Photos: LMFAO, Swizz Beatz, Estelle, Gentlemen Hall Rock Billboard Summer Blowout
Photos: LMFAO, Swizz Beatz, Estelle, Gentlemen Hall Rock Billboard Summer Blowout

Headliners LMFAO brough inflatable zebras, champagne showers and giant pandas to "party rock" the stage. (Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford)

With an eruption of sexy acrobatics, a giant "crowdsurfing" blow-up zebra and a dancing panda, LMFAO crowned's Summer Blowout concert in New York last night (Aug. 11) with an hour long set that brought "Party Rock Anthem," which is No. 1 for the sixth week this summer, to life. The L.A. duo (and Billboard cover stars), capped a night of summer music at Manhattan's Pier 36 that got the capacity crowd's hands waving and bodies moving with sets by Swizz Beatz (with surprise guest Estelle), and Billboard Music Awards Battle of the Bands winners Gentlemen Hall, with DJ Homicide spinning classic rock, R&B and club jams in between.

Gentlemen Hall
Winners of the Billboard Battle of the Bands, Gentlemen Hall, opened the Billboard Summer Blowout on Thursday. (Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford)

After nabbing free slurpees from the 7-Eleven truck in the courtyard, sampling the Beats Audio on the HP laptop demo stations, and having a photo-op in the Chevy Camaro, the crowd -- which got its tickets gratis by following @Billboarddotcom on Twitter or liking Billboard on Facebook -- made a beeline for the stage as Boston rockers Gentlemen Hall performed single "Our Love Is All We Have," as well as a sampling of tunes from forthcoming EP "When We All Disappear."

LMFAO goof off by the East River, getting pumped to go onstage at the Billboard Summer Blowout, Thursday Aug. 11. (Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford)

Meanwhile backstage, headliners LMFAO -- who are No. 1 on both the Hot 100 and the Summer Songs chart this week -- demonstrated their shuffle expertise with an extended tutorial on the finer points of the manic dance. "We are the party gods-slash-animals," Redfoo and Sku Blu said. As if there was any question.

Swizz Beatz, Estelle
Swizz Beatz was joined on stage by surprise guest Estelle at the Billboard Summer Blowout, Aug. 11. (Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford)

By the time rapper/producer Swizz Beatz took over the proceedings with jams like "On To The Next One," "Party Up" and Watch The Throne track "Welcome To The Jungle," the sun had set on the East River behind the hangar-like party space and there wasn't a body in the place that wasn't dancing. But cheers echoed through the space loudest when Estelle hopped onstage to sing on "Break My Heart."

Swizz Beatz
Rapper and producer Swizz Beatz relaxes backstage, along the East River at Pier 36 in Manhattan. (Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford)

Fresh from performing, Swizz chatted with Billboard backstage about his new album, which he says he plans to drop song by song rather than all at once, as well as his participation in Jay-Z and Kanye West's blockbuster "Watch The Throne" project. Swizz's new current single, "International Party," is available on iTunes.

Gentlemen Hall
Opening act Gentlemen Hall pose backstage in front of the East River and Manhattan Bridge before the show. (Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford)

Earlier in the night, before the music got started, Gentlemen Hall waxed rhapsodic about playing the Billboard Music Awards in May, which was part of their prize for winning our Battle of the Bands competition this spring. The sextet also shared their excitement for the upcoming "When We All Disappear," which is due in September (full details available at

Estelle, Lisa Ryan Howard, Swizz Beatz
Billboard publisher Lisa Ryan Howard (center) poses with Estelle and Swizz Beatz after the show. (Photo by Getty Images)

The evening's main event, LMFAO's loud, exuberant, colorful headlining set, came at the end. The duo was augmented by a cadre of male and female dancers that formed human pyramids, drank liquor from a beer funnel during "Shots," rocked out in anatomy-hugging workout gear, and then there was the full body Panda suit. But the centerpiece, of course, was the twosome themselves as they danced, bounced, and jumped their way through next single "Sexy And I Know It," "Party Rock Anthem" and several others in zebra-print boxer briefs (in one case) and a ridiculously long red faux-phallus (in another case). Even if you were standing no where near the front, you left feeling like you'd been bombed with sweat, alcohol, and a little bit of glitter: eau de Party Rock.

Jem Aswald, Estelle
LR Marvet Britto of the Britto Agency, editor Jem Aswad and surprise guest artist Estelle. (Photo by Kerri Bergman)