BY TER STAFF
Last night the always star-studded iHeartRadio Music Festival returned to Las Vegas’ T-Mobile arena for a packed evening of performances from the top names in music across all genres and several decades. Kicking things off for the festival’s 2022 lineup, names like Morgan, Wallen, the Black Eyed Peas, Diplo, Sam Smith, Lionel Richie and many more all graced the stage.
Up first for the evening, none other than Mr. Worldwide, Pitbull, helped fans feel the moment with some of his biggest hits like “Don’t Stop the Party”, “Timber”, “Give Me Everything” and more. A late add to the 2022 lineup, Pitbull was a great bonus for the Las Vegas crowd and was a perfect selection to kick things off, although creating a tough act to follow for the rest of the night’s performers.
Next up, Sam Smith blessed the stage and gave fans the perfect blend of the new and the old. Not only did Smith perform some of his biggest early hits like “Latch” and “Stay With Me”, but he delivered a very special performance of his brand new single “Unholy”. Fans not only were treated to the first live performance of the new single, but Smith also brought out the song’s collaborator, Kim Petras, for a unforgettable surprise. Don’t be surprised if their new track becomes one of the hottest songs of the end of 2022.
Following Smith’s 6-track performance, a music icon, Lionel Richie, danced on the ceiling to perform of career spanning set with some of his classics. Just because Richie has been sitting in the judges seat lately, doesn’t mean that he forgot how to perform himself, as the 73-year-old singer still can work a crowd.
Switching up genres for a moment, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney’s The Black Keys gave a big dose of rock to the T-Mobile arena. Although the duo doesn’t perhaps share a huge fanbase with some of the other festival performers, they won the crowd over with their music either way. Continuing to deliver for the older half of the crowd on Friday night, Pat Benatar and husband Neil Giraldo took fans back to the ’80s with classics like “Love is a Battlefield” and an awesome mashup of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” with Benatar’s 1979 single “Heartbreaker”.
Taking things forward a couple decades, the Black Eyed Peas returned to the iHeartRadio stage and reminded fans of the countless number of hits that they have in their back pocket. Without enough time to even perform full versions of their hits, BEP delivered energetic performances of songs like “Let’s Get It Started”, “Where Is the Love?”, “I Gotta Feeling”, “Pump It” and “Boom Boom Pow”. No Fergie, no problem. The Black Eyed Peas will always get a crowd on their feet.
Next up, it was time to bring a little bit of country to the Sin City as country music’s biggest emerging star, Morgan Wallen, was the headlining singer for the night full of music legends. While certainly a country superstar, Wallen’s music casts a wide net and his performances of songs like “You Proof” and “Whisky Glasses” were a perfect fit for the evening.
But what would a iHeartRadio Music Festival be without one of the world’s top DJs? And for that reason, Diplo had to close things out with his mixes of some of the biggest tracks today.
Finally, to close things out with one final surprise, Diplo welcomed back Morgan Wallen to the stage as the two performed their 2020 collab “Heartless” live for the Las Vegas crowd as a final goodbye to the epic night (until the festival runs things back tomorrow of course).