A star-studded line-up of artists and bands, along with thousands of fans, filled the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul on Monday, December 3, for KDWB’s Jingle Ball.
The night was full of music, backstage shenanigans, dancing (a lot of it), singing at the top of your lungs and so much more. Here’s a breakdown of everything that happened:
Jingle Ball concerts are a big deal in the music sphere. Every year select cities get one put on by iHeart Radio and Minneapolis always has a great line up. Because the tickets tend to be more on the spendy side, people love to dress up and go all out for the holiday event. This year, I was dressed head to toe in Express (my absolute favorite store) and covered in glitter (thanks to Luke Hemmings).
The night started with the KDWB Jingle Ball Pre-Party at Roy Wilkins Auditorium and it featured performances from Madison Beer, Logan Henderson, Spencer Sutherland and Kim Petras. The event was free and had chances to win tickets and meet and greet passes with some of the biggest acts of the evening. I had won backstage passes on Twitter so my sister and I got to meet Logan Henderson before the main show.
The 2018 lineup included: Bazzi, Sabrina Carpenter, Kim Petras, The Chainsmokers with special guest Kelsea Ballerini, Bebe Rexha, Dinah Jane, 5 Seconds of Summer, Halsey and MONSTA X. It was an exciting production to witness as each artist/band brought a different energy and setup to the stage in this festival style concert. I attended mostly to see 5 Seconds of Summer perform one final time in 2018, but was pleasantly impressed by most of the acts during the night.
Each performer found a unique way to engage with the crowd and connect with their fans. The Chainsmokers, known for their electronic dance music, enhanced their stage appearance with a live drummer, pyro and confetti. The most notable moment of their set was when they dueted with country-pop star Kelsea Ballerini for “This Feeling.” Her vocals were captivating and not a single person was standing still during the performance of their newly released radio hit.
Bebe Rexha shined with her spunky personality. Halsey rocked with her leather pants, killer vocals and first-ever live performance of “Without Me.” MONSTA X wowed with their KPOP, bold dance moves and Broadway-like performance.
My absolute favorite moment of the night was when 5SOS took the stage. They have been my favorite band for the last seven years, and I always look forward to getting the chance to see them live and in person. They pour heart and soul into their shows and the way they have chased their dreams inspires me to follow mine and pursue things with creativity and drive.
5 SECONDS OF SUMMER
My sister and I were backstage in line waiting to meet Monsta X when we got a text from our cousin Julia, who was also at the show, informing us that 5SOS was next. We soon heard “She Looks So Perfect” begin to play and knew we had to bounce. The M&G line would’ve taken another 40 minutes, and if we stayed, we would’ve missed their entire set.
Being the sole reason we came to Jingle Ball, we skipped the backstage fun for our favorite band. They must mean a lot to me if I’m willing to miss exclusive experiences to see them perform. I have absolutely zero regrets. There’s nothing like their shows and the joy they bring me. Getting to see them always reminds me of why I love live music and concerts so much.
This was my eight-time seeing 5SOS live, and my fourth time in 2018 alone. Their music has been the soundtrack to my summers and life for the past seven years, and whenever I see them, all the best memories and emotions come flooding back. My cousin Julia, sister Abby and I have seen them so many times together, that it’s become a concert tradition we love it. We always dance, jump around and fangirl so hard during their sets. I swear they were laughing at us during Jingle Ball. It was also their seven-year band anniversary that day–so the night was extra special.
They did “She Looks So Perfect,” “Valentine,” “If Walls Could Talk,” “Jet Black Heart,” “Want You Back” and their current most popular song that has taken the radio by storm “Youngblood.” It was incredible to see their set from where our seats were and also in an arena setting. The band hasn’t played the Xcel since 2016, and this year they strictly played general admission venue shows to crowds of less than 10,000. It makes me excited for all 2019 might hold for this band as they continue to recraft their sound and grow.
CONCERT SQUADS FOR LIFE
There’s no one I’d rather see a concert with than my sister and cousin. While we didn’t have seats together during the show, Julia and her friend came down to our section during MONSTA X’s performance to enjoy the end of the show with us. I love the adventures, laughs and audacity for life we share. Our experiences are entertaining, full of spontaneity and good times. We laugh so much–I’m surprised we don’t all have crazy abs.
KPOP in America
I have never seen KPOP before Jingle Ball. I didn’t even know what it was prior to this year, but man, it slams. MONSTA X had so much energy and I love their stage presence. KDWB’s Jingle Ball was one of their first USA performances and without a doubt–they’ll surely be taking over America in 2019.
Overall, KDWB Jingle Ball 2018 ruled. I loved the festival style and getting to see so many amazing performers that I listen to almost daily. 5SOS was the best, and getting to experience it all with my sister was even better. It was my fourth Jingle Ball, and her first, and the concert production keeps on improving every year. I can’t wait to see what 2019’s is like.
We also had a blast running to some of KDWB’s on-air radio personalities! We met Zach Dillion at the pre-party and Colt backstage during the show! Thanks guys for being so chill and playing our favorite hits on the radio!