Jingle Ball - December 17, 2017 - Sunrise, FL
Words and photos by Alex Liscio.
Coverage originally written and created for Acentric Magazine.
This blog post is for reference only, as I no longer contribute to the publication above.
The biggest tour of the year came to an end on Sunday December 17 in Sunrise, FL. iHeartRadio and Y100 Miami’s Jingle Ball delivered one of the biggest lineups yet, featuring Camila Cabello, Liam Payne, Nick Jonas, and Demi Lovato. The show featured a pre-show free to the public, starring rising artists such as Jake Miller, MAX, and Cheat Codes, who were also slated to perform their hit song “No Promises,” with headliner Demi Lovato.
Jingle Ball was one of the fastest-paced events I have ever covered, between photographing the show and hustling back to the red carpet, it was nothing short of exhausting, though it is organized very well. The first artists to visit the red carpet were Jake Miller, an up-and-coming artist from Weston, FL, and MAX, known for his current hit “Lights Down Low.” Afterwards, Why Don’t We, the openers of the show, came to the red carpet and chatted before their performance.
Why Don’t We, a breakout boy band that was assembled in September 2016, opened up the final night of the Jingle Ball Tour. The 5 piece presented an extremely visual performance with backlit panels and strobe lights, and also got the crowd roaring. I had never heard of the band before, and was honestly shocked at the size of their following. They were the perfect fit to open up the show, and gave the audience a peek at how great the rest of the performers were going to be.
Miami native Camila Cabello took the stage next, where she opened up with “OMG,” delivering a flawless performance both vocally and visually. Cabello was extremely interactive with the familiar faces in the front row, and the crowd as a whole. I was surprised to see Camila so far down on the bill as she had a huge following with her ex-bandmates Fifth Harmony, and has been doing seemingly well with her single “Havana.” Nonetheless, Camila had a smile on her face throughout the entire performance and performed an excellent set for the city of Sunrise.
Singer/songwriter Julia Michaels has penned hits for Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, and more. Best known for her chart-topping single, “Issues,” Michaels performed an intimate set of her own songs, paired with an acoustic medley of a handful of the hits she has written for the artists above. “Bad Liar” (Selena Gomez), “Love Myself” (Hailee Steinfeld), and “Sorry” (Justin Bieber) were amongst the stripped-down medley, which won the crowd over by getting a dose of their favorite songs packed in one set.
Liam Payne is thriving during his career as a solo artist and performed his hits “Strip That Down,” “Get Low”— produced by Zedd, and “Bedroom Floor,” a song written by and featuring Charlie Puth, an artist also on the Miami lineup. Payne filled the room with shrieks when he walked out on stage in nothing but a jacket and sweatpants, abs flashing throughout the set. Payne also knew how to interact with the crowd and gave an entertaining set.
More stars stopped by the red carpet to chat and take some quick photos, including Charlie Puth, Nick Jonas, and headliner Demi Lovato.
Charlie Puth received a crowd reaction that I was not expecting. Although Charlie has had a ton of hits, I was surprised to hear a crowd louder than a One Direction star’s. Puth opened his set with one of his many hits, “Attention,” straight into his new single “How Long,”— a song with rhythmic beats and upbeat lyrics. His set also consisted of “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” “One Call Away,” and “See You Again.”
Logic was the only rapper on the Y100 Jingle Ball lineup and was introduced as “the voice of a new generation.”. Logic was moving non-stop on stage, hyping the crowd up and performed an extremely entertaining set. “Everybody,” “Gang Related,” and “1-800-273-8255″ were amongst the songs that he performed, and also promised he would be around in 2018 on an unannounced tour. The crowd was lit up with phone lights during his mega-hit “1-800-273-8255,” where Logic asked the crowd to say “I want to be alive; I’m gonna be alive.” The closing song filled the arena with emotion and unity.
Halsey has grown in popularity and as an artist exponentially in 2017 alone, taking over the radio, headlining an arena tour, and releasing songs with The Chainsmokers and G-Eazy. Halsey took the stage and opened with her current hit “Bad At Love,” followed by “Colors,” a song that is featured on her debut album Badlands. A stripped down version of “Closer,” was performed in unison with the crowd, once again lighting the entire arena with cell phone flashlights. As if Halsey hadn’t already won the crowd over, she brought out 1/4 of Fifth Harmony, Lauren Jauregui, to perform their duo “Strangers,” where they took the opportunity to tell the crowd to be themselves every single day.
Fifth Harmony hit the stage performing a variety of their extensive list of hits, including “Worth It,” “Work From Home,” “Down,” “Angel,” and “He Like That.” Being the one of the two groups on the lineup, the girls were in sync with their vocals and routine. The crowd went wild for the girl group, as their momentum never seems to stop growing.
Nick Jonas’ career never seems to stop taking off ever since he emerged with “Jealous,” seeing as he was just nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his song “Home.” Jonas performed “Close,”— a duet with Tove Lo, where I was hoping Demi Lovato was going to step in for Tove’s verse, “Levels,” “Chains” and “Jealous.” His set was paired with flawless vocals and his visible passion for music, which made for one of the best sets of the night.
My favorite set of the night came from Demi Lovato for a few reasons, mainly being that I’ve been dying to photograph her for as long as I can remember. She opened her set with her 2015 hits “Confident” and “Cool For The Summer,” paired with provocative routine with her dancers to pair with the song. Lovato brought out Trevor Dahl of Cheat Codes to perform their hit “No Promises,” which released in late March of this year, but only started to dominate airwaves back in September. Since then, both Lovato and Cheat Codes have been topping the charts with their respective hits. Following their performance, Demi performed her new single, “Tell Me You Love Me,” which is also the name of her sixth studio album. Demi performed her set effortlessly with her powerful, soulful vocals and emotional tracks. Closing out the set with her biggest hit yet “Sorry Not Sorry,” Lovato was the perfect artist to close out the incredible final night of the Jingle Ball tour 2017.