Every December, some of the year’s biggest rising stars in pop music gather in New York City for Z100’s All Access Lounge. The show is the precursor to the coveted New York date of iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball tour. This year Lennon Stella, Why Don’t We, Elle Winter, Spencer Sutherland, AJ Mitchell, Lauv, Quinn XCII, and Louis Tomlinson had the job of warming fans up for Jingle Ball later that evening – and they all succeeded.
The Z100 All Access Lounge is more than just an epic free concert kicking off Jingle Ball – it’s a total immersive experience. This year, fans had the chance to run around Pier 36 and engage with activations by Cinnamon Toast Crunch, SPLAT Hair Dye, Fujifilm Instax, and more. But more importantly, it gives fans a last minute chance to win tickets to Jingle Ball later that night.
Lennon Stella kicked off the concert portion of the pre-party, playing an arrangement of songs from her debut EP Love Me along with her two newest singles “BITCH” and “Kissing Other People.” Fans loved every second of her brief set, they sang every word right back at her with everything they had. Following Stella was former BTS Artist Of The Week, Why Don’t We. Fans went absolutely crazy when the tee heartthrobs walked out on stage and sat down at their stools. The band played stripped back versions of “Come To Brazil,” “8 Letters,” “Big Plans,” and their newest single “What Am I?”
Rising pop star Elle Winter was up next in the line up, who came fully equipped with back up dancers and an electrifying amount of energy. She commanded the stage like a pro, and her ability to engage the crowd was a sight to behold. Former BTS feature star Spencer Sutherland followed Winter, and his upbeat songs paired with his powerful voice left the crowd reeling. Fans were feeding off of his energy as he ran around the stage during every song. AJ Mitchell was up next, who was a welcomed break in energy. His set gave fans the opportunity to step back and enjoy his set in a different way compared to the other performances that had been seen thus far. But following Mitchell’s set, the show’s last three acts got fans moving and singing more than ever before.
Quinn XCII’s set brought the chaotic energy right back up the second he walked on stage. His alternative pop songs gave fans a chance to enjoy something a little different during the show, which was a well-received chance of pace by the audience. He played some of his solo songs, but also threw in “Love Me Less,” which is a collaboration he has with MAX. Quinn XCII also brought out Chelsea Cutler for their fab favorite duet “Flare Guns.” Up next was Lauv, who’s career was built on his ability to chronicle the trials and tribulations of falling in and out of love in New York City. He only played 3 songs, but his fun stage presence made fans go crazy. He closed his quick set with “I Like Me Better,” a song all about falling in love in New York City and the crowd sang the words back louder than ever. Finally, former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson took the stage, which was who most fans had been waiting for all day long. Tomlinson took the stage ahead of his debut album release at the top of next year, and fans made sure to let him know how excited they were. The love and connection that was shared between Tomlinson and the audience was so pure, and it was clear that he was happy to be back on stage performing in front of his fans after being away for so long.
The Z100 All Access Lounge was a long day filled with great music and a beautiful energy. Even if fans only came to see one or two of the acts, their receptiveness to all of the artists that played was inspiring. They were open minded and were willing to give everyone a chance and engage with them just as much as they did with the artists that played before them.
For more information on the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour and all it’s upcoming dates, head over to iHeartRadio’s website for each city’s line up date and ticketing information.
Check out some photos from the show below!
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