The KDWB Jingle Ball is always a fantastic event, and this year’s did not fail to measure up. The stellar line up kept the fans on their feet throughout the entire four hour show. The night’s artists included Tove Lo, Zedd, Charlie Puth, Becky G, DNCE, R City, Hailee Steinfeld, Shawn Mendes, Nick Jonas, Calvin Harris, Demi Lovato, and Fallout Boy.
The show opened with the amazing Swedish import, Tove Lo, who has enchanted pop and alt music fans alike with her amazing lyrics, music, and just general feel. She fit well in the setting, but very easily could have fit on a stage with the likes of someone like Tori Amos as well. She has that major girl power thing going for her. Zedd, a DJ from Kaiserslautern, Germany, followed her, someone I had never heard before. Compared to other DJs I had heard, he was fantastic. He mixed a variety of artists together and was a excellent artist to include in the beginning of the show. The energy really picked up during his set, getting the audience on their feet.
Charlie Puth is another artist I had not heard anything from before the show and I feel from seeing him tonight that he was the most promising out of all of them. One of the reasons being that he wasn’t just a singer. He played an instrument along with singing and a piano at that. I may be a bit bias, as I have played piano for decades and am always impressed when people use pianos rather than guitars for music, but I thought he was amazing. I feel he could cross over into different platforms very easily and his career will do nothing but grow from this point on.
Becky G performed with an amazing group of dancers, making for a fantastic stage show. She is a lot of fun and interactive with her fans, while holding onto a great stage presence at the same time. The group DNCE, a brand new group breaking out with their single, “Cake by the Ocean” just this last September, followed her. If I had to take my pick on who had the most interaction and overall stage presence for the night, it would be them. They were just so fun. JinJoo Lee, their guitar player, is absolutely amazing. They were so happy and clearly enjoying every minute of being onstage. It made for a great set.
R City (Rock City) performed a number of songs next, their own as well as other artists. They were one of my favorite acts of the evening. There were moments when they actually stopped and would speak with the audience, which was rare at the show. Hailee Steinfeld took to the stage next. It was interesting seeing her perform, as I had only ever seen her acting. She has an amazing voice, far better than I would have thought. She has garnered quite a following, as a number of people around me were there simply to see her.
Perhaps the most anticipated act of the evening came next: Shawn Mendes. I honestly have never heard his music, but I have heard his name. It was hysterical because every time his name was said in a promo or anything, people would scream. When he walked onstage, I could barely hear him sing due to the screams and crying around me. It was crazy. One girl behind me said she could leave at that point because she just wanted to see him. He was yet another instrument playing act, playing the acoustic guitar during his set.
Nick Jonas, another one that made everyone scream, was next. I saw him a few years back, so it’s interesting to see him when he’s older, as the Jonas Brothers were such a hit. He’s still great at what he does and keeps his music current. He did a great cover of Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poision” , which was hilarious in its own right, as the younger generation had no clue what that song was. The ‘90s crowd was dancing and singing that one word for word while their kids looked on. Calvin Harris was the only act that I didn’t care for, which was odd because he was the one I was really looking forward to. I’ve never seen him live, so I have no source of comparison, but there was nothing special or unique about his set. I felt that Zedd was the superior of the two DJs that evening.
One of the biggest acts of the night, Demi Lovato, followed Calvin Harris. She was simply amazing. I had never had the chance to see her live and was glad I had the chance at this show. I have seen footage of her live in the past and this set had a much more soulful feel, to quote her. There was a lot of low lighting and minor keys. She seemed incredibly poised and comfortable with everything throughout the set, much more so than any of the artists that evening. Listening to her and seeing her handle the set, you would think she had been in the industry decades longer than she has.
Fall Out Boy closed out the evening, beginning with “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down”. That song was released in 2005, only a few years after I graduated high school, so I was up dancing and singing the song word for word along with maybe five other people surrounding me. The remainder, Fall Out Boy’s younger generation of fans, was staring at the stage as if they had no idea who the band was. That’s something about Fall Out Boy that is so cool. They have separate generations of fans and they are very distinct.
Overall, it was a fantastic show, as always. I have to give high praise to the coordinators, as the show seemed to go off without a hitch. If anything were wrong behind the scenes, you wouldn’t have known it. I can’t wait until the next Jingle Ball.