As well as outside of the Skybox!

Monday, July 07, 2008

The openingact was Jefferson City's Gloria Brand whose hour set comprised of many R&B faves including the opening song, Aretha Franklin's "Spirit in the Dark."She also performed, Rufus' "Tell Me Somthing Good," Donny Hathaway's "Ghetto Boy," and Deneice Wiliams' "Free."She also jazzed it up with Ella Fitzgerald's "Round Midnight," Bobby Caldwell's, "What You Won't Do For Love." and some of her won scatting that wowed the crowd.She concluded with Rufus' "Stay" and Jill Scott's "Whateva."

A long shot of the stage.

YOURS TRULY, Ma'at Atkins took a pic near the backstage area of the concert. (Photo by Lance Omar Thurman)

Anthony Hamilton on stage (photo by Lance Omar Thurman)Hamilton did not disappoint with his raspy gospel tinged vocals (and check out DAT HAT!).His performance was a mix of Prince, Bobby Womack and a Southern preacher.Hamilton performed various non-hits from his CD's
Comin' from Where I'm From, Soulife and Ain't Nobody Worryin'.He also got his clown on as well!He was also quite comical. He told the crowd, "I ain't come here by mistake, I came on purpose." Then asked the crowd, "Did you stumble here in this place. I don't believe it if you did." He then introduced a new song, "The Point of it All," from his upcoming CD of the same title and was well received by the feedback from the crowd.As the concert went on, he got out of that hat cuz the sweatin he was doin was comin from where he was from! LOL. He also got poiltical when he announced a couple times that folk needs to support and vote State Treausurer candidate Andria Simckes in November.

Hamilton walked to stage left and jumped off the stage and did his shake a hand dance in the VIP area as the crowd crowded around him.He was feeling the spirit for real!

And so were his fans!

As he performed his hit, "Charlene," she was in mesmerized mode.....doing her testifyin with hand gestures and singing along..

Hamilton ended his set with his first hit, "Comin from Where I'm From" and telling the crowd to be careful walking around with the small children in the Park.

As we walked out of the Park area. There were tens of thousands that were in the vicinity. They also had a big screen while the concert was going on. A few thousand were watching the concert from it.

EVENT VIEWZ. Overall the turnout at this concert at Live (Off )the Levee was overwhelmingly packed. We estimate it had to have been AT LEAST 50, 000 folk there. The additional 30,000 we are sure came from the African Methodist Episcopal chruch Convention that was goin on downtown. But there were some drawbacks:

1.As we were waiting to get inside the Park, Market Street was not closed off for the event. Cars were driving as people were trying to walk across the street to get to the entrance area. Now if you have an event where there's Johnny on the Spots on a busy street and the cross streets, you would think the street would be closed off. Anyone could have gotten ran over or killed(One guy almost got hit but crossed the street in time.)
2.As the crowd were admitted inside, there was only one guy who was there at the security checkpoint. He was there to check bags, but the search was a once over by looking down in the bag and thats it! No wand, no take your items out , NOTHIN! Anyone could have snuck anything up in therre from a deadly weapon to fireworks! What made it even wilder was, the guy told one person they couldnt bring coolers in, but what was the purpose of saying that when he didnt check bags to see what was in those!

3.THe VIP area. Each year Live on the Levee has paper stickers for those who are VIP to put on their person to receive close proximity to the stage area. Well, this year, because of the venue change from the Archgrounds to the Park, the VIP area was sitting in front of the stage (as opposed to standing near the sides of the stage from previous years , which in some sense, better as far as viewing), but the problem occurred as far as those in VIP not getting access to the two VIP beer booths on both sides of the stage. VIPers had to have had a VIP bracelet for entrance. Now this was confusing. Now, if you are VIP already, why do you need a VIP bracelet to enter to PURCHASE beer at the VIP Beer booth (In previous years, the VIP sticker was enough for entrance in VIP which also had the VIP beer booth in the vicinity)? The security was more tighter with VIP than it was at the admittance area for the general public!

4.And the media area was not fully understood as far as where we needed to be. We just stook a chance while getting stopped at the VIP Beer Booth without a bracelet to find out we were able to get near the stage to click shots.

5.And the exiting of the Park was horrible! People were gridlocked where the Big Screen where the concert was televsied whuich was where the exit/entrance area was. Folk were getting their feet and children stepped on and the pushing to get to the exit was NOT a pretty site. It would have been better if they had blockades in that area for exiting to be much easier.
But we digress.

Besides these things, the concert was great.

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