Fergie Ambassadors of Rock Tour And VIP Party
Friday, Sept. 26
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, Hollywood
Fergie's The Duchess. Fergie's a fashion maven. Fergie's good to sick kids. Fergie knows how to work the crowd. Bottom line? The girl's got it going on.
On Friday night, the California girl, whose real name is Stacy Ann Ferguson, and best known as the frontperson of hip-hopsters the Black Eyed Peas, put herself front and center in a night that showed her rap side, her rock ‘n’ roll side, and her ability to sing a ballad. And did we say she's good to sick kids?
OK. Here's the sick kids part. An hour before showtime, Fergie made an appearance at a VIP party inside the Hard Rock Café where she helped to present a check to the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. A portion of the proceeds, $20,000 to be exact, from her performance that evening went to the kids' care facility down the road from the Hard Rock in Hollywood.
South Florida's own paparazzi staked out in the paparazzi pit couldn't get enough of the goldilocks-haired singer as she spoke a few lines about how "happy she was to be here, and happy to help the kids." Then she posed for the paps perfectly, bending one knee and pointing her black stiletto. She also signed an Ambassadors of Rock guitar, and one of the emcees mentioned that she had donated an outfit from her stage wardrobe to be permanently added to the Hard Rock's memorabilia collection. If it was there, I didn't see it.
While Fergie looked like she was ready for a nap during the brief appearance, there was no lack of high energy when she skipped on to the stage to the loud yelps of fans.
The set kicked off with "Here I Come," a Fergie tinged tune with a bit of the old Temptations song, "get ready cuz here I come."
"I represent Los Angeles city, Hacienda Heights is the vicinity." That's the California town where she grew up. I'm not sure if they have hip-hop there, however.
But wherever she learned it, she sure showed how she can make it happen with her second song, "London Bridge (Oh, Shit)" from her debut solo album The Duchess. Two of her back-up dancers dressed up as Buckingham Palace guards shrouded her on either side, while Fergie playfully knocked off their high black hats, flashing a naughty girl grin.
After a costume change, she came out swinging and ready to rock in tight leather pants and sang a riff or two of the Paul McCartney Wings' tune, "Live and Let Die," then did a Mick Jagger strut on the Stones' "Start Me Up." (Really, no kidding.) Then she pulled Sublime's "Santeria" out of god knows where. The cover tunes were an odd intermezzo, and it was a welcome relief when she got back on track with a medley of Black Eye Peas tunes including the showstopping "Don't Phunk With My Heart."
The crowd couldn't get enough of Fergie singing the hummable Peas' hit, "My Humps." "Whatcha gonna do with all that junk. All that junk inside that trunk," quickly became an audience chant.
"Voodoo Doll," a song about the temptation of drugs, and the catchy "Mary Jane Shoes" followed. And where would we be if we didn't hear one of the most narcissistic songs ever written, "Fergalicious." "I'm Fergalicious. Tasty, tasty, tasty. I'm Fergalicious. So delicious."
Out of the leather pants and into a shimmery short dress, the last half of the show saw the wildly popular hit "Glamourous" played out on stage. Fergie showed off her range on "Big Girls Don't Cry," and the ballad-y encore "Finally."
She didn't connect much with the crowd, except to say that she loves coming to South Florida for Cuban food, and she mentioned multiple times that the Fried Chicken Fingers at the Seminole with mustard were just about the tastiest things she'd ever experienced. I have no idea what part of the food court in the midst of the casino are those things served.
Personal bias: Gotta love Fergie's one handed cartwheel done with ease in the midst of singing the Heart hit "Barracuda."
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Random detail: Fergie was the voice of Sally Brown in a few Peanuts TV specials in the 1980s.
By the way: She'll play a prostitute named Saraghina on the big screen in the movie Nine due in theaters in December 2009.
-- Michelle F. Solomon