KIIS Jingle Ball
At Nokia Theatre
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but the annual blizzard of branded radio station holiday concerts somehow brings in the season like nothing else: big production, bold names, glitzy amusements and assorted musical gifts.
Of course, the biggest gift is always the headliner at these things, and at this year's KIIS FM Jingle Ball Lady Gaga was the main event. While she didn't wear a Santa suit, she treated the crowd to a "KIISmas" themed set, complete with bizarre holiday props, costume changes and requisite childhood anecdotes. If you saw that weird Thanksgiving special she did on ABC a few weeks ago, just image it Yuletide-themed and you'll get the idea.Before jolly Saint Gaga took the stage, outside of the Nokia Theatre a winter carnival and stage featured a host of up and comers, including Justin Bieber wannabees, who took the stage for free shows.
We actually quite enjoyed the final act on that stage, a group of young-uns called Mindless Behavior, who offered impressively choreographed hip-hop pop conjuring Chris Brown and New Edition.
Inside, a duo called Karmin performed in an area in the middle of the theatre, like MTV's VMA side show acts do during commercials. Singer Amy Heidemann has great pipes and she can rap too. Like speedy spit style. We were impressed.TV stars from tween shows like Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars also hung out and chatted in the center area, keeping the young crowd's attention during stage changes.
In fact, this show was shamelessly tailored for the ADD-generation. There was not a moment where there wasn't something to look at or groove to. Giant screens projected reporters from the backstage red carpet area, skits featuring KIIS personalities and commercials. Yes, we were subjected to real TV commercials from sponsors including McDonalds, Guess, and some college we can't remember.