Jingle Bell Rock


Ines Caballes

Lewis Capaldi, a performer at virtual Jingle Ball 2020, is pictured singing Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” with Niall Horan at the 103.5 Kiss FM Jingle Ball on Dec. 18, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.

Ines Caballes, print staff

   On Thursday, Dec. 10, iHeartRadio held its annual Jingle Ball concert. This concert typically tours the nation and brings many fan-favorite artists along to perform hit songs that get fans into the Christmas spirit. However, in a year like no other, the concert was moved to a virtual live stream on the CW App. Although the performance aspect of the music industry has been put on hold, the moving of the event to all virtual allowed fans and artists alike to connect as they used to. This year, the lineup sparked excitement in viewers across the country, with artists like Harry Styles, Billie Eilish and Shawn Mendes set to perform from the safety of their own locations. Each artist had about 12 minutes to perform, enough for 3-4 songs.

   The first to perform was rapper sensation Doja Cat. Surrounded by pink twinkling lights and white Christmas accents, the 25-year-old serenaded the home audience with the classic “Santa Baby” and followed up with her familiar TikTok hits “Juicy” and “Say So”. Her performance showcased her signature girly and fierce style with a Christmas twist. Popstar Shawn Mendes began his performance with his hit single “Wonder”, the title track of his fourth studio album. He followed up with his rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” and the song “Dream” from Wonder.

   Next came Sam Smith and Dua Lipa consequently. They both had similar setups, with blue backgrounds and simplistic lights and decorations. Smith performed their songs “Diamonds”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, and smash hit “Dancing With a Stranger”. Dua Lipa found a way to include fans in her interpretation of “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by displaying videos of them singing behind her. The six-time Grammy winner also sang “Levitating” and “Don’t Start Now”.

   Next up was my favorite artist, Harry Styles. Styles, even though he performed the same “Watermelon Sugar” and “Adore You”, had a new band performing with him. He sang his new single “Golden” as well, with the outdoor set, lights, and band behind him while playing the guitar. His performance made me look forward to the concert season, whenever that may be.

   Lewis Capaldi and Billie Eilish soon followed. Capaldi was covered head-to-toe in a Santa suit, and his stage was just as decked out, with Christmas decor everywhere that could be seen. He performed his version of “Last Christmas” and his own songs “Someone You Loved” and “Before You Go” while fake snow fell around him. Eilish, the youngest performer of the event, was accompanied by her brother Finneas playing the keyboard. Her set was also the shortest, with only the two songs “Silver Bells” and the new single “Therefore I Am”. 

   The closing act was none other than The Weeknd, who has had a very successful year in music. Accompanied by flashing laser lights and decorated mantels, the Canadian singer brought his electric RnB sound to the stage with songs “Blinding Lights”, “In Your Eyes” and “Save Your Tears”.

   Overall, this concert was a fun, safe way to appreciate other artists and spread holiday cheer. I had a great time watching multiple artists perform and interact with viewers at home. It isn’t the same as a conventional concert, but it was as good as we can get. My favorite performance was either Billie Eilish or Lewis Capaldi because of the strong Christmas feel. With the hardships this year, I am glad iHeartRadio was able to host this event because I am sure it gave people like myself something to look forward to.