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Crowd turns rowdy after rapper Dipset refuses to perform


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Crocodile Rock crowd turns rowdy when rapper takes off

Hip-hop performer was to give concert

By Scott Kraus Of The Morning Call A packed hip-hop concert at Crocodile Rock in Allentown turned violent early Sunday when fighting broke out after headliner Juelz Santana left the club without performing.

As about 1,000 angry patrons left around 1:20 a.m., Allentown police, aided by officers from the Pennsylvania state police, Lehigh County Adult Probation, Salisbury Township, Whitehall Township, South Whitehall Township and Coopersburg, lined the 500 block of Hamilton Street, some with police dogs and riot gear.

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Mobile News | Subscribe Online | Order Reprints Frustrated concertgoers milled around in front of the club until they were told to leave by police.

The bill featured a dozen opening acts, which performed from 9 p.m. to nearly 1 a.m. to an audience that packed the club to capacity waiting for Santana, who performs on Def Jam Records as one of a group of rappers known as DipSet.

Witnesses said that when Santana, who was nominated for a Best Performance by a Rap Duo or Group Grammy in 2003, failed to perform, fights broke out among the audience and some members of one opening act. Spectators bolted for the exits.

Allentown police arrested two people. Four people were treated for mostly minor injuries at Sacred Heart Hospital, said Lt. Daryl Hendricks, but it was likely there were more hurt who did not seek treatment.

Earl Montgomery, 37, of 7447 Salem Bible Church Road, Zionsville, was arrested for disorderly conduct and public drunkenness at 12:16 a.m., arraigned, and released on his own recognizance.

Jeremiah Sullivan, 26, of 2435 Frisbee Ave., Bronx, N.Y., was arrested at 1:23 a.m. on charges of simple assault, criminal mischief and harassment. Police said Sullivan attempted to incite the crowd from the stage, refused to leave and then attempted to damage sound equipment.

He was arraigned before District Judge Patricia Warmkessel of South Whitehall Township and sent to Lehigh County Prison under $8,000 bail.

Descriptions differed of what led to the chaos.

Promoter Lamont Williams, who goes by the name El Dorado, said he paid Santana $20,000 and plans to sue the rapper for breach of contract, but Crocodile Rock manager Tom Taylor blamed Williams, saying Santana was ready to take the stage until an opening act refused to surrender it.

''It was not [santana] at all. He was ready to play, El Dorado's band just wouldn't get off the stage,'' Taylor said.

Taylor said the final opening act smashed wireless microphones and turned over sound equipment when he shut off the sound system in an effort to allow Santana to take the stage. Then, a group of the act's supporters rushed the stage from the rear of the club, he said.

According to Williams, Santana showed up 15 minutes early for his scheduled 1 a.m. performance and demanded to go on immediately. But the scheduled warm-up act, GQ Joey Boca, which had paid $1,000 to appear at the concert, still had 15 minutes left to perform.

Williams said the club shut the sound off for the opening act, Santana walked on stage, then turned around and left without performing.

Williams said that was when the fights started. Williams said he chased Santana down the street and then didn't go back in Crocodile Rock because he was afraid the crowd would turn on him.

Taylor said Williams should have forced the opening act to leave the stage early to allow the headliner Santana to perform, but Williams had already left.

And Taylor said Williams further upset concertgoers by charging more than the advertised $23 per ticket at the door. Williams could not be reached for comment on the ticket prices.

Williams said he understands why the crowd got upset and that he plans to put on a free show in the future to make it up to customers.

There was too much chaos to provide refunds after the concert, he said.

He said patrons who purchased tickets at retail outlets including FYE or New York Urban should try to get refunds from the store where they bought their passes.

''People spent good money to get inside,'' he said.

Taylor said that if anybody is looking for someone to blame for what happened, it is Williams, who collected the revenue from ticket receipts and then left the venue

Crocodile Rock got revenue only from liquor sales, Taylor said.

''I don't know if we are ever going to do this kind of thing again,'' he said.

Crocodile Rock owner Steve Kahlon said he is going to do everything he can to get Santana or another rapper to put on a free concert, or find a way to get refunds for his club's patrons. He said he also plans to file a lawsuit against Santana.

''We need to do something for our patrons, because they paid for a show that didn't go on,'' Santana said.

One fan who left frustrated was Rodney Phelps, who traveled to the concert from Washington, N.J.

''Thousands of people did not get what they paid for,'' Phelps said, holding a poster of the event that promised an appearance by Santana.

''We drove two hours and we can't even get a response from the club to see if we can get our money back,'' said Karina Minauro from Paterson, N.J.

Police entered the club and ordered everyone to leave sometime after 1:30 a.m.

Taylor said it was the first time the club has had serious problems with a hip-hop concert. Other hip-hop concerts such as Method Man have gone smoothly.

Saturday night's show was unique, he said, in that it was run by a local promoter and not Crocodile Rock.

The club typically works with the House of Blues and established talent agencies to arrange bookings.

Calls to phone numbers that Williams said were for Santana's publicist and Def Jam records were not returned Sunday.

damn..I had friends that were goin to that show too

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"Salem Bible Church Road, Zionsville"

WTF!? Is that a real place? Sounds one of the most contrivingly named places I've heard of...

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Guest Bosstown Boy

Witnesses said that when Santana, who was nominated for a Best Performance by a Rap Duo or Group Grammy in 2003, failed to perform, fights broke out among the audience and some members of one opening act. Spectators bolted for the exits.
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"Salem Bible Church Road, Zionsville"

WTF!? Is that a real place? Sounds one of the most contrivingly named places I've heard of...

Yes..Salem Bible Church Road is a real place. Zionsville is a small small small place..about maybe a total of 3 square miles big. A population of about 150 people, and 5 churches. Most of the roads are named after a landmark on them..there is Kings Highway School Road, stuff like that. My friend grew up there and actually went to Salem Bible Church

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Dipset bitch~!

Seriously, fuck Camron and everyone associated with them. Horrible rappers IMO.

Seconded. And my school wanted to pay 40 grand to bring this waste to perform at our Spring Weekend. The sad part is, he said no. But, I dunno why anyone likes this Dipset shit.

Frisbee Ave. = best street name ever

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Knowing the people who live around here (yeah, I'm not far from Allentown), this isn't surprising. And people act shocked when I refuse to go see bands at Croc Rock.

Surprises me that they had 1,000 people in there. I didn't think they'd be able to cram more then about 800 in there. Not that big of a club, unless they had the side open so people could go outside

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I can't believe Dipset have fans. It blows my mind every time - the best two Dipset guys don't even get any attention from fans & media.

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