Held at the beautiful and expansive Mellon Auditorium in NW DC, this Jack Daniels event was just that: an event. As I made my way through the crowd, and past the drink lines, I saw that it was truly a party in there. I’m sure the Jack helped a bit, but really the party was made live by Public Enemy’s DJ Lord. Spinning a hip-hop set that spanned recent and not-so-recent years, Lord truly commanded the crowd with the help of a host and sort-of hypeman. Snarky Puppy, a tight funk outfit, was up next, and the music was good, but the timing unfortunate–especially on their more laid-back songs, the energy in the room while they were on stage was much mellower than it had been earlier. (Again, just a matter of timing. They were quite good.)
As for the artwork, I was excited to see legendary hip hop photographer Ernie Pannicoli, but did not see him nor his work during my laps around the art displays. It was cool the way they had the art set up all around, but the packed crowd made it a bit difficult to spend much time with a lot of the work. That’s a good thing, though, as people seemed to be there to party and view artwork. There was a lot of posing for pictures in front of the work–I suppose that’s part and parcel of the Facebook generation.