Black Eyed Peas
Bradley Center – Milwaukee, WI
March 11, 2010
“Boom Boom Pow is my freakin’ style,” rapped will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas last Thursday night in Milwaukee. “What up Lexie? I know you’re lookin’ sexy.” The mastermind songwriter and producer behind the Black Eyed Peas spent a good five minutes freestyling alone on stage while reading off of the two jumbotron video screens hanging down on either side of the stage. The Black Eyed Peas vocalist/rapper was getting his ideas and cues from various BlackBerry Messenger texts rolling up the screens sent in from BBM-using fans in the audience. Putting aside the obvious fact that BlackBerry is the official sponsor of the BEP’s The E.N.D World Tour, it was pretty amazing to witness will.i.am coming up with rap verses on the spot while a steady beat played through the Bradley Center’s PA system. That man has some serious skills. This awesome display of talent was only the beginning of what would become an almost two-hour long outrageously entertaining concert from the Black Eyed Peas.
More photos of the Black Eyed Peas after the jump…
Set List / Milwaukee
Let’s Get It Started
Rock That Body
Meet Me Halfway
Don’t Phunk With My Heart
Big Girls Don’t Cry
Where Is The Love?
Boom Boom Pow
I Gotta Feeling
With Or Without You (U2 cover)
To kick off the night’s festivities, all four of the Black Eyed Peas slowly and enticingly appeared one by one amid smoke and green lasers via lifts located under the stage. First to come into view was apl.de.ap on the far left. Then came Taboo on the far right. Fergie was next, back next to apl.de.ap. Finally, will.i.am appeared in between Taboo and Fergie. The lineup was now complete. Green lasers were beamed in every direction. Time for the show to begin. And begin it did, with the foursome launching into “Let’s Get It Started” from 2003’s Elephunk record.
“Thanks for making this song #1 two weeks in a row!” exclaimed a grateful visor-wearing Fergie seconds before the group performed their latest hit “Imma Be.” The song is the group’s fourth single off of The E.N.D (The Energy Never Dies). “Wisconsin! How many cheeseheads do we have in the house?” Fergie asked the nearly sold out crowd, clearly attempting to appeal to the locals. “I know, I know, I should keep my day job, right?” That’s right, Fergie Ferg. Don’t leave the Black Eyed Peas anytime soon to try your luck in stand-up comedy. We love you and your lovely lady lumps! Speaking of lady lumps and humps…
You guessed it. “My Humps” was up next on the group’s set list with Fergie displaying her perfectly toned curves in a skintight bedazzled bodysuit. Throughout the song, Fergie (real name: Stacy Ferguson) gyrated her lower half while, doing her best to rival Shakira’s hip and waist twisting skills, while balancing one hand on the shoulder of band leader will.i.am. Simultaneously with the ending lyric “Imma make make make you work, make you work work, make you work,” Fergie showed off some impressive flexing of her pectoral muscles, much to the crowd’s delight. “What you gonna do with all that breast, all that breast, inside that shirt?” Make you work, indeed.
With crystal clear vocals piercing through the airwaves, Fergie sang the introduction to “Missing You.” This track was immediately my favorite upon buying the BEP’s new album. It’s safe to say that I was very happy “Missing You” was included in the group’s set. Having Fergie sing her part totally on pitch was icing on the cake. When not belting out her notes, Fergie could be seen performing robot-like dance moves in her platform wedge heels. Oddly enough, her shoes actually had no heel to them at all. Heelless heels, I suppose. Not sure how else to describe them. You will have to catch her on the BEP’s current tour to get what I’m saying. Whatever they are, I give Fergie made props for being able to dance in those futuristic contraptions, let alone walk in them!
If you have never seen the Black Eyed Peas in concert, you may not be aware that each group member gets their own chance to shine alone on stage at some point halfway through the set. First off on The E.N.D World Tour is a performance of “Bebot” by apl.de.ap. The Philippino (real name: Allan Pineda Lindo) finished off his solo act with admirable breakdancing, proving that he could easily be a professional b-boy (break-boy) if the Black Eyed Peas ever decide to call it quits. Hopefully, that will never come to fruition. A world without the Black Eyed Peas? Absolutely ludicrous.
Next up is Taboo (real name: Jaime Luis Gomez). Rising from below the stage, Taboo appears on top of a black and white motorcycle. Instead of stopping when the lift reaches stage level, the vehicle continues to rise up into the air. To the awe of the thousands of fans, Taboo proceeded to be carried over the audience below him on the main floor. Once he is stationed above the front of house (soundboard/mix), Taboo’s ride is turned around and begins to return to the stage. “I keep it short and simple,” states Taboo once he is safely back on solid ground.
“Are you all ready to get glamorous?” asks Fergie, who is now in her prime after kicking off a three-song solo set with “Fergalicious.” The second song is “Glamorous,” which just happens to be my favorite track off of the singer’s solo debut album Fergie As The Dutchess. How convenient is it that Ludacris is one of the opening acts (along with LMFAO) for this tour? As I had expected, Luda reappears (new outfit, of course) on stage with Fergie for his guest appearance rap on “Glamorous.” Before completing her solo halftime show with the third and final song, Fergie admits that “I go on the Internet and see that people are talking mad shit about me!”
Backed by two acoustic guitarists, The Dutchess leads the crowd in a girly-girl sing along of her hit “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” The only disappointment of the whole concert came when Fergie chose to belt out a high note during the final few seconds of “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” While attempting to hold the note out for as long as possible, Fergie’s pitch audibly wavered back and forth between flat and sharp, causing me to wince with physical pain at hearing her voice falter. Next time around, skip the vocal gymnastics, Fergie Ferg. We like the song’s original ending just fine, thanks.
The final soloist of the evening was the Black Eyed Peas mastermind will.i.am (real name: William James Adams, Jr.). Accompanied by a remix of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” will.i.am appeared center stage in a robot costume and introduced himself using Auto-Tune to its full effect. The man casually made his way down the catwalk where a DJ booth was waiting for him. As the booth gradually worked its way up about twenty feet in the air, will.i.am took to the controls of his makeshift turntable (with requisite laptop) and “American Boy” blasted from the house speakers.
Having written and produced the hit single by Estelle featuring Kanye West, I thought it quite appropriate of will.i.am to start off a 15-minute DJ set with “American Boy.” As “Pretty Young Thing” got everybody singing and dancing along, Will told the crowd, “If you love Michael Jackson, make some noise!” A cone of rotating green lasers encircled Will’s DJ booth for his entire set before he was lowered back down to the catwalk and disappeared for another costume change.
For the return of the Black Eyed Peas as a whole, four podiums were lined up across the end stage. With will.i.am rocking the harmonica, and Fergie in thigh-high-tight boots with an equally high on-top-of-the-head ponytail, the group performed another new song, “Now Generation.” Fergie continued to amaze me (and the crowd, I hope) when she busted out two one-handed cartwheels (mic in other hand) in a row while making her way down the catwalk to join the rest of her bandmates. “We’ve been so familiar with opening for other people that it’s crazy to think that all of you people are here to see us,” will.i.am confessed before introducing his “favorite Black Eyed Peas song.” What is Will’s favorite BEP song? Hint: there is a silver trumpet involved, just like the one I played throughout all four years of high school…”Pump It” duh!
“We have been the Black Eyed Peas since 1995. We’ve been putting out records since 1998. Fergie joined the band in 2002. We’ve sold an accumulated 28 million records worldwide to date,” said a grateful and thankful will.i.am to his band’s Milwaukee fans. The hit song that catapulted the Black Eyed Peas into mainstream pop music followed Will’s speech: “Where Is The Love?” The show’s encore had my jaw dropping toward the floor as apl.de.ap, Taboo, Fergie, and will.i.am were propelled one at a time with unbelievable force from under the stage up into the air. My body was physically tensed as I secretly was wishing each member landed safely on two feet when free falling about eight feet from their launch.
“Boom Boom Pow” was followed by the band’s biggest hit single of their career “I Gotta Feeling.” As Fergie sang the lyric “Just take it off” for the first time (the line is repeated again and again), the group’s only female member ripped off the top of her outfit in a move reminiscent of Justin and Janet at the Super Bowl halftime show fiasco all those years ago. “What the fuck is she wearing?” was my immediate thought. I cannot even begin to describe it…
As the Black Eyed Peas’ touring band continued to play the instrumental version of “I Gotta Feeling” up on their own stage (elevated in the middle), will.i.am took the time to give thanks to everybody who makes their show possible every night on the tour. “I want to give thanks to our stage crew, musical director and keyboard player, DJ, band, and dancers,” said Will. “And I want to thank Keith Harris, our drummer and the producer of our songs “Imma Be” and “Boom Boom Pow.” Then the Black Eyed Peas held hands, took their final bow perfectly in sync with each other, and proceeded to disappear out of sight as a lift lowered them from stage level and out of the crowd’s sight. The END.
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