B96 Jingle Bash 2013

B96 Jingle Bash at Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL

December 14, 2013

The B96 Jingle Bash is an annual event held in December to celebrate the Christmas season, filled with the top performers in pop music today.  This year’s lineup was stacked from the opening act Midnight Red, to the closer, Avicii.

Starting at 5:45 pm sharp, the venue was packed and ready for 5 hours of music, as sets were quick (lasting 20 to 45 minutes) and during the switch over, the local DJ would keep the crowd amped.

Midnight Red 12-14-13 Allstate Arena Rosemont, ILOpening act, Midnight Red, is following in the line of new generation Boy Bands and got the crowd up on its feet right away as they played to the crowd with their good looks, moves and voices.  They played a few songs that included Hell Yeah and Take me Home. You will be hearing a lot more from Midnight Red with a new album in 2014 and on tour with Austin Mahone.

What seemed like an early lineup of boy bands, one of the newest and ready to explode into superstardom came on next – Emblem3.  Just wrapping up a tour with Selena Gomez and hitting the road for their own headlining tour in early 2014, the boys from Cali heated up the Jingle Bash.  Brothers, Wesley & Keaton, along with best friend Drew, have brought back the summer vibes with their Caribbean rhythms, pop and rhymes.  Most fans would have loved a longer set or a higher slot but they came and did their thing to the delight of their fans. Songs included Sunset Boulevard, 3000 Miles, and the hit single, Chloe (You’re the One I Want).

The boy band hit parade continued with, The Wanted.  The guys were short, with Max George going back overseas to attend family matters; they did the best they could but you could see George is a big part in the show.  The Wanted 12-14-13 Allstate Arena Rosemont, ILFans still screamed out loud and danced to songs, Chasing the Sun, I Found You, and finished with their biggest hit, Glad You Came.

Another group that was missing a member, but this one seems permanent, as Joe & Nick Jonas came on stage. The exception in this case is that there was not a missed beat – as Nick played guitar with a backing band and Joe’s vocals were spot on.  They seemed to be enjoying the time on stage together.  Playing their single, Pom Poms, the girls in the crowd screamed and sang along as they did with Lovebug. The crowd sang so loud it overpowered the vocals of the brothers, as they just smiled and appreciated the moment.  S.O.S. closed the set and for many fans, hoping to see a tour in 2014.

As the Boy band section concluded, world renowned, DJ Armin Van Buuren played a short set, considering his upcoming tour will be 5 hours long; with an amazing light show and sound that had the whole crowd dancing to his hits.  When the song, This is What it Feels Like came on, the crowd erupted and felt like the Allstate Arena turned into a rave.

Before Jason Derulo came on, the DJ’s for B96 told the crowd they have good news and bad news.  The bad news was Pitbull would not be able to make it due to being stuck on the runway in NY due to the bad weather the East coast was getting.  The good news was the next 4 performers agreed to extend their setlist to make up for the time slot Pitbull was going to fill.

Jason Derulo 12-14-13 Allstate Arena Rosemont, IL (2)Jason Derulo came on and put on one the best performances of the night.  With his amazing backup dancers, they made the set feel like you were watching at a more intimate venue vs. the size they were playing in.  With shows like this, fans will get what they want with just the hits, as Jason did just this with Whatcha Say, Ridin Solo, and a sick dance-off before going into It Girl.  He slowed things down to preform Marry Me that had the couples in the crowd dancing and singing along.  He jumped right back into his dance with Talk Dirty, which sounded amazing.

While Jason does not get much news as he should, he is one of the top performers in the game right now and very humble in what he does.

Ariana Grande has been riding a hot streak with vocal comparison to Mariah Carey and her new album, Yours Truly.  After so many groups/singer/DJ before her, her set seemed a little tame and slowed the mood down a little but with such a beautiful voice, it was hard not to be captured by it.  Highlight of her set was her acoustical performance, Almost is Never Enough, which she sang with her boyfriend, Nathan Skyes, as they shared a very intimate performance in front of thousands.  She ended with The Way.  Grande’s future looks to be only straight up to the next Diva status.

The next in line to knock Justin Bieber off his throne is coming on strong – Austin Mahone, who proved it with a set that blew the roof off Allstate Arena.  Coming in his Bulls jersey given to him by the radio station and backup dancers, he opened with, Say You’re Just A Friend. The crowd was filled with Mahomies – the nickname for his fans.  He showcased some amazing dance moves and a singing voice that shines through to each fan.  For a cover of Let Me Love You, Heart in My Hand, and Beautiful Soul, he sang alone with just a guitar in his hand and serenading and melting the hearts of every female in the crowd.  He ended with his catchy new single, Banga Banga and the hit, What About Love.Avicii 12-14-13 Allstate Arena Rosemont, IL (3)

Avicii ended the night with the only US show this winter.  B96 has always been on the front edge of new music, as they have been having the biggest names in EDM and DJ’s play there for Jingle Bash or Summer Bash.

With one of the biggest songs in 2013 Wake Me Up, Avicii did not disappoint with a 45 minute set that had the crowd dancing in aisles.  With a new album, True, he has taken EDM in a new direction and it’s proving to be connecting with fans.

As laser shot across the venue and confetti shooting in the air, the show ended almost too soon and leaving the fans talking about Jingle Bash 2014.

Review & Photos by Peter Lizano  


Austin Mahone

Armin Van Buuron

Ariana Grande

Jason Derulo

Emblem 3

Joe and Nick Jonas

The Wanted

Midnight Red