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Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm In Tampa Bitch, or Why LMFAO is the Greatest Group in the World

"Remember the time when you were looking through the peephole and I hit you in the head with a pillow and smashed your face into the door?" Sky reminisced to Q as we crammed into the van taking us from Miami to Tampa, Florida.

Our driver Tommy was on the phone, frantically trying to contact the staff at the Fontainebleau to find out if we left our alcohol behind (we were transporting Patron and a huge bottle of Ultimat vodka from city to city) while Foo tried figuring out why the backpack (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_eBxCpLYhA) was soaking wet (it turns out the champagne bottle that DJ Air exploded two nights prior in Orlando soaked through the carpet).

Once the alcohol was located, we crammed into our normal positions--Ian up front with Tommy, Pete (armed with the camera) and Foo (with his legs stretched in someone's face) in the first row, me (sandwiched between Q and Air) in the middle, and Sky and Reek in the back.

"I said I like salty, buttery stuff," I hear Air say as the entire van busts out laughing. "We have a deal," Reek explains to me. "Everytime he says something that makes him seem gay, there's money that adds up. Each statement is worth a dollar amount. Once we reach a certain amount, he has to admit he's gay."

Meanwhile, Q is reaching out to hold Air's hand. Sky is rubbing Q's neck. Everyone cracks up again.

We stopped at a gas station/deli before hitting Alligator Alley, a section of I-75 that literally has nothing along it for many miles. The boys proceeded to gorge on BBQ while Foo entertained himself with a plastic alligator head on a stick. He spent a solid ten minutes trying to capture the perfect shot, making it appear that the alligator was eating Q's head. I think we all can agree it was very realistic.

As we were pulling out of the gas station, Sky earned his new nickname, "Sky Irwin." We had Tommy stop the van so he could rescue a huge turtle in the road and bring him to safety in the brush on the side of the highway.

It was almost 7 p.m. when we finally got out of the car (the rest of the ride consisted of us taking pictures of Air sleeping with his mouth gaping open and Pete recording Foo having a business argument on the phone). It was straight to soundcheck at the Kennedy, where we met up with a video crew there to film LMFAO perform "I'm In Ibiza Bitch." LMFAO was originally set to play in Ibiza, but a conflict with another performance interfered. However, the video footage of the boys performing the Ibiza version of "I'm In Miami Bitch" will be played over there. LMFAO also did a version of the song for DJ/producer David Guetta (http://www.davidguetta.com), who frequently plays in Ibiza. His song goes, "I'm David Guetta, bitch" and he reportedly plays it in the clubs frequently.

While waiting for Foo to finish up his epic phone conversation (yes, it was still going on over an hour later), the rest of the Party Rock Crew hung out in the parking lot. We were excited to hear the creepy but welcoming music coming from an ice cream truck. As soon as it busted into the parking lot, Reek, Air, Pete and I ran up to it like we were five years old.

The Krazy ice cream man should be an honorary member of the Party Rock Crew for his top-notch ice cream recommendations. He suggested several vulgar-sounding treats for Air (to Reek's delight), who settled on a popsicle called something like a "big blue explosion."

Once inside the Kennedy, we lounged in what is typically the VIP section. Foo and Sky took pictures with some fans that showed up and the cameras, which started rolling at the ice cream truck outside, continued to record the Party Rock Crew's goofy antics, which included DJ Air inserting a "reserved" sign into his pants. Unfotunately for all of us, laundry wasn't an option for most of the Florida leg of the trip, so he went Don't Judge Me boxers-less for a period of days.

He explained to us that he was just reserving this for Ian Fletcher--very thoughtful.

Foo, Sky, Air, and Q killed it by the second take with "I'm in Ibiza Bitch", Coronas in hand.

We made a pit stop at Best Buy on our way to the hotel to get some electronic equipment and batteries. Reek, Foo and I analyzed Jay Z's new album, which Reek blasted out of the store's speakers while the rest of the boys ran around and played. While we were checking out, Foo suggested that we see if they had any Party Rock albums in stock. Not surprisingly, there was only one left.

We had about half an hour to shower and change into new Party Rock Gear before Tommy took us out to dinner at Cheap in South Tampa. The Sangria was flowing like water and I would estimate that some of us had a minimum of 7 glasses. We pigged out on sushi tacos and ceviche--everything was amazing; much love to Tommy for the hook-up. Video cameras recorded us the entire time, capturing every word and every bite.

Some LMFAO fans were present, Cheap's DJ played "Shooting Star" and the restaurant's televisions showed the video for "I'm In Miami Bitch."

From dinner, it was off to Hyde Park Cafe (HPC), a South Tampa club associated with both Cheap and the Kennedy. We were definitely feeling the Sangria (it took Air and I a little while to realize we were actually outside, despite the sky and palm trees), so it took some convincing to get party animal Foo to join the rest of us in taking shots of Cafe Patron. The club was playing a Spanish version of Ballin', so we didn't last there long.

Meanwhile, Sky, Tommy, and another guy from HPC realized they were triplets.

Despite Dayglow, a popular traveling music event, falling on the same night, LMFAO brought a huge crowd out to the Kennedy. We weren't sure what to expect, but it turned out that everyone was there for LMFAO--that's what we like to see!

We continued our pre-party in the VIP section as I scanned the audience. I spotted personalized shirts reading "I Love LMFAO" and even some Party Rock Gear. Tommy climbed on stage to announce the boys: "I had the pleasure of driving the Party Rock Crew from Orlando to Miami to Tampa and I have to tell you, they are all about the party and all about the people," he said. "Are ya'll ready for LMFAO?"

The fans' screams were defeaning.

The crowd helped LMFAO kick off the show by joining in on "Rock the Beat." It was a full set, so the fans got to hear "Get Crazy" and, of course, girls were fl-flashing their titties, eager for a shot of Patron.

"This is like 'Party Rock Gone Wild,'" Sky said. "We need to start that."
It was a hard task keeping the throngs of girls off the stage, especially during "La La La", so we just gave up and let everyone on. At one point, at least 75 percent of the audience was on stage, dancing and singing with LMFAO in true Party Rock style. The stage was legitimately exploding with girls. The lights went out and we started spraying champagne everywhere.

The hit of the night: the Cassie remix. In the couple days following the show, I received about a hundred requests for the Cassie remix file. The crowd completely lost control when Air dropped it.

To sum up the show in one word, it was insane. LMFAO is probably the only group in the world that not only loves, but thrives on, having all of the fans on stage with them, being a part of the show. The energy was truly unbelievable and just re-affirmed why LMFAO is the greatest band on the planet.

Watch LMFAO perform "Lil' Hipster Girl" at the Kennedy here: http://www.partyrockpeople.com/view.aspx?id=8441.

After the show, we socialized with all of the fans outside for awhile before getting into our van. Tommy somehow ended up in the trunk, rather than in the driver's seat, which cracked everyone up. As we were pulling away, Pistol Pete asked me, "How does it feel to officially be a part of the Party Rock Crew?"

I think Tommy put it best in the speech he gave us back in the hotel lobby. It was actually a really moving speech--there was a lot of laughing, of course, but I have to say I teared up a bit. "It has been my pleasure driving these people, the Party Rock Crew, all over the state," he said. "They are the most amazing people you will ever get to know...I've never laughed so much...they really party hard...they are one-of-a-kind...I had the time of my life."

I think the only word to describe how it feels is "amazing." What so many of you see (and hear) is the music, the performance, some of the crazy antics captured on film--what I hope you can see more often is the all of the hard work, the passion, the friendship, the laughter, the lifestyle.

My room became the party room and while Pete was preoccupied with some pillows, I doubled as bartender (fixing drinks for fans and friends) and caretaker. After seeing that all the fans made it safely down to the lobby before 5 a.m., I managed to squeeze in ten minutes of sleep before running some clean Party Rock Gear down to the guys in their van. They had to make a 7 a.m. flight back to California before leaving for a tour of Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. As for me, I'm working on all things LMFAO until I'm back on tour with the boys and, I have to tell you, I've never looked forward to anything more in my life.

Keep rockin', Party People. Until next time...

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