‘Tis the season for inappropriately early Christmas decorations, conspicuous consumption and, most important, holiday radio shows. The end-of-year tradition of smashing a dozen completely unrelated acts onto a stage together as a thank you to fans (and radio programmers) is about to kick off, and this season’s offerings offer multiple coast-to-coast appearances by everyone from Muse to Taylor Swift, 30 Seconds to Mars, Justin Bieber and Kris Allen.
One of the season’s most pop-tastic rosters is for Z100 (WHTZ) in New York’s annual Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden on December 11. The talent lineup includes Taylor Swift, John Mayer, Justin Bieber, the Fray, Jordin Sparks, Kris Allen, Boys Like Girls, Pitbull, Owl City, Jay Sean and Ke$ha. On the opposite coast, Los Angeles’ KIIS (102.7 FM) Jingle Ball will host Swift, Keri Hilson, Fabolous, the Ting Tings, 3OH!3, LMFAO, Jay Sean and Jason Derulo at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on December 5.
Tampa’s WFLZ 93.3 FM will host many of those same acts December 13 at the St. Pete Times Forum, for a show featuring the Fray, Sparks, Pitbull, 3OH!3, Boys Like Girls, Sean Kingston and the Ting Tings. Yet another Jingle Ball, this one for Kiss 108 at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts, on December 10, will host Bieber, Sparks, the Fray, Boys Like Girls, Kingston and Jay Sean. Assuming that’s not enough Jingle Balling for you, there’s always Minneapolis’ sold-out KDWB 101.3 Ball, which helps kick things off December 6 at the Xcel Energy Center with Sparks, Pitbull, Boys Like Girls, Bieber, 3OH!3, Sean, Owl City and Colbie Caillat.
The granddaddy of the alternative holiday radio shows, KROQ (106.7 FM) Los Angeles’ Almost Acoustic Christmas, hits the Gibson Amphitheatre on December 12-13 with AFI, Muse, 311, Rise Against, Alice in Chains, 30 Seconds to Mars, Dead by Sunrise, Phoenix, the Bravery, Metric, Vampire Weekend and White Rabbits.
In Philadelphia, Q102 (WIOQ FM) will shake its Jingle Ball with Bieber, Sparks, Sean, Owl City, Pitbull, Cobra Starship and the Fray on December 9 at the Susquehanna Bank Center. Dallas’ KRBE (104.1 FM) will light up its Not So Silent Night show at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Houston with the All-American Rejects, Bieber, Cobra Starship and Sean.
If your taste runs to the alternative, the December 3 Buzz Xmas Show at the Uptown Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri, will offer sets from Spoon, the Bravery, Metric and buzz band Hockey. An even more star-studded lineup will hit the Remac Arena in San Diego on December 12 for 94.9’s Holiday Hootenanny, with Spoon, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Manchester Orchestra and White Rabbits. A roster featuring the best of those two bills will play the WaMu Arena in Seattle on December 15 at venerable alternative station 107.7 The End’s (KNDD) Deck the Hall Ball, featuring Muse, 30 Seconds to Mars, Phoenix, Metric and Vampire Weekend.
The rundown is slightly different at 106.1 FM’s Jingle Bell Bash also at Seattle’s WaMu Arena on December 19, with guarantees of complicated hair and lots of questionable tats from the likes of All-American Rejects, Cobra Starship, We the Kings, All Time Low, Hey Monday, Cash Cash, Push Play, the Maine, This Providence, Amber Pacific and hosting duties handled by none other than Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz.
Harder-rocking tastes will be slaked by the lineup of the Night the Edge Stole Xmas at the Nokia Theatre in Dallas on December 3-4, which will feature headliners Breaking Benjamin, Papa Roach, AFI and 30 Seconds to Mars, as well as Flyleaf, Dead by Sunrise, the Bravery and Cage the Elephant. A similar lineup will play KXTE’s Holiday Havoc at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas on December 11-12, with contributions from Alice in Chains, Muse, Dead by Sunrise, Cage the Elephant and Paper Tongues. A lot of the same names will be on hand for KTCL (93.3) in Denver’s Not So Silent Night, with sets from AFI, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Say Anything and I Fight Dragons on December 6 at the Magness Arena. Detroit’s 88.7 FM (CIMX) will also get hair flying with the Night 89X Stole Christmas 12, featuring 30 Seconds to Mars, Flyleaf, Thousand Foot Krutch, Veer Union and After Midnight Project.
New York’s leading hip-hop station, Hot 97, presents Funkmaster Flex’s Thanksgiving Bash on November 26 at the LQ Nightclub with Swizz Beatz, Ron Browz, Omarion, Amerie and Juelz Santana. Hartford, Connecticut, station Hot 93.7 (WZMX) will take over the XL Center on December 3 with a Jingle Jam show by Pitbull, Mario, Hilson, Trey Songz, Nicki Minaj and Fabolous.
Chicago’s B96 Jingle Bash will crash down December 12 at Allstate Arena with spots from Hilson, Bieber, Pitbull, David Guetta, Sean, Kingston, Jeremih, Livvi Frank and the Jump Smokers. Fab will also be on hand for the December 16 Power 106 Cali Christmas show at the Gibson Amphitheatre near Los Angeles, headlined by 50 Cent and T-Pain, with Jeremih, Pitbull and Sean in the mix as well.