Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Night at the Metropolitan

There are probably a few important things that I should be writing about, at least today. A dangerous storm is brewing nearby, and it threats to bring death and devastation to so many people. The markets remain in disarray, as a result of the credit confidence crisis stoked by disabled lenders and cynical investors. There are also a series of noteworthy campaigns unfolding in Houma, a few of which my Axiom Strategy Advisors is involved, pitting change-oriented youngsters against their static elders. And then there is no escaping the fact that insanity continues to grip New Orleans, and in one of the latest incidents, a killer slashed the throat of a bar patron after injuring another person. All told, those all seem like topics for this blog, and at some point soon we will get to them. For now, however, we will spend a little time on less paramount subject matter.

Last night was the "Fat Black Pussy Cat" party at the Metro, in the Warehouse District of downtown New Orleans, which featured spinsters Richard Vission and Baby Anne. I wanted to talk about this event for two reason. First, these are two of my favorite DJs, and if I had missed this party, I would have felt awful. And secondly I pumped this party up so much that I have to tell everyone just how it went.

In one word---stellar!

I have to begin by thanking Shannon, the Metro's event coordinator, for all of her help. She helped me secure a VIP section, and she made sure that the club took care of us throughout the evening. She was hospitality personified, from the moment that we skirted the lines to get into the place to the moment we needed to get one individual from our party back into the club. (The latter incident was a very dumb and selfish move on his part, and I have apologize to her for that guy's stupidity.) Throughout the night, I kept thinking to myself that Shannon and her co-workers knew how to do things right; their commitment to customer service should probably be a model for others in an industry where, well, such a commitment actually does still matters.

Shannon, you rock, babe!

Club Ampersand hosted this event in conjunction with the Metro, and to be sure, their arrangement did seem a little perplexing and strained (particularly when it came to classes of VIP tickets). However, be/c I inherently analyze operational mechanics for a living, I think that I was probably alone in noticing that. The fact is, the hosting club did such a great job with security, with sound and lighting, with marketing and coordination, and with general service; it is hard to say that anything was really wrong on the front-end, patron side of the operation. (I do wonder how things turned out for the decision-makers in the back offices, though.)

Now, as for the event---well, let's begin with a cursory assessment. New Orleans is still in its Post-K funk, two years on, but last night would have been no indication of that fact. There most have been over one thousand people comfortably accommodated inside of the Metro, and the crowd was definitely a site for sore eyes. There were a lot of swank people hovering the bars and traversing the dancefloors, and the quality of beautiful women restored my thinking about New Orleans as a contender. Granted, some were notably younger than me, but that just means there is hope for later. (j/k)

What is even more revealing, at roughly thirty dollars per head (the price of a regular ticket at the door), the crowd seemed to answer a striking question that I have had about the viability of the New Orleans market. Even with a smaller population and the daily throes of the recovery, great talent can still draw significant audiences, and young people are willing to pay to see such talent. That is a compelling point when one considers that there is a precarious recovery economy, and that there is a big storm is wrecking the islands and Mexico to our south...This probably bodes very well for Tempest Promotions, Inc., and my mental engines have already begun to spin with ideas of how to make opportunities like these move to the company's advantage.

Now, in talking about the talent itself, I must say that I am constantly impressed. Baby Anne, one of Florida's finest--the Bass Queen, as she is called--took the stage with an assortment of sexy dancers and a vocalist that rocked the place. They unleashed an energy that had nearly everyone, even staid Bora, bobbing to the music. Baby Anne's style is seductively aggressive, and I have always thought that it fit well in this market. Apparently, a few hundred others agreed.

The Mixtress was followed by the California dreamer. Richard Vission took the stage with a powerful mix, and he just kept it going. In my book, this guy is one of the most creative spinster around. Indeed, last night, he certainly showed everyone at the Metro just why that is so. It was really hard to miss a beat with him.

By the time we left the Metro, after 4AM, the many patrons were filing out onto the street. The music was still flowing for the super-dedicated or the tweaked, but I do not think that my little group could have lasted another hour or so. And so we headed out. The club did its part to handle crowd control from the moment we walked outside, and I thought to myself of how impressed I was that nothing was about to get out of hand, even on a narrow street filled with drunkards, cars, security personnel, and the usual crowd of lingering individuals. There should have been a few more cabs present for shuttling people a few blocks into the CBD, but that was not a total inconvenience. We did not mind the walk, in fact.

All told, this well-anticipated night at the Metro was a very, very good one.

Now I am firmly reminded of just how much I love this area and why. South Louisiana teems with a nightlife that is not easily replicated, even when it comes to conventional rave-themed events. And I am also galvanized by the opportunities that seem to exist be/c of that nightlife. This Metro event affirmed that, if nothing else, one area on the mend in the wounded metropolis is its vaunted ability to throw a good party. Now, as entrepreneurs take the first steps to restoring and delivering a quality supply of events, they are also opening the doors for more creative concepts and more opportunities for successful ventures...The people are hungry for entertainment, and the marketplace is rightly reshaping to deliver it. That said, the Metro should be proud of itself for delivering the right formula from concept to execution...Indeed, Tempest is now going to be taking good notes from this masterful organization.

1 comment:

Charlie said...

Yeh the Metro got off but you shoulda come to Amps with us too.

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