LAS VEGAS—Tuesday night’s Players Ball at the Sapphire Club featured some great acts and the original Ju Tang Clan, but most of all it provided a time-capsule peek—for those who never saw the mega-Players Balls of the past—at what it was like in the good old days when you were happy to wait only an hour to get into Y2K. The lines to get in weren’t that long, of course, but the vibe was there in spades. So were some of the big players from the day, camped out mogul-style at private tables that ringed the stage.
“The show was a huge success,” organizer D-Money told AVN. “We filled a very large venue, and everyone took the limos and buses provided by Sapphire. The eye candy playing all night on the big screens gave our sponsors huge exposure, which led into many deals getting done during the event. For the last few years I've been using photos by Fubarwebmasters.com to entice the audience into looking at the screen, and once we have their attention we display the sponsors info and video loops. I select the pics that have taken place at a past Players Ball.”
And pick them he did. A Players Ball veteran since the beginning, this writer was highly entertained by the images of past acts, past players and past attendees that elicited a flood of great memories. (KB said afterwards that watching himself age was not the most pleasant of experiences, but we disagree—he looks pretty much the same to our aging eyes.)
There were a few opening acts to warm up the crowd in anticipation of the evening’s headliner, Warren G. First up was YT Cracker, an industry vet with a signed deal with G4 (TV) who is known for his "Nerdcore" movement. “He's not only a great money-making webmaster,” said D-Money, ”but a very talented rapper. YTC has performed at least five times now at the Players Ball and gets better each time. He gave a great performance to start the night off.”
Next up was Truth122, a talented young duo performing at their second Players Ball, who also opened for DJ Quik in Las Vegas last year. “I thought they did a great job, heard excellent reviews from the crowd,” said D-Money.
Rounding out the opening acts was Angela Jaden, a vivacious young singer-dancer who signed recently with Interscope Records. According to D-Money, she normally has a ton of back-up dancers but with such short notice she performed Tuesday with only two male dancers. It didn’t matter; they tore the stage up. “Her performance really changed up the Players Ball routine,” said D-Money. “We've never had a female singer with professional dancers before. I thought she was a cross between a young Paula Abdul and Shakira. I'd have her back again soon.”
The main artist—Warren G, who is Dr. Dre's brother and Snoop Dogg’s best friend—is best known for his triple-platinum album and hit single, Regulate. His hit-laden performance—with strippers dancing naked onstage—was the highlight of the show. “No doubt about it, Warren G had the best time up there,” said D-Money. “I was surprised to see how many webmasters knew the lyrics to some of his songs. He even pointed the mic to the crowd and the crowd sang the words back. Very impressive!”
For D-Money, whose impresario skills remain as sharp as ever, it was the evening’s retro vibe that seemed to please him the most. “Great music, beautiful women to look at and the Ju Tang Clan (D$, KB and J$tyle$) doing their thing onstage. We even had Ron Jeremy back on stage to help us introduce Warren G. Ron Jeremy has been telling me for years that the Players Ball is his favorite party, and we're happy to have him back,” he said, adding, “What really made this venue extra special was the reserved tables. We had over 33 tables reserved for our players, very comfortable for a Players Ball.”
But the coolest part of the evening may not have happened for the enjoyment of the crowd, but for a very select and lucky few. “The highlight of the night actually happened backstage in the green room just after Warren G's performance,” said D-Money. “Sapphire has a very nice-sized green room, with a lot of couches, a stage, a stripper pole and karaoke machine with huge screen to read the lyrics. We ordered a ton of pizzas, and had lots of bottle service. The vibe was super cool back there, so Warren G and his crew started singing karaoke! Disco lights, strippers, Warren G singing "I Want to Sex You Up" and "Rappers Delight." I managed to hand pick a few of the bigger players and bring them back there to have some fun with us, including Boneprone, a couple of AdultFriendFinder guys, J$tyle$, Spunky (SpunkyCash), Chris from FTV, AaronM, my wife Jennifer and a few other lucky players. We had a blast!”
The main sponsors of the Internext 2010 Players Ball were CECash and SugarCash.
Co-Sponsors of the event included PinkTV, Webair, DickmansDesign, AdultFriendFinder, GetITon, LifestyleAmateurs and MarketingFirm.com.
For a gallery of Players Ball photos, click here.