They were “shaking it like a Polaroid picture” on the dance floor at the OUTKAST after-Grammy soiree, but there was plenty of real photo-fun going on too, and not just the paparazzi kind. The camera company hired hundreds of fresh-faced twentysomethings to walk around and snap instant portraits of revelers as they grooved and gambled on Vegas’s HARD ROCK CASINO gaming tables, with real dealers and flashy pink-spandex-clad “dice blowers” — though of course the chips were as fake as the gals. It may have been a house party — in what turned out to be a not-so-secret Sunset Plaza–area mansion — but it was, as is more and more the case lately, a marketing event with Polaroid, X-Box, Levi’s and Axe man spray working their products with samples and setups throughout. Still, the gathering was notably star-packed and refreshingly unsegregated: one minute you could be bumping and grinding next to DAVID ALLAN GRIER and video director DAVID MEYERS, the next it was a Red Bull–guzzling JACK OSBOURNE, getting freaky (as in “Friday”) with his date, Disney flick star LINDSAY LOHAN. Dancing and drinking may have raged in the main upper level tent, but getting to the loo or lower levels meant squeezing through one very congested area where you had the chance to bump rumps with the likes of SHARON STONE, BECK, CHRISTINA AGUILERA, JC CHASEZ, lovebirds NICK LACHEY and JESSICA SIMPSON and American Idol–makers PAULA ABDUL and RANDY JACKSON. Hordes of would-bes, could-bes and should-bes were left outkast when the party got shut down for noise as the fashionably late ANDRE 3000 arrived just in time to get hey ya’d by the boys in blue. No doubt they liked the way he moved.
What was the most-discarded piece of gift-bag filler from the 11th annual ROCK THE VOTE awards? Voter registration forms, of course. Abandoned white forms swirled down Sunset, caught up in the evening’s gusty winds — but hey, maybe all of the tarted-up teenagers inside the PALLADIUM were already registered. They definitely weren’t interested in MTV correspondent JOHN NORRIS or RTV president JEHMU GREENE’s words of wisdom, but if P. DIDDY ever ran for president he’d have the 18–24 vote all wrapped up, judging from the way everyone tossed aside their little roast beef sandwiches and Ben & Jerry’s to crowd in and listen to his surprisingly sincere make-a-difference speech. Iron Curtain–born DJ PAUL VAN DYK shook up the dance floor at the previous night’s DJs Rock the Vote, but here FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE played a lackluster set that made one think “Stacy’s Mom” wouldn’t even have been Grammy-nominated without that hot mom in the video. In fact, volunteering to play at the awards might have cast an overall Grammy curse as fellow performers BLACK EYED PEAS and N.E.R.D. (nominated in their Neptunes personas) also lost out in their categories. Awards went to the Tom Joyner Morning Show, activist businessman and founder of Rhino Records RICHARD FOOS, and the DIXIE CHICKS. Singer NATALIE MAINES, after receiving her award from the ever-adorable JAKE GYLLENHAAL, reminded the audience to think hard when they go to the polls and make sure that they “vote for the right person!” Bushwhacked again.
WOMEN ON THE SPLURGE
“I think the trucker cap thing may finally be over,” said one smartly turned-out gal to her friends as she scanned the fellows lined up waiting to get into EMPORIO ARMANI for its WOMEN ON THE VERGE musical eve, sponsored by Elle. For once, most of the guys left their faux-working-class chapeaus at home. One contrarian was actor BENICIO DEL TORO sporting a Houston Oilers cap, but keeping it hat-free were MTV’s wedded-bliss duo NICK LACHEY and JESSICA SIMPSON, American Idol judge RANDY JACKSON and singer JOHN MAYER. Partying down in a store can be a bit tricky, what with those clothes racks and all, but PARIS HILTON, Black Eyed Peas’ FERGIE , singer NIKKA COSTAS, and actors AMANDA DETMER, MELISSA GEORGE, FRAN DRESCHER (definitely not in Old Navy duds), TARAJI HENSON and REBECCA DE MORNAY managed to while model-DJ SKY NELLOR spun distaff-themed tunes. Walking up the stairs to the cordoned-off VIP area, De Mornay looked over to the far side of the store where a small stage had been set up for a girl singer. “Who’s playing,” she asked her date. “I don’t know, Liz Phair,” he suggested. STACIE ORRICO, who was belting it out despite the chatty crowd, did a nice job filling the space with something else besides overpriced jackets and slacks. SHELBY LYNNE finished out the night, telling the crowd before launching into a terrific version of “Telephone”: “This is a song I wrote about drinking late at night and you can’t help putting your finger on the phone.” No busy signal there.