Friday, September 7, 2012

Final DNC parties draw crowds, delegates

Party goers gathered at Amos’ Southend Thursday during the final night of the Democratic National Convention for Carolina Speakeasy, a fundraiser for the Greensboro-based International Civil Rights Center & Museum. A crowd of roughly 200 mingled and watched President Obama’s televised speech.

The crowd included the museum’s founders Melvin “Skip” Alston and Earl F. Jones who opened the museum in 2010 on the 50th anniversary of the Greenboro Four’s historic sit-in. The museum is housed in the former site of Woolworth’s Department Store where the Greensboro Four held the historic sit-in at the store’s lunch counter. The seats they occupied have never been moved. 

The latest version of Chapel Hill’s Squirrel Nut Zippers, who shot to national fame in 1997 with the single “Hell,” took the Amos' stage following the President’s acceptance speech. Led by Jimbo Mathus, the nine-piece band bopped through songs like “Good Enough for Granddad” and its late `90s single “Put a Lid On It.” A statuesque woman in a retro green velvet dress who Mathus referred to only as Miss Vanessa handled former vocalist and Mathus’ ex-wife Katharine Whalen’s parts well. A handful of party goers took to the dancefloor, while most watched from the wings as delegates from downtown began to arrive.

Many more delegates gathered across town at The Fillmore’s private party at NC Music Factory starring Cuban-American rapper Pitbull. Swarms of taxis, vans, SUVs, and limos delivered delegates outside The Fillmore. A sleek black SUV sped into the loading area adjacent to the club’s entrance sometime around midnight and the Miami-based rapper hopped out and ran inside. Only his bald head and sharp suit were really visible.

The entire block was hopping with local reggae/groove rock act Of Good Nature drawing a boisterous crowd outside on the patio at Small Bar. It’s sunny jams filled the block as delegates rushed past the corner pub on their way to The Fillmore. Butter NC, one of the complex’s dance clubs, also drew a crowd full of short, tight dresses and well dressed men doused in cologne. The crowd spilled on to the loading dock and surrounding patio and parking lot around the fountain stage.

Photo by Marty Price: Flo Rida poses on the red carpet. 

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