I, the author of this Common Man Critique of KDWB’s 2012Jingle Ball, arrived at the St. Paul, MN Excel Energy Center about 30 minutes before the concert was supposed to start. I was with my wife, Kristine, who had purchased the tickets months in advance. She was there for one reason, and one reason only – to see the love of her life, Train.
This was the first pop/rock concert of my life, at the ripe old age of 32 and I had no idea what to expect. I would soon be both disappointed and dazzled at the same time.
Arriving at our seats, the arena was full of smoke. Obviously for effect at one point or another. We had missed the pre-party and were just in time for some lovely ladies in Mrs. Clause lingerie to start tearing it up on the stage. After they were done singing whatever they were singing (who cares…they looked wonderful), dance troops jumped all over the stage to random drum beats and electronic reverberations.
These ladies and gentleman danced it up while one male dancer in a horizontally wide-striped shirt, seeming entirely disconnected from every ligament on his thin frame, made everyone else look like amateurs. I watched in awe, and then was irritated when some local fare came out on stage and started yelling into the microphone, trying as hard as she could to get the crowd excited with what she was….singing?
We all collectively yawned and waited for a little known (to me anyway) gentleman, Conor Maynard to pop out on stage.
Yes. Conor Maynard. The young mini-heartthrob from Britain – Ne Yo’s protégé. When he was announced, the girls sort of went wild. Not much enthusiasm for a guy they really didn’t know. Conor pranced around the stage, singing his few popular songs, looking more like a puppet on strings. At points during his set, you could see his brain think, “Oh! I need to jump!” And he would.
The crowd yawned again until he began to sing “Turn Around”. Then they half sang, half Twittered, waiting for Ed Sheeran.
Which brings me to a funny truth from Jingle Ball. Whenever KDWB, the hosts, decided the crowd was too lethargic, they would yell, “Who’s here for Ed Sheeran!!!!???” The scream from all the tweens caused you to go deaf immediately. The hosts ate it up and used the line the rest of the show.
Conor Maynard left the stage and nobody noticed.