Best 'Secret' Show At A Temporary Venue - 2011
Corporate-sponsored "secret" shows—where the word gets out just in time for the hoi polloi to hear about the concert's headliner and sponsor but to miss their ability to get on the guest list—have become more and more plentiful in the post-recorded-music-as-moneymaker era, and few were more impressive than the transformation of a Bleecker Street space by the PepsiCo-owned Lipton Brisk. The back of the room was given over to a museum honoring the past of Shady Records in honor of the iced-tea brand's association with Eminem. But the front of the room during that night in September belonged to Yelawolf. The Alabama rapper, a Shady signee, tore through a set while surrounded by murals that were supposed to give the room a feel of a bodega: It didn't quite work, though the attendees certainly appreciated the free Doritos. Yela absolutely owned the place during his too-brief set, prowling the stage while spitting his intricate rhymes about growing up on the South's wrong side of the tracks. The knowledge that this would probably be the last time anyone in attendance would get to see him perform in such an intimate space only fueled the excitement.