Two days ago, a complete stranger calmly approached me at the airport. Her demeanor was kind, she didn't have any noticeable body odor and gave off a friendly vibe. I smirked before she started the painstaking task of carrying out small talk.
"Hey, are you from here?" she asked. My brain wanted my mouth to utter a crude and succinct reply to send her packing, but my heart ended up saying, "Yes, yes I am."
"Do you know when All-Star Weekend is here?"
She obviously knew when it was and I was hoping I didn't look like a complete fool. Her eyes were slightly drained, her jaw contorted hoping for my reply to seem foolish and I muttered with delight, "Yes, it falls on Valentine's Day, prepare to be single."
She laughed. I was serious. Because All-Star Weekend is not for couples.
If SXSW is a cornucopia of music fans cramming into Austin to smell of sweet hipster musk, then All-Star Weekend is the ultimate party weekend for a socialite with cash and opportunity in mind. Super Bowl Weekend has absolutely nothing on the carnage that could occur at ASW, hence the NBA actually doing the unthinkable and holding it in Vegas one year.
Think about it -- Vegas. Apart from the Electric Daisy Carnival insanity, you wouldn't dare take a music festival to Vegas for four days. We might never make it back alive.
Thus, here is a giant guide for you, broken down in fine form because we're dealing with Houston and its massive allotment of bars, pubs and clubs stretching from downtown to way off 59 and I-10. The billboards warned you, I'm here to help you. Along with some of the best Houston Rockets in history.
THE MARIO ELIE PACKAGE (RSVP req'd-$50) (Relatively inexpensive and clutch in the right moments.)
Slim Thug @ 5th Amendment (2900 Travis, Tickets) Hometown boy Slim Thug with DJ Mr. Rogers at 5th, which already is Houston's best spot for a Thursday night. $40 tickets can't be beaten.
Trinidad James, Jas Prince & Andre Johnson @ The Drake (1902 Washington, Tickets) Trinidad might be taking up residency in the city throughout the weekend so here's the first part of it. $30 at The Drake with Rap-a-Lot hier Jas Prince and Andre Johnson.
Young Jeezy, James Harden, LeBron James & Nelly @ The Compound at Hess Club (5430 Westheimer, Tickets) At only $50, you're sitting in the same venue as the best player on the Rockets, the best player in the league, one of the best trappers in history, and Nelly. And at a relatively new venue at that.
Maybach Music Group @ Club Roxy (5351 W. Alabama, Tickets) Club Roxy is legendary in its own right, and the amount of star power for this particular party will be massive. Hometown kid Rashard Lewis brings in some of the best video vixens to town with him in Maliah Michel, Keyshia Dior, Kyra Chaos and Bernice Burgos. Needless to say, you might want to be here for the women.
Trinidad James & DJ Drama @ Club Empire (3101 San Jacinto, Tickets) Here might be your cheapest "All Gold Everything" experience with T. James throughout All-Star Weekend.
Rakim @ Fitzgerald's (2706 White Oak, Tickets) Two things -- one, you get the God MC performing in Houston for what may possibly be the first time ever. Second, as an added bonus you get the championship round of the Space City Beat Battle, highlighting some of Houston's best producers. Can't go wrong with either of them.
All-Star Daytime Soiree @ Zanzibar (9003 Westheimer, 2 p.m., RSVP) Probably the most inexpensive party on a Saturday afternoon spot in between the Galleria and plenty of eateries. Crawfish and good music in February? Can't beat it.
The Crossover @ Last Concert Cafe (1403 Nance, RSVP) An outdoor party with DJs Clark Kent, Mick Boogie, Neil Armstrong and the sort. In other words, the most relaxed portion of the weekend you might have.
Lil Wayne @ Stereo Live (6400 Richmond, Tickets) Weezy F. Baby and the F stands for frugal? Well, not necessarily, but you have to realize that partying with Weezy, as opulent as he may be, might could be a good bet for an ASW close.
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Come back Friday for the Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon packages.