Location: New York (Roseland Ballroom)
Event Date: June 21, 2007
June 23, 2007,
Music Takes A Back Seat To Branding At Fergie Show
Fergie's performance at New York's Roseland Ballroom on June 21 wasn't so much tastefully G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S as it was overtly S-P-O-N-S-O-R-E-D. The Black Eyed Peas member is currently on her Verizon VIP Tour in support of her first solo effort, "The Dutchess," released in September, and it was somewhat disconcerting to see far more emphasis placed on promoting Candies and Motorola rather than the superstar's musical prowess.
In any case, it made for an entertaining show, and no one in the crowd appeared to mind the advertising spectacle all that much. Fans were invited up onstage before Fergie's set to model for a Candies (for whom Fergie recently became a spokesperson) fashion show. They could also send in text messages and videos that were then projected onto a giant screen. Who knew corporate brainwashing could be so engaging?
On Fergie's part, her brief set packed enough dance floor-friendly jams to keep the crowd up on its feet. True, she's no Gwen Stefani, but her slick pop music certainly has a similar effect.
The set kicked off with the seductive "Here I Come," which found the well-toned singer donning a miniskirt and a sparkling tiara. From there, Fergie and her crew went rapid fire through a number of songs from "The Dutchess," including the raunchy "Hollaback Girl"-wannabe "London Bridge" and the playful "Clumsy."
Never a singer known for her amazing chops, Fergie's voice had a surprisingly strong tone live, particularly on ballads such as her current single "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "All That I Got." She also ran through a medley of Black Eyed Peas cuts such as "Don't Lie," "Shut Up" and "Don't Phunk With My Heart." The campy "My Humps" was performed in its entirety, which ended with handfuls of cash showered over the audience.
Fergie threw a rock'n'roll curveball at the end of the main set with a cover of Heart's "Barracuda." She didn't exactly give Ann Wilson a run for her money, but her voice held up to screeching "Burn, burn, burn, burn" better than expected. Not to mention she cartwheeled her way across the stage during the song, which is probably something neither Wilson sister could accomplish at this point.
For the encore, Fergie scatted over Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" before launching into two of her biggest hits, the sultry "Glamorous" and audience favorite "Fergalicious."
But although her set maintained a high-energy atmosphere throughout, Fergie failed to make any sort of personal connection with her fans. The performance was very routine and almost too well constructed. She basically came out to do exactly what she was, well, paid to do. In all honesty, the MC of the Candies fashion show made a bigger impact personality-wise. Which, when you think about it, is probably great news from a marketing perspective.
Here is Fergie's set list:
"Here I Come"
"Big Girls Don't Cry"
Medley: "Don't Lie"/"Hey Mama"/"Shut Up"/"Don't Phunk With My Heart"/"Where Is the Love"
"All That I Got"
"Mary Jane Shoes"