Super Bowl weekend hit overdrive on Saturday with a barrage of high-profile events in nearly every corner of Atlanta.
How many parties is too many parties? That's the question many Super Bowl weekend revelers were asking themselves while pondering how to survive the frenetic rounds in Atlanta. The Hollywood Reporter was on the scene Saturday night, hitting up some of the biggest parties around town, including DIRECTV's Foo Fighters concert, GQ magazine's post-NFL Honors bash, Rolling Stone's epic hip-hop show with Ludacris and ending the night with a Lil Wayne set at the College Football Hall of Fame for Sports Illustrated. Find out who else was out and about by reading the recaps below.
Who: Aaron Rodgers, Alexander Ludwig, Andi Dorfman, Anja Savcic, Blake Bortles, Carson Palmer, Dak Prescott, Dale Moss, Emily Ratajkowski, Jharrel Jerome Jon Hamm, Keegan-Michael Key, Mark Cuban, Michael Strahan, Milos Raonic, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd, Peyton Manning, Ron Livingston, Sarah Hyland, Tim Tebow with fiancée Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Tony Gonzalez, Quincy Brown, Vanessa Hudgens, Will Sasso, Yahya Abdul-Mateen, Zachary Levi and others.
What: DIRECTV Super Saturday Night
Where: Custom-built 72,000 square foot venue at Atlantic Station, 1371 Market St. NW
Inside Dish: "This ain't no halftime shit. This is good time shit." That was Foo Fighter's frontman Dave Grohl's promise during the band's performance at DIRECTV's big Super Saturday Night, and he made sure he delivered. As Rudd, Tebow and Cuban looked on from the VIP area of the temporary venue (which Uber drivers loved to point out to THR every time the car passed the giant, impressive structure), Foo Fighters made a case for rock music in a city known for raising rap and hip-hop superstars. And according to DIRECTV's Valerie Vargas, senior vp of advertising and creative services, AT&T, the band was intent on putting its stamp on the festivities. “Foo Fighters were deeply involved in the experiential elements of DIRECTV Super Saturday Night including loaning special memorabilia like their Grammys and the throne Dave Grohl used when he broke his leg on tour," she told THR. "Fans loved being able to see these items up close and even sit in the throne. In working with them on this, we set out to make their fans feel even closer to their favorite artists through an unforgettable experience.” Speaking of that expereince, several special guests joined Foo Fighters onstage for the show, which aired live on AT&T's Audience Network, including Queen drummer Roger Taylor, who played drums during a cover of "Under Pressure." Meanwhile, Atlanta-born country artist Zac Brown and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello (a vocal Los Angeles Rams fan) joined Grohl and the rest of the band for a rendition of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs." Jane's Addiction's Perry Farrell closed out the star-studded section of the two-hour show with "Mountain Song." The event was live-streamed on Twitter, Audience Network and DIRECTV NOW and more than four million viewers tuned in to push it to become a No. 1 trending topic on the platform. The Run The Jewels set included “Legend Has It,” “Blockbuster Night Pt. 1” and “Thursday in the Danger Room,” among other songs.
Who: Rappers Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne took to the stage in front of guests including Sports Illustrated swimsuit models Danielle Herrington, Kate Bock, Haley Kalil, Hunter McGradey. Also there: Da Brat, Denise Bidot, Diplo, Omari Cooper, Jonathan Cheban, Andi Dorfman, Evander Holyfield, Lil Jon, Miles Jones, Aaron Judge, Eva Marcille, Baker Mayfield, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Aly Raisman, Flo Rida, Shaun Ross, JB Smoove, Lynn Swan, Danny Trejo, Rachel Lindsay, Taboo, Urban Meyer, Will.I.Am and others.
What: Sports Illustrated’s “Saturday Night Lights”
Where: College Football Hall of Fame, 250 Marietta St. NW, 9 p.m.
Inside Dish: Snoop and Wayne headlined the mag's big return to Big Game Weekend. Towards the end of his set, Lil Wayne took off his sunglasses so he could get a good look at what was happening in front of him, which, to him, was proof that the stage was lit and everybody was having the best time. And by everybody, he specifically pointed out that his eyes could see Black Eyed Peas stars Will.I.Am and Taboo who were perched on a box in front of the stage jamming along to every track. To host the killer party, SI teamed up with Talent Resources Sports and Matthew Gavin Enterprises. DJ IRIE and Dallas Austin also performed during the night which saw a silent auction happening in another part of the complex. Also of note was that Wayne ended his set and walked off stage to this mic drop music moment — Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You."
Who: Brian White, Brielle Biermann, Casanova, CeeLo Green, Cynthia Bailey, Deon Cole, Kenya Moore, Luann de Lesseps, Marlo Hampton, Merle Dandridge, NeNe Leakes, Robin Givens, Scheana Shay, Ser’Darius Blain, Taran Killam, Tanya Sam, Ty Burrell and others.
What: Rolling Stone Live: Atlanta Big Game Bash
Where: The Goat Farm Art Center, 1200 Foster St. NW
Inside Dish: Rolling Stone took over the Goat Farm Art Center by Skylight — a rustic venue that used to be a gin factory back in the day. According to its website, the 10-acre historic property hosts art exhibits, dance performances, installations and workshops though one would wonder how those artistic outings would compare to the hip-hop-a-palooza that happened on Saturday night with sets by Ludacris, Young Thug, Gunna and Lil Keed. Brought to life by the creative strategy firm Skylight for Rolling Stone Live: Atlanta, the event was presented by Mercedes-Benz in partnership with LDV Hospitality. Heineken and Crown Royal handled sips.
Who: Jon Bon Jovi, Baker Mayfield, JD Pardo, David Harbour, Chanel Iman, Deandre Hopkins, Don Benjamin, Draya Michele, Fonzworth Bentley, Keegan-Michael Key, Kyler Murray, Mike Will, Kat Graham, Nina Dobrev, Quincy Brown, Sterling Shepherd, Swae Lee, Victor Cruz and Weezer. DJ set by Taco.
What: GQ magazine partnered with the NFL to host the official afterparty for the league’s NFL Honors ceremony, which was held earlier in the evening to celebrate the top talent on the field. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named MVP during the Steve Harvey-hosted event, which aired on CBS.
Where: Gallery 874, Joseph E Lowery Blvd NW, Atlanta
Inside Dish: The art gallery space got a dude-approved makeover. There were chic sofas, a wall of footballs (for a pigskin-tossing photo booth) and late night burgers from Shake Shack which turned this pit stop into one of the more low-key lounge-style events on the schedule. And if you had to make the rounds on this hectic Saturday night, this is exactly the kind of party where you'd want to chill inside with a glass of whiskey — or four.
Who: Future, Jamie Foxx, Diplo, Zaytoven, Yo Gotti, DJ Ruckus, Kevin Hart, Odell Beckham, Jr., Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Saquon Barkley, Travis Kelce, Flo Rida, Zoey Deutch, Diane Guerrero, Teyana Taylor, Sterling Shepard, Chanel Iman, Don Benjamin, Jerome Bettis, Jameis Winston, Casanova, Adrian Peterson, Antonio Gates, Marcedes Lewis, Shiggy, Whitney Reign, Nick Chubb, Andrew Sendejo, Stefon Diggs, Luke Willson, Charles Tillman, Calvin Ridley, Jordan Poyer, Jamal Adams, Avery Williamson and Keith Smith.
What: Maxim Big Game Experience
Where: The Fairmont, 1429 Fairmont Ave. NW
Inside Dish: For a 19th straight year, Maxim hosted its annual big weekend event, this time around with a major roster of musical guests including a sets by Future, Jamie Foxx and Diplo with additional performances by Yo Gotti, Zaytoven and DJ Ruckus. According to organizers, the event paid homage to "Atlanta royalty" with activations including Zaytoven’s Basement Studio, presented by AKG. Guests had access to a flavor lounge courtesy of blu electronic cigarettes and were gifted by Boom Cups, Liquid IV and Som Sleep with Gentil Bandit making custom bags for celebrity attendees. Clique Hospitality's rooftop nightlife venue in Las Vegas, APEX Social Club of PALMS Casino Resort, took over the celebrity-packed balcony. Pernod Ricard’s Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky was poured, while Waffle House handled light bites.
Who: Hosts included Russell Wilson, J.J. Watt, Steve Smith Sr., Sam Darnold, Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Tirico, Scott Van Pelt, Rich Eisen, Ron Rivera, Mike Golic, Kevin Harvick, Kirk Herbstreit and Mark Teixeira. Other guests included Brett Favre, Maria Menounos, Jimmy Tatro, Jameis Winston and David Portnoy.
What: Wheels Up Hosts Star-Studded Fifth Annual Super Saturday Tailgate
Where: Warehouse space
Inside Dish: Wheels Up — the private jet membership club — is well known among Super Bowl regulars for hosting an always-packed party with list that spans from athletes to bold-faced names in Hollywood and business. Legendary Italian restaurant Rao’s hosted a pop-up on the parking lot space where guests lined up for executive chef Dino Gatto’s meatballs, which is typically reserved only for those who own tables at the Harlem enclave. Run-DMC's Darryl McDaniels turned in a surprise performance on a program that also included activations by Bose, BMW, Cintron, Diageo and TruFusion. Wheels Up CEO and founder Kenny Dichter made the rounds with longtime friend Russell Wilson, who even jumped on the microphone to sing "Living on a Prayer" with a cover band. "I love going to every Super Bowl," Wilson told THR. "There's always something to learn, always something to see and you get to meet some of the best people in the world in different fields."