B96 Pepsi Summerbash 2014

B96 Pepsi Summerbash

June 14, 2014

Toyota Park- Bridgeview, IL

            In what has become a start of summer rite of passage for many, the B96 Summerbash never fails to bring out the biggest pop stars. Running independently from other pop festivals, they are able to feature a more diverse set of artists.  This year was no exception, with having one of the hottest artists out there now – Iggy Azalea – along with Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull headlining the night.

Austin Mahone (8)    Doors opened at 5pm as the rush of people made their way in to check out the early act of GRL, Hot Chelle Rae, and Icona Pop. Hot Chelle Rae of the 3 acts, played as if they were headliners and got the crowd going with songs, I Like It Like That, their new song, Don’t Say Goodnight, and Tonight Tonight. 

          Little Mix, Jason Derulo, and Austin Mahone came on next. Having seen all three acts before, I was looking forward to each set.  I will admit, Little Mix has impressed me each time they come on with a great live performance.  Looking forward to the fall when they will do a headline tour.  Jason Derulo is non-stop energy from his back up dancers, to his dance skills that not many can come close to.  He played all his hits, including his new hit singles, Talk Dirty and Wiggle. Austin Mahone closed out the trio, who in the next few years could be headlining the Summerbash. Without an album released, Austin Mahone has moved up the charts quickly with only 2 EP’s to his credit.  Mahone got the crowd going with What About Love, Banga! Banga!, and Mmm Yeah featuring, Pitbull.  It would have been nice if Pitbull came out to perform, but instead Mahone rapped Pitbull’s part.

The last three artists to perform were Iggy Azalea, Jennifer Lopez, and Pitbull. Iggy Azalea has been blowing up this year with her album, The New Classic.  With Australian accent dipped in Southern hip-hop, she has become the new It girl.  With looks that stand out from her dirty blonde hair, a killer body and spitting fresh rhymes that will have Nicki Minaj jealous. With backup dancers and a DJ laying down a thick, bouncing bass line to go along with Azalea’s lyrics, the crowd was into it from the go.  Azalea has a confidence to her that is almost Diva like, but throughout the set she could not help but smile when the crowd would sing or rap along.  She ended with Fancy and the parts Charli XCX sings.  The crowd took over and overshadowed the tracks. Iggy Azalea (4)

         Jennifer Lopez, known for her Diva ways, decided to not allow photographers to cover her set.  She might want to rethink that, after her sales of her new album AKA, have tanked.  She played a 30 minute set and mixed in some new and a few old songs.  I will say, she did look amazing and hope down the line we can cover her show.

        Pitbull ended the show with an uplifting and non-stop dance set.  Playing with his band behind him, he was non-stop smiles and talking about being positive in life and turning negatives around. The crowd was giving lighted blow up sticks and were waving them around to the beat of the music. The ladies from GRL came on to preform Wild Wild Love, which was nice to see. The one knock on Pitbull’s shows is that he has so many guests on his songs that he can’t recreate that live. But he more than makes it up with his energy level always going.

B96 Pepsi Summerbash once again proved why it’s considered by many to be the best summer kickoff festival in the USA.

Review by Peter Lizano 

Austin Mahone


Hot Chelle Rae

Icona Pop

Iggy Azalea

Jason Derulo

Little Mix