For many fans of the Black Eyed Peas, last night was a sorrowful occasion. It was the quartet's final concert together as a band before a "break," not a breakup. At least, that's what Taboo told New Times.
But everyone knows that a "break" is usually code for breakup. Most crowd members showed their, uh, affection by leaving before the group was done with their goodbye speeches. But hey, it was already Thanksgiving by the time Will.i.am, Fergie, Taboo, and Apl.de.ap stopped blathering, on and on.
There were plenty of words of thanks spoken. Taboo brought his mother onstage to whom he talked lovingly in Spanish. To the audience, he soliloquized about the importance of family and not taking them for granted. He expressed the night's only real show of emotion by choking up.
The BEP have a sort of 12-step way of addressing the world that appeals to families and former drunks. They also show support for sustainable value systems. Apl.de.ap talked about education and sang its praises in "We Can Be Anything." They're like a band of moms. It's kind of cute and very corny. Fergie didn't say a proper goodbye. But she did mention that Will.i.am is a beautiful producer and leader after he told all three bandmates that they're his best friends.
Will.i.am gave a few farewell addresses. He told the audience that when they used to play here in 1998, never in his wildest dreams did he think they'd play this stadium. It was, for a fan, a touching moment of reflection.
The video above is the first oration he offered, which stood out as the most eloquent and planned. He began by saying that back in 1996, he started a band with Apl.de.ap. The rest is recorded here.
And even though he looks like one of the people in Cocoon, you can be certain it's Will.i.am.