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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Black Eyed Peas & Tim McGraw kickoff the NFL season

CONCERT REVIEW: Black Eyed Peas & Tim McGraw
Point State Park, Pittsburgh

September 10, 2009

The NFL's free kickoff concert was held in Pittsburgh tonight, with the Black Eyed Peas and Tim McGraw showing why each is a master of their respective genre.

Generally I'm not impressed with hip hop concerts, because they usually spend too much time screaming, "Throw your hands in the air!" and not enough time actually delivering a satisfying performance. Either that, or they lip synch.

But the Peas, who have dominated the Billboard singles chart this summer like no other artist, put on a terrific show. They rocked the house with their dance hits like "I Gotta Feeling" and "My Humps."

Fergie was especially impressive on "Big Girls Don't Cry." Her singing was strong and flawless - it's been a long time since I witnessed such a remarkable vocal performance on a song.

McGraw was almost as good. No other country artist has as many hits in the last 15 years, and he played many of the best, opening with "I Like it, I Love it," before moving into the underrated "Where the Green Grass Grows," the barnburner "Something Like That," and the inspirational ballad "Live Like You Were Dying."

Both artists played hour-long sets, then returned for two more songs at 8 pm for the portion of the concert that was televised on NBC. McGraw came out into the audience for his closing number, the title track from his new album Southern Voice. That was followed by a fireworks display.

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