HughE Dillon: Eagles Kick Off Season With Flight Night
Rufus Wainwright with special guest Martha Wainwright was the billing Wednesday at the Mann. Before the show, the AIDS Fund sponsored the First Annual LGBT Lawn Party Extravaganza where guests competed for the best theme-picnic spread.
Martha Wainwright and her producer, husband Brad Albetta, took the stage about 7:45 p.m. This was one of Martha’s first outings since the death of her mother, Kate McGarrigle in January. At times her set was peppered with happy stories of her son and husband, at other times we were reminded of the deep pain she is experiencing over the loss of her mother. At one point she sang a beautiful Edith Piaf song, and mentioned that her CD was only released in Europe as her U.S. record company had dropped her here.
Nothing prepared me for Rufus Wainwright. Before he entered the stage in his long, black feathery dress, the announcer came on and asked the audience to withhold their applause during his first act, which was 40 minutes long. During these numbers I couldn’t understand what he was singing, but it was obviously an ode to the passing of his mother. Occasionally during the song breaks fans would shout out their love for Rufus, but it was met by the stifling darkness of the amphitheater. As someone who is grieving the passing of my sister Judy last December, it was all very heartbreaking, and I left before the concert concluded. I was looking forward to hearing him sing his signature song “Hallelujah,” but was satisfied to listen to it as I wrote this piece.
Last night Lincoln Financial Field celebrated the start of the upcoming season with the Second Annual Eagles Flight Night with more than 30,000 fans in attendance. Proceeds go to support Eagles Youth Partnership.
It was the first chance to see the entire 2010 Philadelphia Eagles team as the event offered something for the entire family: fun, football and fireworks, player intros and interviews, a full-contact practice, thousands of random prize giveaways including jerseys right off of the Eagles players’ backs, autographed merchandise, interactive activities, play-calling by Merrill Reese, and the chance to catch a mini-football thrown by either Jeffrey Lurie, Sav Rocca, Jon Dorenbos, Jeremy Maclin or Todd Herremans.
ABOVE: Leslie and Scott Libby enjoy their evening out. The blond head to the left is Whitney Huddleston, wife of Kevin Kolb. She was with their two adorable daughters, but declined being photographed with them.
THE CURSE IS OVER: Last year’s Flight Night was spoiled by a knee injury for linebacker Stewart Bradley, which sidelined him the entire season. This year he ran off the field injury free after doing interviews on the subject.
Throughout the evening, specific seats were chosen and the occupants of those seats got the practice jersey right off the sweaty backs of an Eagles player, in addition to getting an autograph and a picture. ABOVE: Brent Celek, Todd Herremans and Stacy Andrews with their winners. The night ended with fireworks around 9 p.m., with dreams of an exciting upcoming season going all the way to the Super Bowl.
OUT AND ABOUT
Former 76er Samuel Dalembert, who was recently traded to the Sacramento Kings, stopped by the new cigar place near Rittenhouse Square Smokin’ Stogies ‘n’ Stuff last Saturday night.
Wednesday night a sweatsuit-wearing trio that included Jen Utley, Jamie Moyer and his wife Karen dined at Twenty Manning.
Tonight: Craig Robinson from The Bachelorette will host a party at Dusk nightclub in Atlantic City at 11 p.m. On Monday tune into The Bachelor Pad on ABC to see local girl Gwen Gioia participate in the Real World-inspired house for former contestants of the Bachelor and Bachelorette series, as well as Erin Elmore‘s sister Ashley Elmore. Robinson is still in the running to be the next Bachelor. My money is on him because of the way they have been marketing him.
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