It’s the month of December, so that can only mean one thing – “The Biggest Holiday Party” was in town. That’s right, the B96 Pepsi Jingle Bash, the highly successful yearly concert series put on by Chicago radio station B96 took over the Allstate Arena in Rosemont this past Saturday night. As with every year, the lineup did not disappoint as the best in Pop and Hip-Hop would grace the stage.
Cardi B, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Why Don’t We, Mike Posner, and Lauv would receive the perfect amount of time to showcase their raw musical talents.
On this brisk and cold night, fans swiftly packed into the arena. This year the stage setup stayed true to its roots, keeping the same overall feel and look, but with a few newly added pieces – Christmas trees.
Kicking off the night was Camila Cabello, who returned to the Jingle Bash stage, this time minus four members for the first time. The crowd was already hype from the get-go, but Camila’s energy and powerful vocals took things up a notch. The “Consequences” singer set included all of her hits – “Never Be The Same”, “Into It” and of course “Havana”. Camila even danced some ménage during the closing of Havana.
Relatively new comer Lauv made his Jingle Bash debut. The laid back singer would vibe with Chicago while he performed. Before closing out his set, Lauv pointed out a fan sign, and said it “meant the world to him”. Mike Posner, with his signature guitar in hand and rocking a new beard was up next. Mike is no stranger to Jingle Bash, so the “Be As You Are” artist decided to switch things up during his performance and go hang with the crowd when performing his 2009 hit “Cooler Than Me”, which had the Allstate Arena rocking. Mike took a moment for some spoken word before closing his set.
At this point, Shawn Mendes can be defined as a Jingle Bash veteran – each time Shawn makes his return to Chicago, he brings something different to his stage presence. Upon his arrival, Shawn received a loud deafening ovation. From out the gate, the “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” singer had the audience in the palm of his hands. This past week it was revealed that Shawn had been nominated for numerous Grammys, he would take a moment to give his reaction on the news and state that “it feels like I’ve been walking on clouds for the past 24 hours.”
The party continued to charge on as the group known as Why Don’t We hit the stage. Members of the audience didn’t waste any time screaming as Daniel, Jack, Corbyn, Zach and Jonah assembled on stage. The pop band would perform and dance to crowd favorites such as “Hooked”, “Trust Fund Baby”, “8 Letters” and more. Why Don’t We would also be the only artists to add a holiday themed song to their setlist, that song being their own rendition of Feliz Navidad, which included deep bass and hi-hats.
The night was nearing its end and it was now time for the headliner to grace the stage. As the audience began to loudly say “okurrr” in unison, it could only mean Cardi B’s arrival was imminent. Cardi would be welcomed by the vocal Chicago crowd with open arms and receive what might have been the loudest reaction of the night. Cardi opened with Invasion of Privacy hit “Drip” – which literally had the floor of the Allstate Arena shaking. If you’re a fan of Cardi B’s music, comedic demeanor, or twerking, you will definitely get to see all of that during her live set. The Bardi Gang leader performance featured her catalog of hits from her debut album and selected features – speaking of features, Cardi would perform her verse from the Migos’ “MotorSport”, only this time with some altered lyrics.
Instead of rapping “I told him the other day, Man, we should sell that porn”, the new lyrics went like “I told him the other day, Man, yeah we’re gonna get a divorce”. The Grammy nominated Cardi B would close with the track that brought her to stardom, “Bodak Yellow”. Before leaving the stage, Cardi thanks Chicago and wished everyone a Happy Holidays.
B96 returns to the Allstate Arena on June 22, 2019 for the B96 Pepsi Summer Bash
Check out photos from the 2018 B96 Pepsi Jingle Bash below
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Tre G, the Journalist Without A Beat. Have a entertainment tip, product to review or story to tell? Send all inquiries over to to journalistwithoutabeat.com