But the party raged on regardless. Dozens of ad and music executives mingled with the 20-something crowd while Billboard editorial director Bill Werde and Advertising Week founder Matt Scheckner took turns playing hypeman for the acts. Far East Movement shared a story about how they met "Rocketeer" co-writer Bruno Mars on Myspace, months before he blew up alongside fellow-Amp'd Up! performer B.o.B. with "Nothin' On You." And Bedingfield played a set cherry-picked from her impressive catalog along with takes on the Police's "Message in a Bottle," Kevin Rudolf's "Let It Rock" and even Prince's "Purple Rain" while MySpace-emblazoned footage from her "Pocketful of Sunshine" video played on the TV screens. B.o.B took the stage at around 11:30 but the crowd had barely diminished for his high-energy set (with a break for an acoustic number). The crowd exploded at the opening strains of "Nothin on You" - several (presumably inebriated) young couples were seen slow-dancing to the song.
As for Myspace, the event shed little insight into the site's future plans, which CEO Tim Vanderhook (who was spied making a brief appearance backstage) told Billboard.Biz probably won't come to fruition until early but harkened back to the site's history as a site where fans and artists could connect with each other.
MySpace's Tim Vanderhook Talks Company's Future, Music Plans, Timberlake's Role
The mostly 20-something crowd of junior ad execs and media planners was sprinkled with key players like Matt Freeman, global chief innovation officer at McCann Erickson; lalawag founder (and former Myspace VP) Sean Percival, Ogilvy's Daniel Korn and top marketing brass at Anheuser-Busch InBev, beer sponsors of the concert's open bar.
Also in the crowd, the VIP areas and backstage were Timberlake manager Johnny Wright, AT&T AdWorks's Sky Kelley, Harvey Leeds, Universal Republic's Angela Burke, Myspace's Roslynn Cobarrubias and Randy Nangpi, Sirius XM Radio's DJ Wonder, Far East Movement's team (including manager Russell Redeaux, production manager Christopher Franco and media director Den Kym), and a large contingent from Bedingfield's management DAS Communications, including David Sonenberg, Jason Richardson and William Derrella.
Several execs were buzzing about the weekend promotion of Clear Channel's new CEO Bob Pittman, but chatter often drifted back to Myspace and Justin Timberlake -- many echoed Vanderhook's comments about how the company had clearly drifted from its social media strengths but could recover based on its previously under-optimized strengths in the music space.
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"I left the evening saying what an artist-friendly atmosphere, what a user-friendly atmosphere they've created," Glassnote's Daniel Glass, riding high with Mumford & Sons, told Backbeat. "With all these different brands there, I'm going to go to Myspace to find out what's happening."
Grippin & Grinnin': (From Left) Harvey Leeds, DAS' Jason Richardson and David Sonenberg, Natasha Bedingfield, Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde, Billboard.Biz Editor Jem Aswad, Advertising Week Executive Director Matt Scheckner, DAS' William Derrella (Photo: Fernando Leon/PictureGroup)
From Left: Billboard's Bill Werde, Myspace senior director of marketing Roslynn Cobarrubias and Advertising Week executive director Matt Sheckner (Photo: Fernando Leon/PictureGroup)
Feeling It! Natasha Bedingfield on stage at MySpace AMP'd UP concert at NYC's Best Buy Theater. (Photo: Fernando Leon/PictureGroup)
That Never Gets Old: From Left: Myspace's Roslynn Cobarrubias, Sirius XM Radio's DJ Wonder, Myspace production manager Randy Nangpi and DJ DB from the Cardinal Agency. (Photo: Fernando Leon/PictureGroup)
A G6 Could Be Likened To This: Far East Movement rock Myspace's AMP'd UP opening concert (Photo: Fernando Leon/PictureGroup)
Team Bedingfield: From Left: DAS' William Derrella, David Sonenberg and Jason Richardson with musician Natasha Bedingfield backstage. (Photo: Fernando Leon/PictureGroup)
Team Far East Movement: From left, drummer JT, production manager Christopher Franco, musical director Kanobby, DJ Virman, media director Den Kym, J. Splif, Kev Nish, Prohgress and manager Russell Redeaux (Photo: Fernando Leon/PictureGroup)
Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde (right) clearly displeased with the stress and strains of his job, with Natasha Bedingfield. (Photo: Fernando Leon/PictureGroup)