[Note: Thursday night T-Pain, Wale and DJ MOS performed a private concert at downtown nightclub Venue. Our man Shea Serrano was on the red carpet and inside.]
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9:17 p.m.: Yo, the PR camp from Heineken, that company that's putting this concert on, is extremely organized. At one point while we were getting the rundown of how the show would play out from the main PR guy, a woman standing near him placed her finger up to the ear bud in her ear, leaned in slightly like an FBI agent, and then announced "Wale - 20 minutes out." Cool. We thought that type of thing only happened in Michael Bay movies. 9:22 p.m.: We're in the media area at Venue now. Looks like they forgot to tell us about the Which Guy Can Wear The Skinniest Pants contest they're having. 9:24 p.m.: The black guy from Tropic Thunder just showed up. FYI, that's exactly who he's described as when we ask a few people who he is. He's tiny. We want to put him our shirt pocket and feed him bread crumbs. 9:33 p.m.: Seriously, Bun B is the dopest. Concerts, album releases, baby christenings, whatever - dude shows up to everything. This is a phenomenon we will from heretofore refer to as "The Bun B Cameo Law of Inevitability." 9:35 p.m.: Some guy is explaining who UGK is to another fellow. WTF? 9:58 p.m.: Wale just showed up. (If you haven't heard him yet, give him a whirl. He's super cool.) The media is being ushered into this tiny hallway area back behind the stage. It's all kinds of hot and crowded back here. We saw a porno that started just like this. If dudes start taking their pants off, we're fuckin' outta here. 10:10 p.m.: Tropic Thunder Guy is on stage now doing some comedy routine. Wait, do they still call it a routine if you get booed? 10:15 p.m.: Wale is friggin' nice*. (*We're using the term "nice" here to mean "really good at rapping." The proper term is actually "nice with it," but we're not near cocky enough to pull that off.) 10:20 p.m.: T-Pain is here taking pictures in front of the picture screen thing. He's wearing this big-ass chain that reaches from upper chest to his belly button. It reads "BIG ASS CHAIN" in diamond covered letters. (When we ask him about it in 25 or so minutes, he tells us it cost $410,000. That's more than the entire country of Tanzania makes in a year.) 10:24 p.m.: Check it: we're now being led around the building outside to some even smaller hallway area. T-Pain, still with chain in tow, is surrounded by several very large gentlemen. We walk right past two homeless guys who look on in confusion. Nutsos. One the one hand, you've got one guy who dropped over $400,000 on a necklace simply for the sake of making an ironic joke, and on the other these two dudes probably who haven't eaten in two days. The world is a cold place. (Just a side note: swear to God, one of the homeless guys was thumbing through this week's issue of the Press.) 10:30 p.m.: So we interviewed T-Pain and asked him a few goofy questions about Auto-Tune and whatnot. We capped it off by offering a high five and he complied. We wander back into Venue and brag to the girl we came to the show with about how we just high-fived a hand that has held a Grammy. Her response: You also just high-fived a hand that has held T-Pain's dick. Touche. 10:38 p.m.: We are suffering a massive internal struggle regarding Plies' wonderfully brainless ode to his finances, "Plenty Money." It's just, we know we shouldn't love it, but we do. We can't help it. If it were a man, we'd meet it in the mountains periodically for camping trips, make love to it, then hate ourselves for doing so for the next few months. We're in full on "Why Can't I Quit You?" mode with that song. 11:15 p.m.: For real, how the heck do you exist in Houston even for a second and not know UGK? That's still bugging us. Dollars to cents he'll be the same dude in Heaven talking about "Hey, who's that guy with the long hair and the beard? The one in the robe and crown of thorns." Aargh. 11:25 p.m.: T-Pain is an absolute monster on stage. He's got all of these color schemes and wild dancers and choreography and a band and a DJ. It's like a great big musical circus up there. No wonder he's always wearing that goofy top hat. 11:31 p.m.: Watching him on stage, there is no doubt that T-Pain is a star. He even traverses the tricky Michael Jackson Memorial section of his show well, moonwalking and popping around. Thumbs up thus far. 11:44 p.m.: If there were a worldwide dance contest held and the only thing the judge (probably God, or maybe JC Chasez) was judging was how badass you made everyone else who was watching you feel while you danced, we're 100 percent sure the winner would be the chubby (presumably) gay Mexican dude in the vest near the back of the room. He is amazing. Uh-may-zing. 11:59 p.m.: There are some music acts that you have to see live to fully appreciate exactly what it is that they're about. T-Pain is certainly one of them. He dances well, sings even better (like, he can actually sing, no Auto-Tunedness), and works the stage like a champ. Crazy. If he comes back to Houston, do not miss it.