For the first time ever, iHeartRadio brought a Jingle Ball concert tour stop to Canada, hosting it to a nearly sold out crowd at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre last night. With Kardinal Offishall warming up the crowd before the show and keeping them hyped between sets, there was no slowing down (unless you count the soulful crooning that comes with The Weeknd).
Special off-stage guests included radio and television personalities like Marilyn Denis, the lovely ladies of The Social, Shemar Moore plus a few of the Ottawa Redblacks in town for the CFL Grey Cup.
The night started with electric performances by Kent Jones, Belly, Serena Ryder and Alessia Cara.
The end of One Direction did not put a wet blanket on the excitement of Jingle Ball directioners as screams reached the highest decibels for newly-solo 1D member Niall Horan who performed his single “This Town,” accompanying himself on guitar before apologizing for not having a longer set.
“I came to Canada for literally three-and-a-half minutes but I promise I’ll return soon with much more music and to see all you beautiful, sexy Canadians.”
This calm, acoustic display was soon followed by the always charismatic, over-energetic songs, leaps, spins and dances of Jacob Hoggard with his band Hedley. As always, their set often turned into a major jump & sing-along as fans screamed nearly every word to choruses of the group’s hits including “Hello,” “Can’t Slow Down,” “Lose Control” and “Anything.”
Up next came EDM power duo The Chainsmokers who combined their own hits with Coldplay, Chilli Peppers and the Rocky Theme Song for an upbeat, variously lip-synced dance party, featuring singles like “All We Know,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” and “Closer.”
Celebrating the release of his latest album “Starboy,” major fan favourite The Weekend closed out the night, not leaving any hit songs behind as the crowd took in, and took over singles including “The Hills,” “Earned It,” “Can’t Feel My Face,” “In The Night” and, of course, “Starboy”