Kiis FM’s famous Jingle Ball concert closed out the holiday season on a high note with F-bombs, drunk Santa and thousands of overly ecstatic teenage girls.
The four hour music festival held at the Staple Center, featured headline-making performances by pop music’s biggest stars including Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez (and her now infamous F-bomb), Austin Mahone, Robin Thicke, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and many more!
Press Pass LA hit the red carpet for the holiday event, and finally witnessed the Gaga-esque pandemonium that occurs whenever wild child Miley Cyrus steps foot near a red carpet. But before we discuss the only reason everyone attended the show (Miley mania!), we can’t forget about her young counterparts who attended and performed during the annual Holiday concert.
Teen heartthrob – Justin Bieber – er Austin Mahone, walked the carpet charming every female reporter in sight before taking the stage to swoon his near irrational teenage girl fans. The young star, whose popularity has grown despite having yet to release an album, put on one of the most exciting performances of the night. Girls and women of all ages – we saw you screaming soccer moms – were near insanity for the next fifteen minutes as they sang along to Austin’s hits “What About Love” and “Banga! Banga!”. While I was new to the Austin Mahone experience, I found myself reluctantly tapping my foot and head nodding throughout his energetic set – and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Former X-Factor contestants Fifth Harmony were greeted with the same intensity and high pitched screams as Austin once they hit the stage. The girls performed songs from their debut EP Better Together, including the infectious disco tune “Don’t Wanna Dance Alone” and chart-topping “Miss Moving On”. At this exact time last year, the girls were walking the carpet of the same event, but were still thick in the X-Factor competition with mentor Simon Cowell. “ We were all just saying how crazy it has been today! Its been an amazing year and getting our music out and it being #2 on the charts right behind Katy Perry was the best moment so far” they told me. And a great year it has been, as the miniature Spice Girls group are set drop their go on tour with X-Factor judge Demi Lovato before releasing their 2014 debut album.
Seeing as the 2014 Grammy nominations occurred across the street at the nokia theater the same night, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis had plenty to celebrate once they hit the Jingle Ball stage. The new seven time Grammy nominated performers released an infectious energy as they hopped, skipped and jumped on stage performing their endless catalogue of hits “Thrift Shop”, “Can’t Hold Us” and “Same Love”. During the latter, the duo took time to discuss the motivation and backstory of the passionate song before being joined on stage by “Same Love” collaborator Mary Lambert. “I was sent a story from my mom about a gay, bullied kid who committed suicide, and it started with me writing from the perspective of that kid, trying to take it on from his vantage point. And as usual, I kind of liked what I wrote”, said the rapper.
And finally, prior to her highly anticipated set, Miley Cyrus’ red carpet arrival was met with a collective roar in the media room. Yet surprisingly the pop provocateur didn’t allow the commotion concern her, as she seemed calmer than usual – only poking out her infamous tongue once while posing. But her demure and meek persona was thrown out of the window as soon as showtime arrived. As the audience dried their tears (thanks Macklemore), contagious anticipation filled the Staples Center as Ryan Seacrest announced the moment we were all waiting for – Miley was next on stage! “THE INTENSITY FOR MILEY IS REAL,” read an audience member’s live tweet shown above the stage during the concert – and they couldn’t have been any more accurate. M.C grooved onstage in a sequined Santa themed Bikini bottom and crop top – and was joined onstage by an intoxicated Santa Claus and a 6’7 woman dressed as a Christmas tree. Because why wouldn’t she?
Miley appropriately began her headlining set with one her earlier hits – 2009’s “Party In The U.S.A”, which surprisingly fit in well with the singers “unpredictable” musical catalog we’ve come to enjoy. A few hit songs, twerks on Santa and ass slaps later, Miley began to peel away the antics to reveal her rare yet vulnerable side- proving to the doubters that she truly has the raw talent to stick around for years to come. Performing an understated version of chart-topping “Wrecking Ball”, Miley began to tear up while singing “Don’t you ever say I just walked away, I will always love you.” Gut-wrenching stuff folks.
Honorable mentions: Nickelodeon starlet turned pop diva Ariana Grande gave an effortlessly flawless vocal performance during her set. While comparisons to the legendary Mariah Carey have died down, it’s clear Ariana’s vocal ability is second to none in today’s music scene.
And of course our Jingle Ball 2013 review wouldn’t be complete without addressing the ‘F-bomb’ heard around the world by 21-year-old performer Selena Gomez. Everyone in the audience was aware of the contained yet growing frustration Selena experienced onstage due to sound issues when her audio and microphone simultaneously malfunctioned. During a brief break in between songs, Selena – unaware that her mic was still on – screamed out “What the f**k.” The former Disney star quickly attempted to ease the shock of the crowd by chatting with us all – which seemed to only make it worse. “Sorry, the sound isn’t working!” Gomez told the crowd. “Are you guys having a good night? I promise, a lot cooler people are gonna come out tonight. Is it okay if I perform two more songs and you guys can get to it? … I have to say that before you guys go on to the people that you care about, I really appreciate you supporting everything that I do. So this next song is the first song I had hit No. 1, and it’s called “Come & Get It.” Awkward all around.
Other performers included: Robin Thicke, T.I, Enrique Iglesias, Bonnie McKee, Jason Derulo, Travie McCoy.
Check out Mileys Jingle Ball performances below: