Miley Cyrus Sexes Up Santa at Jingle Ball L.A.
The touring radio festival, which hit Staples Center on Dec. 6, featured mini-sets by such stars as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Robin Thicke, Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande and its share of technical problems.
The now touring radio festival Jingle Ball hit Los Angeles on Friday night, where pop radio station KIIS-FM played host to such stars as Robin Thicke, Jason Derulo and Enrique Iglesias at a packed Staples Center.
The high-wattage performers delivered their biggest hits via short sets, but while the first half of the night went smoothly, the tail end was plagued by problems for several on the roster.
Selena Gomez had an off night at best when she barely made it through a heavily back-tracked rendition of "Undercover" before shouting "What the f---?" into the mic. Moments later, she said the sound wasn't working and promised fans a "few more songs," then inexplicably left after performing "Come and Get It."
Ariana Grande had a similar experience. Taking the stage looking like a snow princess in a white, frilly dress, her microphone failed to work for the entire first song, "Right There." Instead of giving it another shot, she moved on with her set, but only after taking a jingle jab at lip-synching stars like Gomez, saying "I'm sorry the mic was off … like the whole time," she explained. "At least you know I'm not tracked."
She made up for the snag with a cover of "This Christmas" and an acoustic version of "Honeymoon Avenue" before closing with her catchiest single, "I Love the Way," sans Mac Miller. The teen dream noted she was battling through bronchitis and sipped water between each song, proving she has a way to go before she can pull off such a feat without letting the crowd know.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis hit the stage only hours after learning they had scored seven Grammy Award nominations. Clearly pumped, the duo performed their four biggest hits, starting off with "Thrift Shop" followed by "Same Love." Macklemore introduced the latter single, which is up for Song of the Year, with an inspiring speech that noted the progress made in music this year.
"No government, no state, no institution, no religion, no student, no school, no human being on this earth can tell you who you love in your heart is right or wrong. It is up to you," he told a turned up crowd. "I believe in tolerance, I believe in compassion, I believe in equality and I believe in love."
As expected, Miley Cyrus brought her brand of dirty pop to the Jingle Ball stage and managed to sex up her Santa-themed set with provocative reindeer, a dwarf in a onesie and boob cones, and a big-booty Christmas tree. She wore a sparkly, two-piece Santa suit with bikini bottoms and toted a Chanel gift sack as she twerked her way across the crowded stage as she opened with "Party in the USA."
Cyrus' set included the hit "We Can't Stop" as well as a cover of Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" that, truthfully, rivaled the original. Despite the distracting dancers and props that covered the stage, she showcased her strong vocals and captivated the crowd with an emotive performance. By the time she closed her six-song spectacle with "Wrecking Ball," the packed house was putty in her naughty little hands.