The music business is a very fickle one these days, particularly for mainstream pop acts. Look no further than the Jingle Ball, which takes place Sunday, Dec. 10, at the TD Garden.
The annual event, sponsored locally by KISS-108 FM and promoted nationally by iHeart Radio, features a handful of acts whose songs play regularly on the iconic pop station.
Trouble is, most of the acts played on the station regularly these days can headline arenas and stadiums on their own and don't need the help of a radio-station-sponsored concert or tour. Though Ed Sheeran
and Taylor Swift are doing Jingle Ball shows in Los Angeles and New York, they don't need the help. Neither do Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry or Maroon 5.
The acts who do need the help are, perhaps surprisingly, more established acts like Kelly Clarkson and Fall Out Boy, the headliners at TD Garden, with supporting acts Fifth Harmony, Why Don't We, Halsey, Camila Cabello and Charlie Puth. There are tickets available through Ticketmaster. KISS-108 usually has giveaways leading up to the show.
I've been to a few Jingle Ball concerts over the years (including a memorable one in 2005 at the Tsongas Center in Lowell that featured Kanye West, Rihanna, The Pussycat Dolls and Fall Out Boy) and you know what to expect going in. You get a handful of acts each performing a handful of songs, with some banter from KISS-108 personalities (notably Matty in the Morning and Billy Costa).
The audience skews really young at the concert (think preteen girls, many of whom are there with whichever parent drew the short straw to escort a group of kids to the concert), which makes the Clarkson and Fall Out Boy appearances interesting. They almost seem as if they were booked for the parents, rather than the younger generation.
I went two years ago to Jingle Ball, and the headline act was Calvin Harris (the bill also featured The Weeknd, 5 Seconds of Summer, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Tove Lo and Hailee Steinfeld), and that was definitely for a younger audience.
Whether you are young or old, chances are you'll enjoy the Jingle Ball. This year's lineup truly has something for everyone.