IRVINE, California — Nearly 20,000 fans gathered at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine, California, on Saturday to see Fergie, Ludacris and Kelly Clarkson headline the 10th annual KIIS-FM Wango Tango music festival. And while all of the musicians on the lineup — which also included Omarion, Robin Thicke, Enrique Iglesias, Elliott Yamin and Pitbull — brought their A-game, Luda stole the show.
Ludacris took the stage with a vengeance for his 30-minute set, wearing a white T, a hoodie, black jeans and a whopping diamond-encrusted map of Africa around his neck. The Grammy-winning rapper moved from one hit song to the next, grabbing the audience from the start and not letting go for the entire set. Luda and his DTP crew busted out such hits as "Pimpin' All Over the World," "Stand Up," "Move B---h" and "What's Your Fantasy?" topped off with "Money Maker". For the duration of the act, fans were standing on their seats, shouting out lyrics and shaking their own moneymakers.
Following Luda was The Dutchess herself. Outfitted in a black cape, black hat and tight gray leggings, Fergie was on a mission to rock the crowd — and since L.A. is her hometown, she was also working to impress one special lady in the audience. "This is nice because my mom is here," she said. After the onstage shout-out, Fergie got down to business. She teamed up with Luda for her hit "Glamorous," nailed "London Bridge" and rocked out a cover of Heart's "Barracuda." But it was her performances of "My Humps" — with a surprise guest, fellow Black Eyed Pea Will.I.Am — and her next single, "Big Girls Don't Cry," that had audience members swaying and singing at the top of their lungs.
Kelly Clarkson also got the crowd moving. During her 15 minutes of stage time, the first "American Idol" victor served up her hits "Behind These Hazel Eyes" and "Since U Been Gone" to the overwhelmingly teen audience. "Never Again," the single from her upcoming album My December, got the biggest response from the crowd.
We spoke with Kelly before for the show, and she addressed rumors that she butted heads with her label over the new record. "This time everybody made a big deal about the label and I disagreeing with the record, but that's happened every record," she said. "This is just the only one people know about, so there's nothing new." Clarkson said she's always been willing to stand up for her music, explaining, "I've never once compromised myself. I don't think you should; that's when you start to lose fans and credibility. I think you definitely need to keep doing what you love, because I'm the one that needs to sing it every night."
Enrique Iglesias did his part to heat up the stage before Kelly Clarkson took it. During his set, the Latin heartthrob plucked a fan out of the front row, brought her onstage, and serenaded her with "Hero," even kissing her on the forehead at one point. Iglesias also had all the couples in the crowd swooning to his 1999 hit "Bailamos" and "Do You Know," the new single from his Insomniac LP, due next month. "I've been making this album for three years," Iglesias told MTV News. "It's been the most frustrating, most difficult album I've ever made in my career. But they say the more difficult the album is, the more frustrating it is, the better it comes out. If that's true, than hopefully this is the best album of my career."
Other Wango Tango 2007 highlights:
» Wearing a white tuxedo jacket and T-shirt, Omarion started the show off with intoxicating moves and slick vocals on his hits "Entourage" and "Ice Box."
» Pitbull commandeered the stage in dark sunglasses, a light blue shirt, and white pants for a blistering set that kept the sold-out crowd on its feet. While toweling the sweat from his head, Pitbull delivered lyrics and moves that had the audience going nuts.
» Dressed smartly in a tie and black sweater, Robin Thicke brought his seductive style of R&B to the Wango Tango stage. With his eyes closed and arms in the air, Robin delivered "Wanna Love U Girl" while the audience danced in the aisles.
» Elliott Yamin clearly had a power over the ladies. During his three-song set, "ooh"ing and "aah"ing could be heard throughout the venue.
» Paula DeAnda — dressed in sexy black shorts and a black shirt — delivered her hit "Too Much" to an audience that was dancing like they were in a tropical club. Baby Bash came out to provide some vocals and the house went wild.
» Everyone stood up and went crazy when Gym Class Heroes broke out "Cupid's Chokehold." During their big hit, lead singer Travis McCoy declared, "This is the best song ever written" as fans screamed.
For more sights and stories from concerts around the country, check out MTV News Tour Reports.