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ISSUE 117 VOL 5 PUBLISHED 10/17/2003

Fall concert brings world Peas

By Molly Bayrd
Variety Editor

Friday, October 17, 2003

Normally, one wouldn’t think that a song called “Let’s Get Retarded” would be such a crowd pleaser. However, when the multi-ethnic hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas (BEPs) performed in Skoglund on Saturday night, their politically incorrect song threw the majority of the sizable concert crowd into a mosh pit-like frenzy.

That’s not to say that “Let’s Get Retarded” was the only song to incite some serious movement in the audience. In fact, quite the opposite was true. In a refreshingly funky Fall Concert appearance, the dynamic quartet brought a decidedly eclectic and powerful presence to the Skoglund stage. They opened with the rousing “Hands Up” and delivered a strong and enthusiastic set from there on out.

The Los Angeles-based group, which consists of the unusually named (but supremely talented) members Will.I.Am,, Taboo and Fergie, spiced up their solid set with arm waving, break dancing and genuine soul. Mostly, the group showcased tunes from their 2003 album “Elephunk,” including the upbeat “Labor Day,” “Smells Like Funk,” “The Boogie That Be” and the recently-released single “Shut Up.”

Will.I.Am and began performing together in 1989, but the group known as Black Eyed Peas didn’t come into being until 1995. It wasn’t until 1998, the year that their debut album “Behind The Front” was released, that BEPs received any serious recognition.

Two years later, the group came out with “Bridging the Gap,” an album that featured the successful tune “Hey Mr. DJ.” The group paid homage to their seasoned hit on Saturday night; they teased the audience with a short sampling of “DJ,” along with an encore medley of such songs as Beyoncé Knowles’s “Crazy in Love.”

As is the case with most radio hits, the popular single “Where is the Love,” garnered the most enthusiasm from the dwindling crowd (the tune was BEPs last before the encore). Despite Justin Timberlake’s noticeable absence on the song’s refrain, the audience was thrilled to hear the familiar tune, and all passionately danced and sang along.

The BEPs weren’t the only laudable act of the evening, however; Illuminous 3 and 3 Kings (two of the several opening acts) also delivered solid and charismatic performances. With fast-paced beat-boxing and quicker-than-lightning lyrical stylings, 3 Kings nearly stole the show from BEPs.

Bringing a much-anticipated change of pace to St. Olaf’’s Fall Concert, Black Eyed Peas seemed eager to please their diverse audience and packed a powerful punch from the moment they hit the stage. Their onstage party didn’t stop when their music did, however; the group visited a few after-hours events at two honor houses and stopped by the L&M. Whether or not they took any late-night song requests remains a mystery, but it is likely that the group was just as entertaining off the stage as they were on it.

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