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Team Cricket-Ovens 

Arenas and auditoriums

Last Friday, Dancing with the Stars country music singer Sara Evans came to Ovens Auditorium -- which was the perfect excuse for me to break out my cowboy boots; they hadn't gotten any action since Kenny Chesney was here in August.

Just to let you how often I go Ovens Auditorium: after following a herd of cowboy hats through the parking lot, assuming they too were heading to a country concert, I found myself in Cricket Arena -- which was hosting a rodeo. After busting out laughing, the woman at the will call booth had to send me next door. So my boots walked me through more rodeo-bound cowboys and over to the Auditorium (duh) ...

Ovens is like a fancy high school auditorium with a stage presence as prominent as some of the acts they put on. This was the only country concert I've ever been to where people weren't getting it on like a hoe-down. It was an environment more conducive to family time and older married couples enjoying dating now that the kids have gone to college. I appreciated it because it allowed me to enjoy Evans' mood-altering lyrics without distraction. The crowd just sat in their seats and enjoyed the serenade, occasionally getting up for songs like "Suds in a Bucket" and "I Keep Looking." I was expecting some boot-scooting boogie out of star dancer Evans, but she worked out those vocal cords instead.

In terms of entertainment and nightlife, the Cricket and Ovens combo is like marrying the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center with Bobcats Arena. Although it's an old school version on the outskirts of center city, the Cricket-Ovens team has a diverse roster worth checking out. Coming up they've got the Fray, Rent, New Edition world tour, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.


Apparently I should stick to being a writer because my detective skills are mediocre at best; when I went undercover as "under," I made the mistake of associating an entire subculture with a particular crew. After my article received 47 comments and counting, I've learned that the Charlotte Crew isn't a crew of "unders," but in fact a tight crew that is chill and welcoming to everyone -- and that happens to include some unders who don the name with honor. Roland Ashley, a mutual ally of the crew and myself, invited me over to meet the founding members of the Charlotte Crew, and I was quick to RSVP. I felt like I was a guest star on an episode of Friends. I listened to them talk about their game nights, camping and rafting trips, and their nightlife excursions that would give me column material every week. They say you're lucky to have one or two true friends in life. This is accurate, unless you're with the Charlotte Crew, which apparently has an average age of 22 (just to set the record straight). I enjoyed their company so much I invited them -- just as I am about to invite you -- to the QC After Dark First Anniversary party ... which also happens to be the fifth anniversary of my 21st birthday. And since this landmark date is Wednesday, Jan. 24, I couldn't think of a better setting for the birthday/anniversary party than college night at the Forum. Hope you can partake in the celebration. I can't think of a better present than the presence of a reader!

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