The night of NBA All-Star Saturday (Feb. 15) in New Orleans featured a handful of star-laden after-parties, with TNT’s gathering at the Bud Light District next to the New Orleans arena including a set by Kid Rock and GQ’s All Star soiree playing host to the Roots, Juvenile and reigning league MVP LeBron James, among others. The downtown club Howlin’ Wolf continued its Cliffhanger All-Star Concert Series on Saturday with one of the best performance lineups in town, as T.I. and Miguel performed to a room of less than 1,000 people, with mixed results.
T.I. took the stage well after 3:00 am after strolling into the middle of the club halfway through Miguel’s set and watching the R&B star alongside his entourage. Wearing a yellow hoodie and a Cleveland Cavaliers cap, the Grand Hustle rapper rolled through tracks like “Top Back,” “Rubber Band Man” and “Ball,” the latter track conjuring his highest amount of enthusiasm.
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After teasing his forthcoming album “Paperwork: The Motion Picture,” Tip treated the audience to new track “I Ain’t Going” 20 minutes into his set, telling the crowd that he wanted to gauge their reaction to the intense cut. One song later, however, T.I. was off the stage — the MC deserted the show to the tune of a “What You Know” instrumental, with nary an explanation.
Miguel had already performed at the GQ party before setting foot inside the Howlin’ Wolf, and while the singer looked a bit tired onstage, he certainly didn’t sound like it. His “Kaleidoscope Dream” show has become more fluid as that album’s release has drifted further back into the past: “The Thrill” eased comfortably into “Sure Thing,” and the set-closing “Adorn” was extended for several minutes into a passionate a cappella that delighted the entire room.
The evening’s highlight came when Miguel performed “Pussy Is Mine,” the creeping sex jam that he told the crowd he had “waited all night” to play. Not every female in the front crowd knew the words to the deep cut — and Miguel jokingly pointed out one who didn’t — but almost every lady up-front got to graze Miguel’s hand with their own during the song, provoking many a squeal.
The Cliffhanger All-Star Concert Series, presented by 2ndToNonePromotions, Knowledge Masters and the I.M.P.A.C.T. Charity Experience, will host a Yo Gotti show on Sunday night at the Howlin’ Wolf. Rick Ross performed at the club on Friday night.