Written by Tracy Hansen. Photography by Kyle Hansen of RKH Images.
I Heart Radio, KDWB, and Xcel Energy Center presents Jingle Ball 2013.
With a stellar line up of pop stars, 2013’s Jingle Ball proves to have the best and most exciting line up since the inception of the event. The Jingle Ball consists of twelve dates across the nation, with Saint Paul’s December 10, 2013 date being the midway point. The next day, they head to Atlanta to put on the same show and enthrall a whole new set of fans.
There is a little something for everyone in this show, as acts include Fifth Harmony, Flo Rida, Enrique Iglesias, Austin Mahone, Robin Thicke, and Miley Cyrus. All of the performers are allotted roughly twenty minutes of time on stage, so there is a large variety to listen to. Each delivers incredible performances making not only themselves appear fantastic, but having the event as a whole come off as a remarkable triumph.
Fans eagerly await the show at an optional pre-party in the Roy Wilkins Auditorium before the show. There, they are treated to performances by both Fifth Harmony and Austin Mahone as a way to warm them up for the events to come. Once they are ushered into the Xcel, the show begins, pulling in a largely varied crowd. Although it is a pop show, people of all ages are there, either to bring their kids, or simply to have fun on their own as adults.
Fifth Harmony begins with a solid sound. The group is a product of the X Factor television show and is how they are mostly known to people before breaking out onto the circuit. They are a great way to start things off for the night and get the crowd moving. On second was Robin Thicke, much to the surprise of many, as he was considered a co-headliner. His hit, “Blurred Lines” filled the auditorium, much to the delight of everyone there, including people working the show. The tune is one of the catchiest in years and manages to stick in the heads of many at the show for days after.
Enrique Iglesias is the only returning member to the Jingle Ball. Having done it before, he knows the ropes and is able to show everyone how it is done. His set is a quick one, but memorable. In his typical fashion, he sticks to his Latin persuasion style of pop music, singing a number of newer tunes as well as some from his older albums.
The dance hit of the night was by far “Low” by Flo Rida. “Low” is one of those songs that is incredibly easy to become immersed in, regardless of the type of music a person likes, or even if they know the song or not. It’s simply a very fun song. Throughout the performance, Flo Rida encourages numerous girls to dance on stage, which results in an even more entertaining and interactive experience.
One of the most popular performances with the female part of the audience was Austin Mahone. He has a stage show that consists of acrobatics, who keep those not too focused on Austin fully entertained. The routine behind him continues throughout the show as he sings and the Xcel Energy Center is filled with the sound of teenage girls screaming to their hearts content.
The Jingle Ball finishes off with a bang as Miley Cyrus takes the stage, opening her show with the sounds of Metallica’s “Sad, But True”, a great contrast of what people are about to hear. It is clear to all there that she is the reason that the show is as huge as it is, what with both her talent and controversies – she is one of the biggest pop stars since Britney Spears. Her fans bear witness to an excellent holiday show, complete with dancers dressed as reindeer, a tall woman dressed as a tree, Miley herself singing numerous hits in mink and a red bodysuit, and the best bad sweater contest ever. She follows through on her performance, her voice sounding incredible that night, giving fans a taste of what is to come when she returns on her own tour in March.
Overall, the Jingle Ball this year is an enormous success, perhaps one of the bigger successes than those past. With a killer lineup and performances to accompany them all, it is hard to see how they will top it in 2014.