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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Coming from a journalism background myself and as an American currently residing in the UK, I find your Ed Sheeran review a bit upsetting.

As short as the review is, it also shows a lack of research that would have taken just moments to complete. Yes, The A-Team is about drug use, but has a story that has contributed to the success and respect of Sheeran across the globe.

Sheeran met a woman while volunteering through Crisis in London (a homeless shelter), who told him her story. Through his work and research he was moved in such a way to write the song.

He also performed at in event in the UK which has raised £40,000 for a charity that reaches out to street sex workers. "It's good to show insight that these people are real people with real emotions and they deserve the same charity work as anyone else," Sheeran said. "There's a lot more popular charities that get a lot of attention. And with certain subjects like this they're often washed over and people don't necessarily give them the attention they deserve."

During his first visit to the US in 2010, Sheeran was discovered by Jamie Foxx, who asked Sheeran to perform on his radio show. This began the start of his growing fan base in the states.

In 2011 the release of his independent EP gave him a boost of mainstream attention for reaching number 2 in the iTunes chart without any promotion or label. The EP sold over 7,000 copies in its first week.

His diverse style and talent for song writing has awarded him numerous awards, with his debut album reaching 5 times platinum in the UK.

I hope this will give you new knowledge and perspective on his appeal and growing success in the states. His "fifteen minutes" haven't been over for a while now, and it looks like they won't be over anytime soon.

Michael Ferrier
Michael Ferrier

So far I have managed to escape hearing Gagnam style. And for this, it appears I should be thankful.

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