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Last night z100’s, New York’s #1 hit music station, held their 2014 Jingle Ball right in the heart of New York City at the famed Madison Square Garden.  In conjunction with I Heart Radio, the concert was broadcast all over the internet with an air date on the CW to happen later on this month.  Naturally the show was sold out as it was packed with some of today’s biggest and brightest stars, all huddled under one roof to give everyone a great show and for us to have an awesome night.  Whereas there were a ton of great moments that happened throughout the night, there were some things that happened that made me puzzled, confused and wondering if it was really ok putting them there in the first place.  Take a look at what went right, and what went wrong at Jingle Ball.

The Standouts-

Taylor Swift-

Of course, Taylor was the headliner at Jingle Ballso she was the last to come out which happened around 11:45 PM, nearly four hours into the show itself.  It also happened to be Tay tay’s birthday today, so all of us got to celebrate with her on her 25th which was pretty awesome.  Honestly, Taylor is at the stage in her career where being at the top isn’t even the top, she’s further than that.  So the mini concert itself was really just a spectacle to watch and the audience craved every minute of it.  She has such great stage presence and really enjoys the interaction she has with her audience.  Only thing I was a bit confused by was why she performed two songs off of “Red” and not  all five of her songs from “1989”.  I get you wanna perform the hits, but you have enough adoring fans that know “1989” already that they would’ve been excited to hear something new as opposed to something we’ve heard for years (I was hoping she would’ve performed, “Style”.  Nope).  Otherwise, great set to end the night.

Shawn Mendes-

Maybe this is just my age as I am transitioning from the top 40 phase of my life to the WALK 97.5 stage, but Shawn Mendes was the only person on the Jingle Ball lineup that I had no clue who he actually was.  He apparently has some big song out right now that he performed last night called “Life Of The Party”, which for a guy just playing with a guitar and nothing else did a pretty good job.  The highlight was his own version of the first verse of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” which he did in a very stripped down way, and that to me was awesome.  It is good to know that someone of his tender age of 16 can research music from a different time period and take a song which is so deep and heavy and turn it into something much more light and in a way refreshing.  Hope he has a very successful career ahead.

Sam Smith-

Love him and I think he is the best thing that happened in 2014 by far.  Such a simple guy with this amazing voice that commands such a presence.  He is such a unique throwback to the yesteryears of Elton John and Billy Joel, and did such a fantastic performance of his hits “I’m Not The Only One” and “Stay With Me”.  Just like Shawn, I see a bright future for him and hope his success continues beyond this amazing year he had.

Pharrell-

Surprisingly Pharrell was the one who kicked off the night, which in past years is usually reserved for some of the smaller acts.  Pharrell spent most of his set performing hits that he was featured on such as “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky” but the latter two songs were his best.  Why?  The surprise announcement of his fellow “Voice” judge Gwen Stefani coming out to perform their new song “Spark The Fire”, which was freaking awesome.   Growing up Gwen was a huge music influence for me and seeing her and him perform together again was amazing.  Of course, he finished his set with “Happy” and invited a bunch of PSL’s on the stage to dance/take selfies with him.  Honestly, if I was on stage with Pharrell I would put my phone in my pocket and enjoy the experience and not do what these stupid girls did, but it’s a generational thing, so whatever.

5 Seconds of Summer/Maroon 5-

The only two “Rock” acts at Jingle Ball, and both did a pretty decent job.  Maroon 5 was great, maybe phoned it in a bit with “Animal” and “One More Night”, but I felt like they were super rushed because Jingle Ball itself had such a large lineup that many of the acts only had 10-15 minutes.  Nevertheless they were great.  5 Seconds of Summer, or 5SOS, were quite fantastic and did a great rendition of “What I Like About You”.  My hope is that they can get past the screaming girl phase and really be seen as a great band as opposed to a flash in the pan that pop seems to take in and spit out every year.

The Lowlights-

Jessie J/Meghan Trainor/Rita Ora/Nick Jonas/Charli XCX/Rixton-

I honestly felt bad for all of them, they legit got 2.5 seconds on stage and then went bye bye.  Nick and Rita I’m not shocked at.  Rita doesn’t even have a huge song here in our country, and Nick only has one song “Jealous” which he did pretty decently.  Jessie did one song “Burning Up” but came back later on in the night to perform “Bang Bang” with Ariana Grande, and Charli XCX came back after her set to do “Fancy” of course.  I just felt that all six of these artists are quite talented and had a good amount of buzz about them that they could’ve given them a little bit more stage time.  Especially Meghan Trainor, who legit rushed through quite possibly the biggest song of this year, “All About That Base”.  I get that they have to stay on schedule but I just thought it was a bit unfair to give them that little amount of time when they are all talented in their own right.

Calvin Harris-

You have had massive hits over the years with some of the biggest names in the business, and you even sing on some of your own songs.  So you got paid last night to stand on stage, press play, and yell at the audience and you weren’t even mixing.  Seriously?  Bye.

Ariana Grande-

Oh lord, where to begin.  First off, I’m begging this girl to stop wearing that stupid ponytail as she consistently looks like a 6th grader.  Want to be taken seriously?  Dress a little bit older than you have been.  Her shout out to her awful brother Frankie was another thing.  Zero connection with her audience, she giggled about tripping during her one part, and just seems very unprofessional.  Also, it seemed as if The Weeknd was supposed to perform with her on “Love Me Harder” but conspicuously wasn’t there.   I attest it to the fact that she wanted all the stage time, which further proves her diva like behavior that she has been accused of over the past year.  There is a huge difference between what she and Taylor is putting out there.  Just saying.

Iggy Azalea-

Sort of surprised that she was the second to last to perform over people I deem to be bigger and more talented than her.  Ugh.  What kills me is that she needs to figure out if she wants to be a pop artist or stay strictly rap, because her performance last night lingered both ways.  She was super bubbly and pop on “Fancy” then went the other direction on one of her better songs “Work”.  I can’t believe she didn’t censor the “Blow Job” line in that song, but to each his own.  I just read novelty all over her and hope that she figures out a game plan because the amount of respect she has in the industry as a whole is quite low for someone who had such highs this year.

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