How I Got Into The VIP Section At The 2 Chainz Show: One Random Night Clubbing in Downtown Dallas

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

I was feeling anti-social on Friday night, which is difficult considering the Deep Ellum Arts Festival had drawn a thousand or so extra faces to the neighborhood. I had a soft goal in mind: to end up at the 2 Chainz concert at Main Event Center. No phone calls had been made. No emails had been written. I hadn't done anything to let the promoter know I was coming, and I certainly wasn't prepared to pay the $45 ticket price. So, I thought it would be a long shot, and it was even more doubtful when I saw the line wrapped around the building as I approached.

Earlier in the night, I'd set out on foot. The Swallow Lounge was the first stop on the docket. Inside, the place was empty, and out back on the patio, a group of about five played a game of corn hole. I know: corn hole at the Swallow Lounge. I never thought I'd have to write that sentence.

After that, I stopped at Dada to hear a few Smile Smile songs. Their set was solid as always, but the place was getting packed, so I kept moving.

Main Event Center was a shit show. The line was full of some of the most well-dressed and scantily clad people I'd seen all night. One girl walked by in a pair of short, short daisy dukes. Some of the men were clearly salivating. I approached the bouncer, a huge African-American man in a black suit, and said bluntly, "I don't have a ticket or any money. How do I get in this place?" He pointed to a promoter and told me to talk to him.

I asked him the same question, mentioning that I'm with the Observer, and he said, "Man, I can't let you in."

And that was that.

I had a few other places to visit, so I walked on. Allure and Tikibar  were empty, though the manager insisted I should have seen it when  Questlove did a DJ set there a few weeks back. On my way to Pearl at  Commerce, I noticed purple lights and pounding bass emanating from the back door of a nondescript white building on the corner of Elm and  Pearl. A group of black men hung out around the door and I approached, asking, "What is this place?"

A bouncer exclaimed, "This is a gay bar!" I thought maybe he was saying that because he thought I wouldn't  want to check it out. I was wrong. Lots of dudes dressed as ladies
inside. I had already felt out of my element for a few hours, so I snapped a few photos and left.

A few more stops and then I decided to walk back home. Passing back by Main Event Center around midnight, the line had doubled in size. I heard someone shout, "Hey, hey, Observer guy." When I turned, it was the promoter standing there with a VIP wristband for me. We bypassed the line and went to the VIP elevator, up to the top balcony of the five-story building. I was then directed to a VIP section, velvet ropes being lifted for me at every turn, where a
handful of people looked over the rails at the massive dance party below. I paid $10 for a vodka cranberry in a plastic cup because I felt like it would help me fit in.

I was wrong. There was no drink that could help a disheveled white guy wearing skinny jeans and an old T-shirt blend in with a sharply dressed, mostly African-American crowd. I was so far out of my comfort zone that I was comfortable again.

I resolved just to keep to myself. I was feeling anti-social anyway, but it was awe-inspiring to be in the middle of such a huge party with a VIP pass to see a rapper I knew nothing about. When I finished my drink, there was still no sign of 2 Chainz, and the party raged on. I threw away my cup and left.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.