Monster Cable threw a massive party for its favorite retailers Tuesday night at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. The entertainment? Nothing less than six-time Grammy winner Mary J. Blige, who held nothing back in an intense, soulful, high-energy 19-song set, supported by a five-piece band and three backup singers.
For the thousand-plus lucky people in the ballroom, it was a terrific show by an R&B star who worked as hard onstage as anyone in the music business. It was also a demonstration that Monster will spare no expense in order to keep its retailers happy. After all, without motivated sellers (and massive marketing), who would want to buy Monster’s ridiculously expensive gold-plated cables and connectors?
But first, the awards. Monster CEO Noel Lee kicked things off by rolling out on his now-ubiquitous Segway. (He rides it everywhere.) He spent the next hour handing out commendations: Most Monsterous E-Commerce Retailer, Most Monsterous Domestic Distributor, Most Monsterous International Retailer… At some point, the even the editors in the audience had been desensitized enough that they stopped wincing at the deliberate misspelling of the word “monstrous.”
Each award came with one of the most singularly monstrous trophies ever to grace a stage: A massive RCA plug made of brass which — of course — had been gold-plated.
Eventually, the star of the evening hit the stage, at about 10:30pm. From then on, it was all good. The high point, for me, was standing in the front row for a Blige’s moving, soulful cover of U2’s “One.”
After the show ended at midnight, hundreds of VIPs filed out of the Paris and into the adjacent Bally’s for an after-party with an array of musical talents in two big ballrooms. I have no idea how late the party went or who showed up, as I left after just half an hour, heading back to the comfort and Wi-Fi connection of my hotel room in Treasure Island with a new Mary J. Blige CD in my bag and a bunch of photos from the show.
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