The lineup for the Los Angeles leg of the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball on Friday night was packed with so many Grammy winners and chart-topping artists that fans thought Christmas had come early.
While Taylor Swift was the obvious headliner for the annual festive spectacular, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Sam Smith, Demi Lovato, Logic, Kesha, Niall Horan, Halsey, Charlie Puth and Liam Payne all slayed it (or should we say “sleighed it”?) when they took to the stage at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Throughout the holiday season, iHeartMedia stations across the country host Jingle Ball concerts in local cities that feature performances by the year’s most iconic recording artists, as well as emerging talent. The KIIS-FM Jingle Ball in L.A. was carried live on over 100 iHeartRadio stations and as a live video stream on CWTV.com and The CW app.
An exclusive nationwide broadcast television special will air on The CW on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. EST/PST.
For those of you who weren’t at the sold-out Forum show Friday night, here are 10 things you didn’t see on the livestream and won’t see on TV.
Ed Sheeran Is on the Mend
After having to cancel a number of international shows following a cycling accident that broke his right wrist and left elbow in October, Sheeran looked fit as a fiddle as he opened the show. The British singer blasted out “Castle on the Hill,” “Thinking Out Loud” and “Shape of You” without even a wince of pain.
Swift got the loudest cheers of the night, but it was her reunion on stage with BFF Sheeran that really warmed hearts when the pair performed “End Game” together.
Swift performed her first show (aside from promotional appearances) since playing at the DirecTV pre-Super Bowl party back in February, and gifted fans with the first live performances of “Look What You Made Me Do” and “End Game.” She blew up the night and kept many members of the young audience up way past their bed times.
The Jingle Ball definitely attracted an audience spanning all age groups, with little kids, teenagers, 20-somethings and fully-fledged adults (not all of them parents!) enjoying the show. Not everything was PG-13 however, as one video that played on the jumbotron showed “a butt and a vagina,” according to our nine-year-old pal. Oops …
As the average age of the crowd appeared to be under 16, it sure was loud! Every artist sparked Beatlemania-level screams of delight, with Swift’s arrival sending the noise level to meteoric decibels.
If you wanted an insight into a 13-year-old girl’s mind, you needed to look no further than the scrolling Twitter messages on the jumbotron. From the expected, “Marry me @edsheeran,” to the intuitive “I pray @Halsey comes out to play with the @TheChainsmokers!!!!!” — right before she walked onto the stage to join the EDM act — the feed was must-see TV.
Logic Lights Up the Stadium
Rapper Logic — whose real name is, even more bizarrely, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II — literally lit up the Forum when he asked everyone to turn on their cellphone lights in a high-tech version of Christmas decorations.
Kesha Drops a B-Bomb
The “Tik Tok” singer was one of the best acts of the night. Boasting a mane of cotton-candy pink hair and performing in front of a psychedelic screen, she really got the audience on its feet (and sparked more screaming) when she brought Macklemore out mid-set for “Good Old Days.” But Kesha seemed to forget the average age of the audience as she thanked her fans for their relentless support, especially over the past two years when, “I’ve been a bit of a b—-.”
Liam Payne Gets a Little Help From His Friend, James Corden
English boy wonder Liam Payne got an introduction fit for a king when “Late Late Show” host and fellow Brit welcomed him onto the stage. Fellow One Direction founding member Niall Horan didn’t get quite the same royal welcome (he is Irish after all), but delivered an equally charming performance, saying he wished he “could play all night.” Us too, Niall.
Chainsmokers Know They’re a Support Band
As adults, our favorite act of the night was The Chainsmokers as the DJ duo of Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall really brought their A-game — and a tantalizing light show — to the Forum. But of course, even they knew that everyone else was waiting for a certain singer to “Shake It Off.”
“I know you’re all waiting for Taylor Swift to come out,” pretty boy Taggart said. Awwww, but we love you too.
The 102.7 KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball 2017 was presented by Capital One. Additional partners of this year’s national tour includes Absolut Vodka, Capital One, Columbia Pictures’ Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” Cuties, The CW Network, Macy’s, Ulta Beauty, and Verizon. Multimarket partners include: Coca-Cola, Fujifilm Instax, John Frieda Hair Care, Luden’s, new Tic Tac GUM, and Power Crunch Protein Bars.