- N.E.R.D.’s new album is titled "Seeing Sounds" but Wednesday night they had their fans seeing stars. Led by their always-charismatic frontman Pharrell Williams, the musically adventurous trio celebrated the impending release of their album with an exclusive party at Hollywood’s swank Roosevelt Hotel. Sponsored by new media company Zune, "Zune Presents N.E.R.D. Live at the Roosevelt" drew some of the world’s biggest celebrity names, including Lindsay Lohan, Snoop Dogg and Paris Hilton, along with hundreds of loyal fans.
The event began with an intimate pre-party under the dim lights of one of the Roosevelt’s many lobbies. While the capacity crowd waited the obligatory two-plus hours for the music to start, they could pass the time dancing to some of L.A.’s premier djs, playing around in the photo booth, or goofing off with a guy dressed in a gorilla suit (take a look at “Seeing Sounds” album cover and it will all make sense).
Free drinks aside, everyone in the well-dressed crowd was there for one reason and one reason only; to hear N.E.R.D. throw down another scorching performance. They styled and swaggered their way through a set list that largely focused on new material while dipping into just enough of their nouveau-classics to keep the crowd happy. From “Anti Matter” to “Lapdance” Pharrell, N.E.R.D. rifled through song after song with an uncommon precision and passion.
Producer Chad Hugo on Piano (L), Williams (R)
The evening hit its peak when Lupe Fiasco made a surprise appearance during the performance of their song "
," culminating in Lupe pulling off an onstage backflip. Then again, for many of the Hollywood faithful the highlight was likely Nicole Richie joining Pharell for some dance lessons to the up-tempo “She Wants to Move.” On a night like this it’s hard to pick just one moment. For many, including me, it was coming home and blissfully collapsing into bed with our ears still ringing.
Want more? Look for video of the night’s festivities on Zune’s website, coming soon. N.E.R.D.’s third album, "Seeing Sounds," will hit stores on June 10.