Live Review: Ludacris & The Black Eyed Peas — with a little Justin Bieber on the side…
Wed, 31 Mar 2010 09:09:46
Ludacris doesn't need much to entertain.
Just give the man a mic and a stage, and he'll put on a show you won't forget. Last night at the Staples Center alongside The Black Eyed Peas, Ludacris fired off one hit after another with nothing more than his DJ, a few in-sync backup dancers and longtime hype man Lil Fate. Ludacris is kind of like a championship prize fighter. He bobs and weaves around the stage, while simultaneously maintaining his legendary lyrical proficiency. Live, he's more Muhammed Ali than Rev. Run. If hip hop had a championship belt for being clever and quick, Luda would be the unbeatable, unshakable and undisputed champ.
Ludacris's sense of humor remains as well-timed as a solid left hook. "You'Z a Ho" bounced with a bass-y vibrancy as Luda riled both sides of the venue to its feet. Meanwhile mega-hit "Yeah" saw Luda's rapid fire freestyle make heads spin on the verse as the audience hung on to every syllable. He catapulted to the top of the stage riser, getting closer to the crowd on a fantastic "Pimpin' All Over the World." The chorus sailed through the Staples Center as Luda smiled. "Money Maker" was equally dancefloor-ready, causing dangerous levels of bumpin' 'n' grindin'.
A big surprise came when his label mate Justin Bieber joined him for the best rendition of Bieber's "Baby" yet. Ludacris gave the song another dimension on stage, once again knocking out lines at lightspeed on the verses, and giving it a grown-up feel that was very refreshing and welcome for the pop ditty.
"What's Your Fantasy" reminded everyone why Ludacris made such a huge splash when the song dropped a decade ago. However, hearing it live, Ludacris sounded sharper than ever. He only gets better with experience and circling around the stage nonstop he nailed each line. Ludacris announced that he was "celebrating ten years in the music industry," and this show was proof he's got a few more decades on top to come.
Battle of the Sexes' hit single "How Low" perfectly prefaced his classic anthem "Move Bitch," balancing wit, panache and some damn fine rapping. Luda deserved that big number one spot for Battle of the Sexes and much more.
After Ludacris exited, the Black Eyed Peas put on a spectacular show, with emphasis on the "spectacle." A myriad of lights, numerous costume changes and one Tron bike hanging from the ceiling all made for a fun visual experience and the hits were there in spades, but the best moment came when Ludacris joined Fergie for "Glamorous." He smoothly sauntered up and vibrantly versed with BEP's main lady. Of course, his flow was once again unstoppable. Like a true champ, he slowly left the stage smiling.
Another knockout show for Ludacris…let's see what the next round brings.
Have you seen Black Eyed Peas and Ludacris? Who'd you like better?