Westborough High School junior and Black Eyed Peas fanatic, Matthew Willar, had the opportunity to fly down to Miami and attend a Black Eyed Peas concert last weekend.
The Black Eyed Peas are one of the best-selling groups ever. They have sold about 80 million records and have won 6 grammys. Known for their hits, “I Gotta Feeling” and “Boom Boom Pow” when they started as an alternative hip-hop band, the band has now transitioned into a different style of music. The group consists of will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, and J Rey Soul.
Willar had no ordinary concert experience, as he was given free tickets to the event and was able to meet the members of the group he has loved since 2009.
Willar has been a part of the Black Eyed Peas’ promotion team since last year. He gained this opportunity from his work on an Instagram account called @bepnation, which he created in March of 2020. On the account, he posts pictures, videos, and edits of the band. The promotion team reached out to him to join a group of 30 individuals from around the world who promote the Black Eyed Peas. Through his work, he has received follows from members of the Black Eyed Peas, like will.i.am and apl.de.ap, who comment and like Willar’s posts regularly.
Matthew recounts in 2009 when the Black Eyed Peas performed “Boom Boom Pow” on The Today Show. This was his first memory of liking the group. The day after, he looked up all their music videos and songs– to say the least, his obsession has been everlasting since.
Matthew flew down to Miami and went to their concert on Friday, June 4, at the FPL Solar Amphitheater at Bayfront Park. It was very crowded with all seats being taken at the outdoor venue. It holds about 8,000 people, and there was also a decent amount of people sitting in the lawn seats farther from the stage. He recounts his experience at their first concert back since February of 2020:
“The concert was amazing. They performed so many of their classic songs, but a lot of their new songs as well. It was especially great to hear them perform ‘Girl Like Me’ for the first time live since the song was released.”
At the concert, he had the special ability to go onstage for part of the performance. At the end of the concert, one of the managers recognized him and brought him backstage to see the members.
“will.i.am was standing right there and he immediately hugged me and knew exactly who I was, which was kind of crazy.” He remarks.
The backstage area was filled with news stations, Black Eyed Peas managers, and about ten others who received backstage passes. will.i.am also recorded a video on Willar’s phone. The link to his instagram post about the experience, including the video is embedded below.
“He just asked for my phone and I just said ‘Oh sure!” and he recorded that video.” Willar states.
As far as goals for his fandom, Willar wants to continue to post and support the Black Eyed Peas, as the experience they gave him at the Miami concert was unforgettable. He hopes to attend more of their concerts in the future and grow his Instagram account.