No need for Black Eyed Peas’ to buy the crowd

“Montreal’s rockin’ with the BEP’s,” yelled Black Eyed Peas’ Taboo in response to an electric welcome from the crowd at the Bell Centre on Sunday night.

“Who here are fans of hip-hop music?” they asked, and the crowd responded with loud applause.

Fergie, Will.I.AM., Apl and Taboo were back in Montreal this weekend for the second time in a couple of months for a special performance to celebrate the opening of seven Best Buy stores in and around the island of Montreal.

The Black Eyed Peas definitely did not need to buy the crowd. It was evident that the 16 000 or so fans gathered that night had come only for them, making it a tough opener for the Montreal group Sans Pression and newcomer Carl Henry.

BEP started off with their smash hit “Hey Mama”, immidiately followed by “Smells Like Funk”, which got the crowd to their feet immidately.

Everyone’s hands were waving side to side, little kids were dancing with their parents; basically everyone was having a grand time.

Though the show was free, people had to wait in line last week at Best Buy to be able to get a pair of tickets. Some even slept over night to make sure they didn’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Montreal’s the best place to be,” said Taboo. “Things here are more beautiful than in the U.S.; we’ve got a fucked up president,” he added, and the crowd cheered even louder.

One thing which was quite surprising was the amount of swearing by the four entertainers. Whenever they’d talk, they’d let out a couple of curses, not realizing or caring that a good portion of the crowd was under 13.

To the crowd’s delight, BEP performed all of their hits from “Shut Up” to one of their most recent singles, “Don’t Lie”. They even threw in a little old school song for fans who’ve been around since the BEP’s first release in 1998.

Fergie’s voice was impressive but her dance moves got redundant after a while. She can deffinitely move, but ass shaking only goes so far.

Though she sometimes seemed overpowered by the three other guys, Fergie definitely does bring something unique to the BEPs. She seems to fit in a whole lot more with these guys than she did with her previous project ,Wild Orchid.

While on stage, the four performers moved around from side to side while sometimes throwing in a couple of loosely choreographed moves. Apl and Taboo even tapped a couple of hands.

Half-way through their hour-long set, each BEP member was able to showcase their talent by freestyling, something that definitely seemed to impress the crowd.

They also brought on two breakdancers a little later to change things up a bit.

Interesting was the use of the Guns ‘N’ Roses riff from “Sweet Child O’ Mine” at the end of “Don’t Lie”, something which definitely caught a couple of people off guard.

One of the show’s highlights (well it’s more of a low light) occured when the BEP’s asked that all the lights of the Bell Centre be turned off for their song “Where Is The Love” and asked for the thousands of fans to light up the room with their cell phones. The view was unbelievable. Thousands of blue lights suddenly appeared. We are definitely in the age of technology. Move over lighters, cell phones are the new thing. It was quite spectacular.

The Black Eyed Peas came back for a short encore, performing “Let’s Get Retarded” .

Whether young or old, whether a die-hard fan of the Black Eyed Peas or not, everyone at the Bell Centre on Sunday seemed to have had a blast.

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