Last night (Dec. 14), B96 in Chicago (a Radio.com station) hosted the B96 Pepsi Jingle Bash with performances from Avicii, Ariana Grande, Austin Mahone, Armin van Buuren, Jason Derulo, The Wanted and EMBLEM3, along with a surprise performance from Joe & Nick Jonas.
PHOTO GALLERY: B96 Pepsi Jingle Bash
The six-hour show opened with a trio of boy bands. Midnight Red, who previously opened for NKOTB and BSB, kicked off the night, followed by EMBLEM3, the runners-up on the second season of America’s version of the X Factor.
Then it was The Wanted’s turn who incited deafening screams from all their teenage fans. Though things did somehow got even louder when the guys closed out the night with their hit single “Glad You Came.”
Armin van Buuren then picked up the tempo with a bass heavy set that focused on his biggest hits including “This Is What It Feels Like.”
Even after suffering a severe neck injury last year, Jason Derulo proved he can still move, showing off his dance skills with each song. While performing his latest single “Marry Me,” Derulo got every girl in the crowd fawning over lyrics like, “I’ll say, ‘Will you marry me?’/ I swear that I will mean it.”
Nickelodeon star turned pop sensation, Ariana Grande, came onstage rocking a sparkling red leotard and her signature half up/ half down hair-do, ready to sing her hit “The Way,” and her recent holiday cover of “Last Christmas” by Wham!. It’s a song that came in 1984, nearly a decade before the 20-year-old singer was born.
Since her boyfriend, Nathan Sykes of The Wanted, was also performing at the show, the two treated the crowd to their duet, “Almost Is Never Enough” off Grande’s debut, Yours Truly. The performance was filled with sweet harmonies and lots of staring into each other’s eyes.
When Austin Mahone finally hit the stage, he could barely be heard over the crowds screams. But he managed to quiet them down for an acoustic cover of Mario’s track “Let Me Love You.”
The night ended with multicolored lasers and mesmerizing visual effects synchronized to the beat of Avicii’s biggest hits.
The EDM star closed out the show with a 45-minute set that featured his No. single “Wake Me Up” and “Hey Brother.” From the pyrotechnics to the laser effects to the smoke machines, Avicii gave the crowd a show they’re bound to never forget on a night that was filled with extraordinary moments.
-Danielle Clasing, B96 Chicago