by Mike McCray
Wednesday kicked off CIAA week/end in Charlotte but no one seemed to be shaking off the party rust last night.
After leaving the Chrisette Michele show at The Fillmore, the first stop was Alive, (actually I stumbled into Prevue first) where Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. and Fourth Elements had plenty of room to move around. A crowd of all ages, generally older, came to the mix and mingle, but DJ Phalse iD came to party. I was in for a dope old school set but I don't know if the crowd was really was into it.
Pop Life at Luna was the next stop and like every week, the keyword 'free' assured that shit would be packed. (See photos here.) Add Skillz The DJ + 9th Wonder to that mix and things got dumb packed! Even with an added tent area for overflow with two full bars, capacity was met and exceeded.
Saw a couple of fresh "CIAA weaves" ruined as the ladies waited in the heavy rain (that turned into a wintry mix) in line. Skillz The DJ was on fuckin' fire! I've seen Pop Life rock before but not like this.
Things got kind of out of hand, though, after the Fire Department came through and announced 280 people INSIDE needed to be OUTSIDE for the party to continue only about 30 left.
In the confusion, more like a clusterfuck, by the door, a Grammy winner had to go get someone to tell the security guard who the fuck he was, among other things, and some dude got jacked up by security and carried out. There was my cue to move on. But everything before that, except for the crowd being packed like the subway, was AWESOME.
Last stop of the night was Dharma Lounge. It wasn't a CIAA party but like all the best things in life, it was free and poppin'. One of the cool things about Dharma is even in the winter the patio is packed and on the inside people dance like nobody's watching.
A couple of people followed me from Luna to Dharma and after adding a little color to the party, literally, they blended seamlessly into the mix with Buckmasterrr blending electronic and hip-hop hits. Cheap drinks ($1.50 High Life, $2 Tallboys + $3 House Liquor) meant even the most budget-conscious partygoer had a drink or two.