Black Eyed Peas leave the crowd buzzing at Oxegen

Oxegen 2011 review

published: Wed 13th Jul 2011

Black Eyed Peas

Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July 2011
Punchestown Racecourse, Naas, Co Kildare, Eire, Ireland
224.50 for 3 day including camping
last updated: Thu 30th Jun 2011

On Friday July 8th at approximately 5pm the 'are they/aren't they together' hip hop powerhouse House of Pain took the stage and performed a set which should put to rest the constant breakups and reunions that have come to define this group. An early evening but very visible mosh pit provided a fitting foreground for what turned out to be an extremely powerful set.

Everlast certainly seemed to feel comfortable on the Punchestown stage and one cannot help but feel that this has something to do with him performing in Ireland. A fierce Irish-American, Everlast has always been proud of his Irish roots and this desire to impress the Irish crowd was notable through the band's performance of "Top of the Morning to Ya". But, alas, no matter how hard HOP may have tried, they could not recreate the electricity of 'Jump Around' with any other song. So, inevitably, as their 1992 tour de force bellowed out from the Vodafone stage, those wandering between stages all of a sudden found themselves running towards this one. They were not disappointed. House of Pain created a mighty buzz among its attendees and ultimately provided a high which is exactly what a Friday evening crowd needs.

For this reason, the 5pm time slot fitted perfectly; House of Pain could no longer draw the crowds as a headliner but they set the crowd up beautifully. Whether or not you are a fan of this nearing middle age hip hop group, to feel the electricity surge through the crowd at a gig will instil in you the belief that it is not yet time for HOP to "pack it up, pack it in."

Vodafone also played host to an artist that was highly anticipated not just by myself but seemingly every person who I managed to speak to on Friday evening. Tinie Tempah epitomises that performer who thrives and grows with every ounce of crowd participation. Knowing that every person is the crowd could and would sing along to his incredibly successful number one singles, Tinie Tempah went out on a very long limb by opening his set with the lesser known tune 'Frisky'. Allowing the anticipation to rise was clearly a smart move; a fact evidenced the approximately 10,000 Tinie Tempah back-up singers to 'Written in the Stars'. One could be forgiven for thinking that such a strong anthem-like tune would be the culmination of an artist's set. Not a chance. Among the collection of powerful songs contained within the Double Platinum number one selling album Disc-Overy lies the truly incredible 'Pass Out' and it was with this song that Tinie Tempah decided to bring his set to a delirious conclusion.

The headlining slot on the main stage on Friday night was filled quite rightly by the Black Eyed Peas who unsurprisingly left the crowd buzzing after their energetic set. The gorgeous Fergie stole the show with not just with her audacious outfits but her strong, beautiful lyrics. From the outset this band had Oxegen literally jumping up and down with excitement. When viewing the Black Eyed Peas it is difficult not to get wrapped up in the high tempo beats and this set was certainly no exception. This is shown by one person I spoke with who said his girlfriend talked him into going to see them. He agreed but only for half the set. He eventually stayed for the whole set and described the experience as definitely one of the weekend's best.

For people who know what Black Eyed Peas are all about and know how much effort they put into their shows this set will have come as no surprise; for those who had to be dragged, I am confident that "surprised" is an understatement. The only negative note I came across with regards to the performance was Will.I.AM's solo DJ routine. I feel this this is unfair. Although his DJ set was not as strong as last year's and admittedly people did look a little disgruntled due to its length I felt it worked well with the Black Eyed Peas show as a whole. Nevertheless, it would take something really atrocious to spoil the show and when Black Eyed Peas closed with 'I've Got a Feeling' it appeared that those previously disgruntled fans did not have a care in the world.

Black Eyed Peas

review by: Chris Kelly

photos by: Andrew McLaughlin

Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July 2011
Punchestown Racecourse, Naas, Co Kildare, Eire, Ireland
224.50 for 3 day including camping
last updated: Thu 30th Jun 2011


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