Monday, December 15, 2014

Kiss 108's Jingle Ball 2014

Before you say anything, my sister and I accompanied our younger cousins to the show. We definitely felt like part of the "older crowd" being of legal drinking age and closer in age to some of the moms at the show than the kids haha. Jingle Ball played a vital role in mine and my sister's teenage years. It was probably one of the first shows we went to without parent supervision. But this show was completely different than any one we went to as kids.

As an adult, I officially get why parents tell you not to listen to your music so loud - my ears are still ringing! Don't get me wrong, I'm an avid concert goer, but I've never heard teenie-boppers scream as exhaustingly loud as they did last night. Kiss 108 had a great setup this year with their awesome revolving stage. It really helped to keep the show moving right along. Each artist kept it short and sweet with 3 or 4 songs each until the last couple of acts.

The lineup consisted of artists that typically get a lot of airtime on Kiss 108. In order (I think), the show kicked off with Charli XCX, then OneRepublic, Rixton, Kiesza, Jessie J, Shawn Mendes, MAGIC!, Calvin Harris, Meghan Trainor, Lil Jon, Iggy Azalea, and last but not least, 5 Seconds of Summer. They also had special guest Nick Jonas, who sang a snippet of his new song 'Jealous' and of course 'Sweet Caroline'. Morning show hosts, Billy and Lisa were briefly on stage but Matty did most of the talking. Not a lot of crowd interaction with the morning show hosts; the kids just don't seem to appreciate them as much as we did when we were their age.

Here's my opinion of the night. The sponsors for the show were a little weird. Framingham State University snap bracelets and free Orange Leaf samples, so random together. We had great seats, loge 1 row 11. Stage was awesome; special effects, on-screen videos, lights, were all on point. And the music sounded great for the most part.

Charli XCX came on without even being announced or opening remarks from the Kiss 108 team. She's got some great enthusiasm but her on-stage presence could be a little more polished. It seems like she doesn't have a stage coach. She would walk back and forth, dropping it low, and using a lot of gun hand-gestures. I still enjoyed her performance though.

OneRepublic was extremely entertaining. I think every single person in the venue was singing to all of their songs. Their music reaches a greater audience than most of the other performers there and I think that is one of the most important skills to being an artist. They had a great presence and will probably be the most memorable as the lead singer jumped off stage and ran up to finish his song in the loge across from us!

The most adorable group on stage, Rixton, has a lead singer that knows how to 'woo' the ladies. They came out so confident and ended pretty cockily, it was hard not to watch. They probably knew that most people there didn't know their songs so they just had as much fun with their performance as possible. I would definitely be interested in seeing them again.

Kiesza, a Berkley alum, gave a crazy performance. She was very alien-esque but her song-and-dance routine was pretty impressive. Girl had some pipes! Her dancers were in some jumpers that were not flattering at all. I hope they change up their outfits for their next performance.

Jessie J stole my heart. She was unreal. Do I think she's changed her image since her first single went big? Yes, but I'm pleased with the outcome. Her 'bad bitch' attitude kind of really worked for her, especially with the mesh 'Boston' jersey dress and backwards hat she was wearing. She and I seem like we could be really good friends. I would definitely go to one of her own shows someday.

Sorry Shawn Mendes but my cousins wanted t-shirts so we missed your performance. I've only heard good things about you though so I'm sure your Vine famous-ness will continue. Plus your pick-up line backstage interview was adorable.

I saw MAGIC! already this year at MixFest so their performance was repetitive to me. However, their lead singer has a magical voice and I liked how appreciative they were to be there.

Then came the rave. Calvin Harris pretty much crushed this portion of the show. Confetti, streamers, lights, fog, the whole shebang went down when he was on stage. Everyone seemed to know all of his songs as well. It was a crowd-pleasing performance but to me, it just didn't fit my idea of what Jingle Ball should be.

Meghan Trainor, the 'home-town' girl, had a mic malfunction. Her mic was off for the first verse of the song she came out to, "Dear Future Husband". I was bummed because it is one of my favorites. She shook it off and continued performing but I was expecting a little more out of her. She seems to be doing really well but overall I felt her performance was a little boring and not everyone was all about that bass. I hope I can see her again at some point and have a better experience.

The award for the most random performer has to go to Lil Jon. He definitely knew it was kind of a joke for him to be there - not his typical audience at all. But I'll give it to him, he turned around the fact that his presence might be a little awkward and went out there and absolutely murdered it. He even taught everyone which side was the windows and which side was the walls; a very important difference.

Iggy, my girl, I thought you were good. Your hype man was a bit much though. At times, I could not hear your voice because he was yelling so loudly over you. I hope I can get to your show when you head back to Boston. Also, loved when Charli XCX got to come back out and perform 'Fancy' with you. It was a crowd favorite.

5 Seconds of Summer, you're adorable. I was seriously reminded of friends from high school who started a band while watching their performance. They're the cutest little things I've ever seen and I now understand why their edgy appearance makes the girls swoon. Their stage presence was pretty equal, all sharing the spotlight and taking turns singing and talking. It was fun seeing my cousins rock out while they were on. I loved it.

So there you have it! I hope my opinion of the show has given you some inspiration to devour the details, whether at large-scale-events like this or at your very own Christmas Party. Check out more about the show at!

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