Actors Sofia Vergara, Jeremy Renner, and Olivia Munn attend the Rolling Stone LIVE party held at the Bud Light Hotel in New Orleans Friday night. / Gustavo Caballero Getty Images for Rolling Stone
The Ravens and 49ers have been in New Orleans all week, but the real star power hit town this weekend at a series of exclusive packed parties around town. Here's the lowdown on what went down at them.
DirecTV Super Saturday Night
Justin Timberlake performed his first show in nearly five years at this raucous party, which reached fever pitch when Jay-Z surprised the crowd at the end of the set to rap a few verses on the singer's new single. Drew Brees and a large group of friends made the rounds at the giant pop-up indoor tent at Mardi Gras World, which was transformed into a concert venue after hosting a celebrity beach football game earlier in the day. Model Kate Upton, the cast of FX's The League, Dhani Jones, Braylon Edwards and Shawne Merriman were also seen taking in the show.
The magazine rented out the Elms Mansion in New Orleans' Garden District for a crowded yet lively party that featured a seven-song set by Lil Wayne. Former cover athlete Mark Sanchez didn't attend, but the NFL was represented by Victor Cruz, Terrell Owens and Tennessee Titans defensive end Kamerion Wimbley. Upton, actress Hayden Panettiere, chef Guy Fieri and former NFL player turned actor Terry Crews were also in the crowd.
Leather & Laces
A robust police presence in New Orleans' warehouse district turned Super Bowl party haven did nothing to deter a rogue scalper, who was selling fake tickets at $500 a pop. He made away with near $2000 before being busted outside this party, which was going strong for the second consecutive night. Belvedere vodka and Moet champagne flowed freely as the Gronkowski clan made a re-appearance after showing up and throwing down the night before. Andy Roddick circled the VIP area as his wife, party host Brooklyn Decker, enjoyed pulsing tunes and high-flying Cirque dancers.
The number of NFL players at this annual Super Bowl party staple would have made a pretty decent past and present Pro Bowl team. Current players Jason and Devin McCourty, Earl Thomas, Joe Thomas and Duane Brown made it to the celebration at Second Line Studios, while NFL alums Eric Dickerson, Michael Irvin, Andre Reed, Carl Banks, Terrell Owens and Jeremy Shockey also joined in the fun. The crowd, which also included Jeremy Piven and Lolo Jones, wasn't the only thing that was overflowing. Reportedly some of the Porta Potties at the venue were having the same problem.
Audi Forum New Orleans
This afterparty didn't start until midnight, with DJ Diplo spinning as Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers huddled with fellow Bay Area native Jeremy Renner and guests including Sofia Vergara, Stacy Keibler and Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul made the rounds at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
Held under a tent at Tad Gormley Stadium in the City Park section of New Orleans, the party featured plenty of athletes and entertainers rubbing elbows in the common areas of the party. Too common, in fact, for Victor Cruz and Arian Foster, who were trying to have a conversation before being interrupted by swarming picture-takers. That's the vibe at the ESPN party, which traditionally puts the VIPs in with the rest of the guests, right alongside the Old Spice Man and the virtual car-racing games. Cee Lo Green's performance got off to a shaky start (even Green admitted as much) but closed strong with the R-rated version of his hit "(Forget) You." In between, there were lots of other profanities from the foul-mouthed pop star. Many more were being tossed around outside from departing guests, who noted it will be even colder in the Manhattan cab lines next year but at least those lines will be moving.
Leather & Laces
At this party in the Warehouse District south of the French Quarter, Kendra Wilkinson, Jenny McCarthy, Stephanie Pratt and Audrina Patridge hosted high-flying Cirque dancers and the entire Gronkowski clan â?? brothers Chris, Rob, Dan and dad Gordon, who all kept their shirts on. The Gronk family stayed out till 3 a.m. while former NFL wide receiver Hank Baskett was connected at the hip with wife Kendra.
An absolutely full house packed into the Jackson Square Brewery for this disorganized fete, which featured plenty of models in the traditional bunny costumes and appearances by Saints coach Sean Payton and former Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey, who appeared to have slimmed down considerably since his playing days. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and his brother, New England Patriots rookie Chandler Jones, tried to navigate the swarm of people on the packed second floor, while NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp clowned around with Playmates on the blue carpet before bull rushing upstairs with his entourage.
Rolling Stone LIVE at the Bud Light Hotel
There weren't as many athletes in the mix at this event, which featured musical performances by Pitbull and Flo Rida. Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews made an appearance as did former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann. Lots of actors were in the mix, including Jeremy Renner, Olivia Munn and Sofia Vergara, but the weirdest sight of the night had to be 68-year-old former Beatle Paul McCartney dancing and nodding his set to Flo Rida's set.
Audi Forum New Orleans
Sporting his "Ron Burgundy mustache," Will Ferrell joined NFL Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Barry Sanders at this large cocktail event, which featured a live set by musician Santigold. Held at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, this party was much more subdued than the others but ended up being one of the best times of the night.
Contributing: Mike Garafolo, Robert Klemko
Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com
Read the original story: Super bashes: Recapping the party scene from New Orleans