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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Black Eyed Peas, Ludacris at Philips Arena

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Photos by ROBB D. COHEN, WWW.ROBBSPHOTOS.COM

Thursday’s Black Eyed Peas concert, with Ludacris opening, was a celebration of energetic music, theatrical costumes, creative technology – and Atlanta itself.

“When they told us the tour was going to start in Atlanta some of my friends were like huh? Why don’t you start in L.A. or New York?” the group’s will.i.am said at one point. “I said because the Black Eyed Peas are hot right now. It’s got to be Hotlanta!”

The night started, fittingly, with “Let’s Get It Started,” and ended with dance hits “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling,” which wrapped up with confetti shot into the air, political-convention style.

The show, which featured the group’s members performing together and separately (Taboo flew through the air on a motorcycle suspended from the ceiling during his bit), made innovative use of technology and at times felt like a social media conference.

“The last time we were in Atlanta was 2006? No, 2005,” will.i.am noted during the show. “The difference is this time there are no more record stores. For some reason this is our biggest year. Why? We engage with our fans online. We thank you for being our friends. This is our 11th year doing music. We’ve sold a lot of records and the reason why is you guys!”

The fan-friendly set list, including “Rock that Body” and “Now Generation” off The E.N.D. to “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Fergalicious” and “Glamorous” off Fergie’s solo album, Duchess, and “My Humps” off  Monkey Business, didn’t disappoint. But will.i.am’s mixing session, where he sampled everything from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to Guns and Roses to Michael Jackson to Kings of Leon to Nirvana, was a highlight of the night.

Meshing tech and talent, he freestyle rapped early in the show, working in lines text-messaged from fans. As the random thoughts appeared on a big screen he worked them into his rhymes.

Fergie, her many different costumes and her, uh, assets took center stage often, with strategic camera close-ups capturing those lovely lady lumps to great effect.

“It feels like my first day at school today,” she said, giggling coquettishly. “We’re all meeting each other. Everyone is welcome.”

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We didn’t get there in time for pre-openers LMFAO but the girls sitting near us said they were “a bunch of clowns,” which we suppose could be either a compliment or criticism. Ludacris pumped the crowd up during his opening segment. Ever the entrepreneur he used part of his stage time to promote Conjure, his brand of cognac. (”Drink responsibly,” he threw in). His bit seemed to end sort of suddenly. He was still at work when the lights came on. Getting the picture he said, “I have to go!”

- Jennifer Brett, jbrett@ajc.com

10 comments Add your comment

Lisa winberry

February 5th, 2010
10:39 am

Those LMAFO clowns were terrible. I wish I had missed that part….I guess they wrote all those terrible songs themselves. but they did try very hard to entertain. If only they had talent. I was disappointed with Ludacris too. He need to be in a studio I guess to sound good. He didn’t sing any of his songs he just shouted them without a melody. blackeyed peas were great but I didn’t like the solo filipino song. That was from a very old album and it was not very popular even then. I liked the motorcycle ride in the sky but did not like that song either. Everything else was great.

Jill Williams

February 5th, 2010
4:34 pm

The concert was GREAT! Started off with LMFAO which was ok. Ludacris got the party started and I thought his performance really set the stage for the Black Eyed Peas. I thought the Black Eyes Peas were FABULOUS. I loved Fergie’s solo’s!!!

Mayra Patiño

February 5th, 2010
5:07 pm

The concert was spectacular. I have never heard of LMFAO before but found them funny and amusing. Ludacris warmed up the audience and the BEP rocked the house. The transitions between acts were a bit shaky. I loved the motorcycle stunt, the many costume changes and the hi-tech style of the stage.
I was expecting a good show but it was really a great big party!. Everyone in my section was dancing, taking pictures and singing away, like in a club. Loved the interaction between BEP and the audience and got very impressed of the talent of will.i.am to be able to add the audience texts into his free style rap.
I’m from the ‘old school’ (hey, didn’t say I was old… ;) and remember raising up lit lighters, this time we raised our cellphones… that was very cool!

I’m sorry I was not closer to the stage to be able to appreciate the details I saw on these pictures, but overall, been farther you got to appreciate the stage, the sound and effects as a whole, and it was spectacular.
I hope they will want to come back to Atlanta again soon.

simon christie

February 5th, 2010
7:43 pm

will.i.am’s mixing moment was definately a highlight to the nights awesome music, didnt care much for ludacris promoting his own line of alcohol on someone elses tour, that was very disrespectful of him. LMFAO well what can i say, stupid sounding clowns, they couldnt even use there own voice, too badly mixed.
Fergie’s outfits could have been a little bit more sexier………what am i saying, they were perfect……LOL.
Taboo’s motorcycle ride through the air was awesome too. and the other guy was good too……HAHA

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Jennifer

February 8th, 2010
9:34 pm

how long did BEP play?

[...] artist, who has teamed up on numerous projects – rhyming with Usher on the hit “Yeah” or opening for The Black Eyed Peas during their concert tour, for example – might be paying you a [...]

ugg

August 31st, 2010
10:35 pm

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