BY TER STAFF
Last night iHeartRadio and 103.5 KISS FM brought the Jingle Ball Tour to Chicago’s Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. With the sold-out Windy City crowd watching, some of the biggest names in music brought a memorable night of live music to the Allstate. Artists like Ariana Grande, the Backstreet Boys, Ellie Goulding, Daya and Hailee Steinfeld (just to name a few) were there to give the packed arena a night that they will not soon forget.
First up for the night was the lovely and diversely talented, Hailee Steinfeld, who kicked things off with her track ‘You’re Such A’. Also performing tracks like her DNCE collaboration ‘Rock Bottom’, ‘Love Myself’ and ‘Starving’, which went platinum early this week, Steinfeld put on a great opening set for her Chicago fans, dubbing 2016 one of the best years of her entire life. And with a platinum single and a critical acclaimed film in theaters now, with “The Edge of Seventeen”, can you blame her?
Next up, emerging singer Daya greeted the Jingle Ball crowd, calling her recent Jingle Ball performances as “such a dream”. Daya performed songs like ‘Sit Still, Look Pretty’, ‘Words’, ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ and of course the track that changed her life, ‘Hide Away’.
After Daya thanked the sold-out arena, it was time for Lukas Graham to hit the stage. Perhaps one of the top performances of the entire night, Lukas Graham exceeded the expectations of many. Like so many artists on the Jingle Ball lineup, Lukas Graham also have a lot to celebrate. Fresh of their three Grammy nominations, jumping from a spring Chicago performance of about 700 people to performing for a sold-out arena in Rosemont, and getting the crowd engaged with their tracks ‘You’re Not There’, ‘Mama Says’, ‘Strip No More’, ‘Drunk In The Morning’ and their big single ‘7 Years’, it’s a great time to be in Lukas Graham.
After fans finished singing along to ‘7 Years’, One Direction’s Niall Horan blessed the stage with a performance of his new solo track, ‘This Town’. Horan called Chicago his favorite city in the United States, a place where he would spend a lot of time while touring. Unfortunately for Niall though, he told the fans “it makes me upset that I only have one song to perform.” Don’t worry Niall, we are sure you’ll be back very soon with a debut solo album to perform.
Next on the Jingle Ball stage was Tove Lo, who not only played her biggest singles like ‘Habit (Stay High)’ and ‘Talking Body’, but also gave fans some awesome performances from her new LP, Lady Wood, including ‘Cool Girl’ and ‘True Disaster’.
And then it was time for probably the biggest performance of the night. That’s right, the Backstreet Boys are back, and they made a huge stop in Chicago before their forthcoming Las Vegas residency. Whether you were a mom who brought your daughter and her best friends or a ’90s baby (but birth certificate or just at heart), you probably lost your voice or hearing from all the screams. Opening with their mega-hit ‘Everybody’, which was the perfect opening track to set the tone for the rest of their performance, and later ending with their equally huge, ‘Larger Than Life’, BSB gave us years of hits and still was able to leave us wanting more. If you missed out on the Jingle Ball or if you were there and just a half hour of the Backstreet Boys left you feeling “incomplete”, well make your way to Planet Hollywood in Vegas from March to June and see what the Backstreet Boys “got going on”.
Met with the very difficult task of following one of the best selling groups of all-time, Ellie Goulding met the challenge head on and surely delivered. Goulding opened with her big hit single, ‘On My Mind’, and whether or not the track was inspired by Ed Sheeran’s displeasure of her rumored fling with fellow Jingle Ball artist Niall Horan, Ellie killed it. Goulding also performed tracks like ‘Anything Could Happen’, ‘Love Me Like You Do’ and busted out the guitar for her hit single ‘Burn’. Ellie hasn’t been around as long as BSB, but still her entire set was hit after hit. Ellie Goulding live will never disappoint.
While the Backstreet Boys were certainly the highlight for the moms in the audience, the night’s headliner was all about the daughters, as Ariana Grande closed out the Chicago stop on the Jingle Ball Tour. Ariana of course got things going with her huge 2016 single, ‘Side To Side’, and although she wasn’t joined by Nicki Minaj for the performance, Ariana didn’t need it. Grande kept the fans screaming and ended the night on a high note, and who can hit those high notes better than Ari? From top to bottom, everyone delivered for Chicago last night.
Check out our photos from the Jingle Ball last night in Chicago below, and peep the remaining dates on the Jingle Ball Tour here!
Photos by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration