Live review and photos of 2013 Jingle Jam
Review by Jenna Hughes, photos by Emily Jones
Atlanta’s Star 94 hosted the Jingle Jam at Gwinnett Arena Dec. 16, featuring Colbie Caillat, Avril Lavigne, The Fray, The Goo Goo Dolls and The Backstreet Boys. The arena was packed with both old school Backstreet Boys fans, who could be seen wearing T-shirts proclaiming “I Still Love BSB” and a new generation of adoring fans, who were just as excited to see the return of Brian, Nick, Kevin, Howie and A.J. to Atlanta.
There was a definite nostalgic feeling throughout the arena as Colbie Caillat kicked the night off with a short but sweet set that included the hit song “Bubbly,” followed shortly by punk princess Avril Lavigne, who reminisced along with the crowd with her hits “Sk8ter Boi” and “Complicated.”
The Fray were up next, keeping the crowd on their feet and singing along. Frontman Issac Slade hopped down from the stage during “Hurricane” to walk through the crowd, high-fiving fans and serenading them. Slade returned to the stage for “Over My Head (Cable Car)” and a powerful extended performance of “How To Save A Life,” which featured a stunning musical breakdown.
The Goo Goo Dolls took the stage next to roaring applause as they launched into “Slide,” one of the band’s biggest hits. Johnny Rzeznik was all smiles as the crowd sang the lyrics back to him, keeping up the momentum with the band’s new song “Rebel Beat.” As the opening chords for “Iris” blasted through the speakers and the crowd erupted in cheer, Rzeznik smiled and said, “You know we had to do this one.”
Avril Lavigne returned to the stage in the middle of the song, surprising the audience as she sang with Rzeznik.
As the anticipation for The Backstreet Boys grew, a short video played before their set, showing just how young the five men were when the group was formed in 1993. As a teaser of “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” played through the arena, the applause was nearly deafening and the Boys took the stage, launching into “The Call,” complete with the choreography that made them famous. “As Long As You Love Me” took the crowd back to 1997 and old school fans remembered every single word as they shouted out the lyrics.
The Backstreet Boys have been performing together for 20 years now, and they were more like brothers than bandmates on stage, goofing off with each other and clearly having fun. New songs “Show ‘Em (What You’re Made Of)” and “In A World Like This” were well received by the audience, followed by a surprising acoustic set, during which each member of the band picked up an instrument. As Howie put it, “We won’t always be able to shake what our mamas gave us, so we thought we’d learn some instruments.” The acoustic set included an a capella version of “Safest Place to Hide,” and “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),” then it was back to moving and shaking as they closed out the night with “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).”
Full Photo Gallery of Backstreet Boys
Full Photo Gallery of The Fray
Full Photo Gallery of The Goo Goo Dolls
Full Photo Gallery of Avril Lavigne