It's hard to believe that the Black Eyed Peas who performed last night at Jobing.com Arena once started out as a little known hip-hop group out of Los Angeles.
A lot has changed since the band released their first album Behind the Front back in 1998. The addition of Stacy Ferguson, aka Fergie, to the group in 2003 was definitely a turning point for the band and a move that would ultimately take them from obscure to superstars in a relatively short amount of time.
And if you're going to have the title of "superstar" you may as well put on an arena tour like a superstar. Which is exactly what happened as The Black Eyed Peas brought their The E.N.D. World Tour to Glendale last night along with fellow hip-hoppers Ludacris and "I'm in Miami, Bitch" band LMFAO.
The duo of LMFAO hit the stage first and made it pretty clear that they know how to work a crowd. The group switched up the lyrics of their hit song from "Miami" to "The Valley."
They quickly won over the audience. While probably not the most appropriate group for the children in attendance LMFAO are a lot of fun to watch and definitely live up to their self-proclaimed "party rock" title.
After a quick break in between sets Atlanta rapper Ludacris was up next. Ludacris got all his big hits out early including "Stand Up" and "Southern Hospitality." Shortly before performing the song "Area Codes" Ludacris asked which fans were from the 480 and 602 but was probably unaware of the fact he was in the 623 or that there is even a 623 area code for that matter. Fans didn't seem to mind really. It could've been worse. Especially when you consider that Luda didn't include any of The Valley's area codes in the original song.
Ludacris, not afraid of a little shameless self-promotion, made an effort to plug his new album, Battle of the Sexes, a few times during the set. He also couldn't help but boast that the album had been number one on the Billboard 200. Luda closed out his set with "How Low" from the new album and "Move Bitch."
Once Ludacris finished up his set the stage crew acted fast to break down what was currently on stage and set up the Black Eyed Peas elaborate stage set. The stage, complete with lasers, smoke machines, catwalks, and giant LCD screens looked as if it was straight out of the movie Tron.
Shortly after 9 p.m. the house lights went off and the crowd erupted as each member of the Black Eyed Peas was lifted from underneath the stage. The band appropriately enough launched into their set with "Let's Get It Started." The group played a few more tracks from the album The E.N.D. including "Rock That Body" and "Meet Me Halfway."
At one point in the show will.i.am took to the stage to free style text messages that the fans had been encouraged to send to the group during the show. The fact that will.i.am could string together as good a free style as he did to the fans texts was nothing short of amazing. It was just one of many highlights from the show.
Each of the members had the opportunity to shine individually. Apl.De.Ap performed "Bebot" and Taboo did "Rockin To The Beat." Fergie, who repeatedly got the biggest reactions of the night, also had her moment in the spotlight when she performed her big hits "Fergalicious," "Glamorous," and "Big Girls Don't Cry." Opting to go a different route will.i.am took the role of DJ for his solo performance and spun an unlikely mix of artists ranging from Michael Jackson to Nirvana.
The Black Eyed Peas closed the show with "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Got A Feeling."
Fans who came to see the Black Eyed Peas perform most definitely got their money's worth. The crowd's enthusiasm during their performance was incredible. It's definitely not hard to see why the Black Eyed Peas are one of the top-selling acts in the music business today. They know what their fans want and they give it to them. Simple.
Last Night: LMFAO, Ludacris, Black Eyed Peas at Jobing.com Arena
Better Than: While I consider myself a bit more of an indie rock guy, this show was way more fun than most indie shows I've been to.
Random Detail: Watching a group of young kids dancing and cheering as LMFAO repeated their lyrics "ass up/face down/that's how we like to do it" off of their song "I'm Not A Whore" was a particularly cringe worthy moment.
Personal Bias: I was a big fan of the Black Eyed Peas pre-Fergie.
Further Listening: Behind the Front, the Black Eyed Peas first album. If you played this album for current Black Eyed Peas fans they'd probably have no idea it was them. I actually owned this album back in high school and was a personal favorite of mine.