FROM SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. While the NFL plans to offer the masses a dose of Tom Petty at the big game tomorrow, corporate planners are heading in the opposite direction this weekend, giving the packed Arizona parties a whole lot of rap. The 944 Super Village at SouthBridge kicked off the concert-heavy festivities on Thursday night with a 50 Cent performance. The artist rapped on a gigantic stage in an (unheated) tent, with Paris Hilton gyrating alongside him. Pontiac sponsored the evening—and, not surprisingly, its 2008 G8 car (which 50 codesigned) on stage was impossible to miss.
In a more exclusive turn, Jenny McCarthy and Holly Robinson Peete hosted the “Best Damn Super Bowl Party Period” on Thursday (a play on Peete's' husband's Best Damn Sports Show Period on Fox Sports), with Ludacris entertaining a crowd of 300 at the private Rockridge estate in Phoenix. Next up for the HollyRod Foundation: an invitation-only Chris Rock performance tonight. Diddy also took the stage on Thursday, at Scottsdale nightclub Axis/Radius for Anheuser-Busch's Bud Bowl.
Last night 944 returned with Wyclef, Ludacris was back on stage at ESPN the Magazine's Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts fete, Snoop Dogg helmed the Bud Bowl, and LL Cool J managed to get a gig at Vice the Party. Rapper Akon also took the stage, as Maxim's surprise performer. (Our complete coverage of this event is coming.) Tonight is more of the same: Snoop is back, this time at Penthouse's “Desire” party, and the Roots are reuniting at Sports Illustrated's event.
The one company bucking the trend: DirecTV. The sports-heavy satellite-TV service offered the masses a Fall Out Boy performance after its flag football game on Thursday.