Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Photos: Jingle Ball at Dallas’ AAC was truly a ball
The roster read like the Billboard Top 40: Jason Derulo, Robin Thicke, OneRepublic, Ariana Grande, Enrique Iglesias, Flo Rida, Selena Gomez, Pitbull, and more.
The rapper juiced what was already a hearty party, putting a nice bow on the early holiday present. Anyone whose attention had drifted during the acts preceding him was brought to heel under an onslaught of fast-cut video, bright lights and the even brighter smile of a man content with his lot in life.
“Someone asked me, ‘Why you don’t make music for the streets anymore’,” he said, and there was a beat and a smile. “I make music to get out of these streets.”
His portion of the hit parade included radio renditions of collaborations with T-Pain, Chris Brown, Marc Anthony, Christina Aguilera, Ke$ha and Ne-Yo. He didn’t mind calling all of his rowdy friends, via video anyway. Fists pumped, no matter the song – the set-starting “Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor),” the show-ending “Feel This Moment.” And the fireworks and confetti to end it all.
The Jingle Ball was just as efficient. There was a single, double-sided stage set and just enough time between acts for the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show crew to talk about the Kraddick Foundation’s Kidd’s Kids, the charity that was the beneficiary of a portion of the concert’s proceeds, and to introduce the next act. Oh, and enough time for One Direction to get almost as much screen – and scream – time as the concert’s actual participants.
The stop at AAC was part of the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2013 holiday concert tour, set to hit Philadelphia next on its tour of 12 cities. The roster read like the Billboard Top 40, with some Texas highlights: Jason Derulo; Fifth Harmony; Robin Thicke; OneRepublic; Ariana Grande (soaring vocals still in search of her own personality); Enrique Iglesias; Flo Rida; Grand Prairie native Selena Gomez; San Antonio native Austin Mahone (a lead singer in search of a boy band); and Denison native SoMo, in that order.
Thicke, another very happy music artist, ended his set with the omnipresent “Blurred Lines” (and without any of the fuss that usually accompanies it). Every usher within sight was dancing along, as were the chaperoning mothers in the audience.
The arena wasn’t quite as full as one would have suspected for such a show, and seats started emptying during Mahone’s set. Mahone added bubblegum to an already sweet outing from the baby-faced Gomez, even if it was heavy like the rest on the backing tracks. When he sings the refrain, “Girl, you got what I need …,” it’s less subversive than when Biz Markie warbled it and the most flirty line since, “Hey, girl.”
It was a school night and there were lots of children running around. And, really, Gomez had given the pre-teen crowd much of what they came for. Give points to Iglesias for bouncing initialed balloons among the crowd during his 25-minute set; now, he has the youngsters, too.
His band was the only group that seemed to be having as much fun as the audience. Flo Rida seemed to have the time of his life even though the crowd was subdued; he upped the ante by inviting young girls on stage for “Get Low.” That had all the potential for a debacle; luckily, the girls were more interested in snapping pictures with their cell phones than emulating the sexy lyrics.
During the televised iHeartRadio Music Festival earlier this year, it was the editing that made the transitions seamless. This collection of acts followed the blueprint, showing just how to keep the crowd humming along even as they leave the venue.
Follow Dawn M. Burkes on Twitter at @DawnBurkes.