Last Night: Sprint All-Star Jam Session Concert With Ludacris And Ke$ha

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photos by Marco Torres

Sprint Pre-Game Concert feat. B.O.b, Ludacris, and Ke$ha
All-Star Jam Session at George R. Brown Convention Center
February 17th, 2013

Sunday afternoon, as I was counting down the minutes until I had to leave an amazing All-Star day party, where I was making friends with a beautiful girl, drinking a beautiful drink, listening and dancing to beautiful music... I began to dread the news that I received earlier in the week.

The headliner for the Pre-Game concert was to be Ke$ha.

Ke$ha!

Not exactly the All-Star caliber of performer I was hoping for. I mean, she has a damn dollar sign in her name! I'm a grown ass man, dawg... I don't exactly wanna see a blonde, auto-tuned "singer" covered in glitter waving her private parts in my general vicinity.

After jumping through hoops (DYSWIDT?) to enter the Sprint Arena at the NBA All-Star Jam Session inside the cavernous George R. Brown, I was escorted to a backstage area where a "yellow carpet" was setup, expecting celebrities to roll by any minute. Aaaaany minute now. That minute never came, so I abandoned that post and headed to the stage.

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I was joined by hundreds of music fans eager to see Atlanta rappers B.o.B and Ludacris, and yes, even Ke$ha. Kevin Hart, Diddy, and Drake all made guest appearances as well.

The show was being broadcast live on NBA TV, so the lighting and sound was top notch.

In a pleasant surprise and ode to the local community, the Texas Southern University Ocean of Soul Drum Line began the action with a high power performance that set the mood. Dressed in their maroon and white band uniforms, I was reminded of my days as a drum major, playing and dancing in front of big crowds and generally having a blast. Band Director Mr. Dee and his crew of kids were all smiles as they walked off stage, ready to be entertained by the rest of the show.

E! News' Terrence J played host for the evening, nicely dressed in a suit and tie, smiling from ear to ear and even jumping off stage to interact with the crowd. He was joined by DJ Irie, the official DJ of the Miami Heat, who was perched on a platform in the middle of the arena. I've gotta say, even with the commercial breaks and other technical issues, the night progressed smoothly thanks to this duo.

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As the first notes of "Magic" rang out, B.o.B jumped onto the stage, draped up with his gold grill and pinky rings and jean jacket. Nothing says "I'm a Hipster Gangsta Rapper" like a bedazzled jean jacket. Bobby Ray is a talented performer, and a darn good rhymer, something that is almost lost in the pop/rap songs that his career is anchored on. He followed with "Nothing On You" and "So Good", which are two songs that are starred in my Spotify playlists.

During the sets and commercial breaks, the Rockets Launch Crew and Power Dancers danced, jumped, and cheered in order to keep the crowd interested and interactive. If the crowd didn't all stand up for the music, they were definitely standing up trying to catch a free t-shirt. Add in "The Wobble" and the crowd kept it moving and having a good time through the delays.


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