The Weeknd, Newly Crowned Prince of Pop, Delivered Peak of Jingle Ball 2015

The Weeknd, Newly Crowned Prince of Pop, Delivered Peak of Jingle Ball 2015
Photo by Michele Sandberg

‘Tis the season for Y100’s annual Jingle Ball. Your favorite artists throughout the year blessed the stage with those songs you heard on the radio over and over...and over. The crowd was filled with 15-year-old girls, chaperoning moms, pissed-off dads, and even more pissed-off boyfriends who'd been dragged along by their fan-girl ladies. The halls of the BB&T Center swarmed with staff dressed as Santa’s helpers, passing out Santa hats and reindeer antlers only to block the view of a fan who probably paid their life savings to see the sold-out show.

This year’s lineup included 5 Seconds of Summer, Charlie Puth, Conrad Sewell, Demi Lovato, DNCE, Fifth Harmony, HalieeSteinfld, Nick Jonas, R.City, Shawn Mendes, Tove Lo, Zedd, and headliner The Weeknd.

It was long, but the show moved along rather quickly, ending just shy of midnight allowing the teenagers to make it home before their curfew. Each artist performed about four-to-five quick songs, making standing on your feet all night more bearable. 5 Seconds of Summer started off Jingle Ball with a bang. Literally. The pop-punk band consisting of four #MCM-worthy members might have damaged our ear drums with the hyped-up performance of their new song, "Jet Black Heart."

Up next was Charlie Puth. He was the reason everyone’s phone battery was dead before the show was even over. During his performance, Puth requested the audience light up their phones and hold them up high as he serenaded the ladies and played the piano. His set included crowd favorite "One Call Away" and his hit single "See You Again," featuring Wiz Khalifa. While there was no Wiz present to join in on the song, the audience made up for that by mumbling his parts in between.

The Weeknd, Newly Crowned Prince of Pop, Delivered Peak of Jingle Ball 2015 (4)
Photo by Michele Sandberg

No one seemed to know who Conrad Sewell was at first, but he definitely left the stage with a few more fans. When the lights came down on the Australian superstar and the audience heard the beginning of "Firestone," they jumped to their feet to sing along. He ran up and down onstage to hype up the crowd, whipping his long, blond hair back and forth. We're not sure his hair was in his face during his show or if he just wanted to give himself a scalp massage, but the boy couldn’t keep his hands out of his mane. Before the show, he did mention he makes sure he shampoos and conditions well to keep his hair long and healthy, so let's just assume he wanted to check if his hair still smelled good after sweating under the hot lights.

The first female artist to show us some love was Tove Lo. She hit the stage with a dark and spooky set and an even spookier outfit. The "Talking Body" singer paraded around the stage in a black one-piece bodysuit, fishnet stockings, and a leather jacket to pull off the entire bad-ass pop star look. She sang a few songs from her albums which the crowd was unfamiliar with, but ended her set on a high with her hit single, "Stay High." We doubt any of the 15-year-old girls knew what the lyrics meant in the song, but it didn’t stop them from yelling every word in a high-pitched voice.

If you wanted a break from the pop and rock acts for a second, R. City was a good act, heir strong Caribbean accents bringing island flavor to the lineup. The audience was young, so not many knew that the two brothers are major songwriters. They performed a few tracks of their own, but didn’t leave the stage without letting everyone know they wrote hit records like Usher’s "Don’t Mind," Miley Cyrus’ "Can’t Stop," and Rihanna’s "Pour It Up." Before heading back to their dressing room, the duo blessed the people of South Florida with "Locked Away," that one song you couldn’t get out of your head this summer.

The Weeknd, Newly Crowned Prince of Pop, Delivered Peak of Jingle Ball 2015 (8)
Photo by Michele Sandberg

Next up it was time to DANCE, minus the A. If you actually pronounce DNCE as "dance," the group will most likely give you a mean eye-roll. What was even more of an eye-roll? The group’s outfit choices. We're not sure if a stylist chose their ensembles or if it was their own blind pick in the dark. Joe Jonas, lead singer, came ready to party, with freshly dyed teal hair and a checkered black-and-white blazer. Jack Lawless, on the drums, kept it simple with an old t-shirt, ripped jeans, and an untamed beard; Cole Whittle, bass player, with a trendy man-bun; and JinJoo Lee, the guitarist, rocked a “Happy New Year” headband and pink “stunner shades.” After the crowd finally got over their interesting outfit choices, we enjoyed the finale of their performance craving cake, by the ocean specifically. The high-energy gang of thrift store thieves rocked out to "Cake By The Ocean," leaving everyone on their feet.

Fifth Harmony gave “girl group” a new meaning with their amazing set. The group of five: Ally, Normani, Dnah, Camila, and Lauren, gave Fort Lauderdale a showgirl-style performance in festive, glittery blue costumes for the holidays. All five girls stood high on a platform, allowing her male and female dancers circle around them as they twerked throughout their whole performance. They dropped it low to their singles "Boss," "Sledgehammer," and added in some twerk with "Worth It."

By now, you’d expect everyone to be tired, but the show was only half-way over. Hailee Steinfeld unknowingly dedicated her set to the single ladies by performing her song "Love Myself." All eyes were on her while she and her dancers shouted how much they loved themselves. I guess she got the memo that not everyone will be booed-up for the holidays, so she reassured the single women that it’s okay to love themselves first. Haliee asked the left, middle, and right side of the crowd to repeat “I Love Me” throughout the show, making it OK to be a little lonely. We now love ourselves a little more.

Becky G. came out and surprised the crowd with a warm welcome for Zedd. Zedd really knows how to raise an electricity bill. He quickly turned the pop show into a full-on EDM rager, equipped with a blinding laser show. Anyone sitting down quickly jumped up to watch the DJ/producer spin our summer favorites, including "Beautiful Now," his remix of Magic's "Rude," and his rumored love affair Selena Gomez’s track, "Break Free." The entire crowd spent his set jumping, getting in about two days-worth of cardio. By the time the stage went black and Zedd left, we were partially blind.

The Weeknd, Newly Crowned Prince of Pop, Delivered Peak of Jingle Ball 2015 (3)
Photo by Michele Sandberg

But the show went on, and Nick Jonas blazed the stage with hit after hit. 15-year-old girl’s hormones raged as the heartthrob took off a layer of clothing and threw it behind him. The pop star performed "Chains," "Jealous," "Good Thing" (without Sage The Gemini), and our personal favorite, "Levels." The crowd knew every world to each of his songs until he threw it back with a cover of Bell Biv DeVoe’s "Poison." The young girls danced even though they never heard the song before, but every mom in the building suddenly stood up, making the almost five-hour concert worth it.

Moms quickly took a seat and the younger crowd stood up when Shawn Mendes hit the stage. He played his set from two different guitars, which he learned to play on YouTube. "Something Big" was his first song, followed by "Stitches," a track that got way too much radio airplay. Before leaving the stage, he requested a singalong with the audience. He asked every girl who comments under his Instagram photos with heart-eyes to repeat after him to "Never Be Alone."

The Weeknd, Newly Crowned Prince of Pop, Delivered Peak of Jingle Ball 2015 (10)
Photo by Michele Sandberg

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Every artist who hit the stage asked Miami, “How they were feeling tonight,” but Demi Lovato was the only performer to acknowledge that Jingle Ball was actually in Fort Lauderdale. She blessed the stage with her vocals, but stopped to shout out a very special fan. A member in the audience followed the dress code with an handmade ugly Christmas sweater and made a matching one for Demi. Of course she wore it, but only after cutting it in half to make a crop top. Only in Miami.. we mean Fort Lauderdale, can you wear a crop top Christmas sweater. Lovato sang an array of songs showcasing her vocal range that the crowd wasn’t too familiar with, but as soon as "Cool For The Summer" came on, everyone got excited.

Finally, the moment everyone was waiting for — well, we were waiting for: The Weeknd. Ending the show, Abel Tesfaye took the stage, giving everyone what hey wanted: a great performance. He had the entire arena hitting high notes they wouldn’t dare hit outside of a concert. He shook his head vigorously throughout the show and hit a really weird shuffle, managing to keep his hair (if that’s what you want to call it) in place. The newly crowned pop star performed "Often," "Earned It," "The Hills," and everyone’s favorite, "I Can’t Feel My Face." Little girls grabbed their faces to see if they could feel them, and moms looked up the lyrics to see exactly what about his face he couldn’t feel. Let’s just say, it probably won’t be on the next 15th birthday party playlist.

The Weeknd, Newly Crowned Prince of Pop, Delivered Peak of Jingle Ball 2015 (5)
Photo by Michele Sandberg

The show ended and the halls filled again with kids begging their moms for overpriced concert t-shirts. While the line was long for the authentic merchandise, you couldn’t stop a hustler for selling $10 knock-offs right in front of the exit. Overall, the show probably raised chaperones' blood pressures with the amount of hyperactive teenaged girls in attendance, but Jingle Ball attendees went home with smiles on their faces, looking forward to a happy holiday.

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