KDWB's Jingle Ball at Xcel Energy Center, 12/4/12

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Tony Nelson
KDWB's Jingle Ball
With Psy, Train, Ed Sheeran, One Republic, Owl City, Cher Lloyd, Ellie Goulding, and Conor Maynard
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul
Tuesday, December 4, 2012

If a venue hands out earplugs as you are walking in, make sure you take them and use them. With as many screaming tweens as there were at KDWB's Jingle Ball, you will certainly need them. With some of the biggest musical stars in the pop world, Jingle Ball provided an overflowing Xcel Energy Center a power-packed evening of over-stimulation and surrealism.

Each artist was given a 30-minute -- sometimes less like opener Conor Maynard -- set, so the artists are able to deliver their greatest hit(s) and throw in their new single they are promoting to the set. Perfect for a crowd that was largely made up of a generation that grew up in the iPod culture.

Photo by Tony Nelson
With most of the acts coming from the U.K., youngster Conor Maynard opened up the show with a scream-inducing set. The singer flashed some dance moves reminiscent of Michael Jackson, following in the footsteps of Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake, while singing his biggest hit, "Vegas Girl."

It was meant to have the bigger stars later in the evening, so it was a little confusing to have Ellie Goulding on next (later it was found out that it was due to her having to catch a flight to London). The delicate-voiced singer looked amazingly fit in a muscle shirt with a sequined bra. She was able to show young girls that sex appeal doesn't have to come in the form of a Victoria's Secret model while singing her biggest hits like "Anything Can Happen" and "Lights." Closing with "Lights," she ran into technical problems, and ended up restarting the song and performing it acoustic. Claiming, "I'm sorry. I hope that sufficed," to the audience, the singer needed not apologize. It was more than sufficient to hear such a fresh take on her overplayed song.

Photos by Tony Nelson
Made famous by Simon Cowell's The X Factor (the UK version), Cher Lloyd was the biggest disappointment of the evening. If you closed your eyes, you might mistake Cher for Nicki Minaj, with her over-processed voice. Strutting the stage, the singer didn't showcase too much besides her looks, the biggest part of her appeal.

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