Christmas came early at this year’s Y100 Jingle Ball. The star-studded night of pop spread festive cheer throughout an all-ages audience at the BB&T Center.
The show — which saw the likes of the Jonas Brothers, Khalid, and Ozuna take the stage for high-energy performances — was the last date on the Jingle Ball tour, which began at the beginning of the month in Tampa and traveled across the nation to cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Dallas before wrapping up in South Florida.
Throughout the evening, boy bands of all sorts stole the show. Opening Jingle Ball was former One Direction member Niall Horan, who received a warm welcome from screaming fans before performing his hits “Slow Hands” and “Nice to Meet Ya.”
Horan was followed by newcomer AJ Mitchell and Swedish songstress Zara Larsson. Larsson commanded the stage with her alluring presence. Her hits “Symphony” and “Never Forget You” pumped up the crowd and showed her versatility and strong vocals.
The young five-piece Why Don’t We made everyone feel old. The adoring teenaged crowd, though, sang along to every word of the sleek electro-pop hits. The hip group also performed a rendition of “Feliz Navidad,” as well as a medley of pop hits that included Bruno Mars’ “Finesse” and Post Malone’s “Better Now.”
Effectively stealing the show with their heated dance moves and rapport with the audience, the members of the Spanglish Latinx outfit CNCO sizzled with songs such as “Pretend” and “Reggaeton Lento.” The bandmates also flaunted their range with a sultry cover of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” that had everyone in the crowd talking.
Just like CNCO, Ozuna added some much-needed flavor to the lineup. The reggaeton star shook up the crowd with energetic renditions of his hits “Te Boté” and the infectious “Taki Taki.”
Not one to play it safe, Ozuna went all out with a pack of dancers and flames that accompanied nearly every song on his set, keeping the crowd off its seats and dancing to his every tune.
The effortlessly cool Khalid also proved to be a crowd favorite. His set of hits, including “Location” and “Saturday Nights,” helped to balance out some of the more spectacle-driven acts at Jingle Ball.
The Jonas Brothers closed the show with a set that spanned their oeuvre, from Disney-era hits such as “S.O.S.” and “Burnin’ Up” to more recent cuts like “Jealous” and “Cake by the Ocean.”
The now-veteran boy band walked onto the stage with an air of well-earned authority that nicely complemented the younger acts that played before them, as well as the Jonas' own history. There’s no point denying it: Boy bands can be a delight, and Jingle Ball was a fun indication of where they might be heading in the new decade.
In true Christmas spirit, the Jonases played their sweet holiday single “Like It’s Christmas” while donning Santa hats before wrapping up the season of Jingle Ball shows with their smash summer hit “Sucker.”
The night ended with loud bursts of white confetti that flurried over the crowd. However artificial, for at least one night, snowflakes fell in South Florida.
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