The Black Eyed Peas Keep the Energy Up in Chicago [Exclusive Coverage]
Chicago, Ill. -- On Saturday evening the Black Eyed Peas rolled into Chicago for a stop on their 100-city The E.N.D. World Tour. Please do not confuse this with an end to their world tour, since the Fergalicious-foursome just began their touring trek in Atlanta last month. In fact, rest assured that the Grammy-winners won't be leaving the road anytime soon; not after a raucous sold-out crowd at the United Center justified the high-priced ticket purchase by hanging on every last note of the Peas' exhausting, yet exhilarating two-hour set.
Following ordinary opening performances from LMFAO (whose material was a questionable choice for a show that appeals to a younger audience) and Ludacris (see LMFAO critique) the universally-appealing pop-ensemble beamed onto the stage a la Star Trek. The loudest introductory ovation was heard when Mrs. Lovely Lady Lumps was introduced, which is fitting since it was Fergie whose vocals and costume styling both shined the brightest.
Whether it was a solo rendition of "Big Girls Don't Cry," the Luda-assisted "Glamorous," or a completely-unexpected (yet welcomed) duet with Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash ("Sweet Child O’ Mine"), the singer born Stacy Ann Ferguson provided countless reasons why the best thing to ever happen to the Black Eyed Peas was simply... her.
Despite plenty of unnecessary distractions (robotic backup dancers dressed as stereo speakers, gigantic video screens, and a flying motorcycle) and somewhat disappointing solo sets from lesser-known members Apl.de.ap and Taboo, the show was ultimately about the Peas' highly addictive, club-centric music. Crafted by founder and group leader will.i.am, whose own solo performances included a BBM-based freestyle session and an extended DJ set on top of a raised platform in the middle of the stadium, the group's sing-a-long electro/pop/funk were enjoyed equally by a group of acne-laden 13-year-olds and several elderly women sitting in the same row.
Highlights from the 21-song performance included the group's new single "Imma Be," arena-ready jam "Pump It Up," and the encore rendition of smash single "I Gotta Feeling." Staying true to the name of the tour itself, this was one show where the Energy Never Died. And for that I say, Mazel Tov!
Photos Courtesy of Ronders Imaging