will.i.am Pops The Party With Beats
Will.i.am rocked Jingle Ball as the concert’s unannounced guest. The one-man show stepped in at the last minute to fill-in for Maroon 5, whose singer, Adam Levine, fell ill with strep throat (#saveadam).
Photo: Brian Friedman for KIIS FM
The Black Eyed Pea took the stage alone. All he had was his DJ rig, Beats headphones, and a mic. However, the minimalist setup did not stop will.i.am from getting the crowd to its feet. He had the whole place dancing.
His short but fast-paced jam session began with a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” However, will.i.am’s version was tailored as an homage to his hometown, East L.A.
He then immediately kicked in to the Black Eyed Peas hit “Boom Boom Pow.” When Fergie’s voice demanded will.i.am to “drop the beat now,” the producer did just that.
photo: Brian Friedman for KIIS FM
The bass dropped and the subwoofers at Nokia Theater were pumping!
Will.i.am layered some of his favorite top 40 vocal tracks over four-on-the-floor beats, while looping and phasing out sounds. He kept one hand on the mic, the other on his mixing board.
The producer then jumped off his riser to rap his parts of BEP’s “Just can’t get enough” and “The Time/Dirty Bit.” Everyone in the audience lifted their orange G by Guess glow sticks and waived them from side to side while singing the chorus.
Will.i.am kicked the bass into overdrive again for the smash singe “I Gotta Feeling.” He demanded crowd participation and asked the crowd, “L.A., y’all still wanna go crazy? who got the enrgy?” The audience responded with a loud roar of excitement.
The dance set ended the same way it began, with everyone in the audience on their feet! Will.i.am closed with “Scream and Shout” featuring Britney Spears.
He wished the Jingle Ball audience happy holidays, merry Christmas, and a happy new year before dropping his mic and stepping off stage. You wouldn’t think one man could command such large crowd to pay attention, but will.i.am stepped up and let the bass speak for itself.