Ludacris @ the Performing Arts Center, Scottsdale AZ

After a few hours of partying hard, briefly interrupted by the announcement of Joba Chamberlain as ESPN Magazine’s NEXT athlete, you could have thrown out a couple midgets riding unicycles and the crowd would have been fine. Thankfully Luda don’t play that and took the stage ready to rock

After a quick survey of the crowd he swiftly found out that it was overwhelmingly rooting for the underdog Giants and gave the appropriate shout out. Then it was time to get to work. Luda went down his catalogue of hits including “Yeah,” “Throw Dem Bows,” and “Get Buck.” Then he flipped 50 Cent’s 2007 monster hit “I Get Money” into a freestyle that got everyone ready to disturb the peace.

Riding shotgun as hype man was DTP member Lil Fate, but he was not alone. Luda brought out the lil homie Bobby Valentino for “Pimpin All Over The World” and a few songs of his own. While Valentino isn’t the best live singer, he did enough to carry the show during a lull and his 3 song break (“Slow Down” “Anonymous” was a good change of pace from Luda’s high speed rhymes. This venue was the perfect size for Luda, who is too big for the clubs, but who doen’st quite project stadium size. He took full advantage and continued to rip through hits from all of his albums including “What’s Your Fantasy,” “Blow It Out,” and “Number One Spot.”

Although it was presented on the bill, Ciara came out as a surprise guest star. I don’t know where those “mannish” rumors came from but Ciara and her pseudo burlesque Luda lapdance was quite the contrary. Although her appearance is getting closer to Aaliyah-lite, Ciara more than held her own with her dance troupe and kept the buzz going. A conventional money toss into the crowd (yes still in 2008) and a couple joints later, we were back to our regularly scheduled program.

Honoring the DJ element, Luda had a solo for DJ JC, who proceeded to get busy on the ones and twos with Justin Timberlake records no less. Gotta give props to Ludacris for taking it back to an all-too-often neglected art. He flipped it to “More Bounce To The Ounce” mixed back and forth with his nose. spun around and generally got busy.

Ironically, in an incident that mirrored Paris Hilton’s dismissal a day prior, some drunk blonde had to be ushered from off the stage appropriately during the performance of “Move Bitch” but not before a boob popped out. You can’t make this stuff up.

All in all an action packed performance by Luda whose star is getting brighter and whose momentum is just continuing. Couple surprises, a lot of hits, and a good night was had.