Toward the end of the Gym Class Heroes set in Indianapolis Saturday night, lead singer Travie McCoy led the crowd in a singalong of the chorus from his hit single “Billionaire.” The wish-fulfillment anthem went over well with the packed house at the brand new Crane Bay venue. It seemed that for a time, more than a few in attendance might have been living out a fantasy as well.
Co-sponsored by Bacardi, whose 150th anniversary fell on the date of the event, Rolling Stone’s Big Game party brought the worlds of sports and music together with film and television stars for a one-of-a-kind, high-energy party. Mad Men star Jon Hamm could be spotted sauntering through the crowd, while Green Bay Packers quarterback and freshly minted NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers mingled in the VIP section with R&B star B.O.B., Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, and Scary Movie ingenue Anna Faris.
Between high-energy sets from Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes, Lupe Fiasco and LMFAO, guest DJ Taryn Manning lowered from the ceiling in a specially constructed scaffolding, bringing her eye-level with a crystal chandelier featuring several dangling electric guitars. Below, hundreds of attendees sipped Bacardi mojitos and puffed on complimentary hand-rolled La Gloria Cubana cigars in the recently converted warehouse less than a football field away from the towering Lucas Oil Stadium.
Though a football game brought everyone together, sports seemed to be the last thing on most attendees’ minds. “Who’s playing tomorrow?” asked Lupe Fiasco halfway through his fiery set. After confirming his hometown Chicago Bears hadn’t made the trip to Indy, he launched into his hit single devoted to what he called “my favorite sport”: the funky skateboarding anthem “Kick, Push.” The first half of Fiasco’s set pummeled through songs like “State Run Radio” and “I Don’t Want to Care Right Now” with punk-rock force, though by the time they launched into the 2007 hit “Superstar,” the packed venue felt much more like a dance club.
The bash raged well into the early hours of Sunday morning, with party-rockers LMFAO taking the stage around 2am to an ovation from the still-packed crowd. Though SkyBlu, one-half of the chart-topping Los Angeles duo, was absent, RedFoo and a rotating cast of vigorous dancers more than made up for his absence. Taking the stage bathed in lime-green lasers and wearing what appeared to be Day-Glo Tronsuits, they launched into “Get Crazy,” “Put That Ass to Work,” and “I’m In Miami, Bitch,” as the crowd jumped along. Add several costume changes, an appearance from the hilariously fake robot from the group’s videos, and a massive inflatable zebra, and the group’s neon-coated spring break-style hedonism made for the perfect ending to a star-studded February evening in Indianapolis.