NEW YORK (AP) — The roaring cheers and screams at Jingle Ball grew louder and louder as performers hit the stage, from Ed Sheeran to Sam Smith to Demi Lovato.
But when Taylor Swift entered Madison Square Garden on Friday night, the noise easily hit its peak.
Swift closed the nearly five-hour concert in New York City, strutting from left to right as she sang “Shake It Off,” ”Blank Space” and the latest hits off her new album, “reputation.”
Even the sound of her name earned screeching cheers, as iHeartRadio and Z100 teased the performance throughout the night.
“Well, thank you New York,” she yelled after she kicked off her set with the thumping “…Ready for It?”
The venue, full of teenagers, their parents and the in-between, transformed into a colorful dance party when Swift sang “Shake It Off.” She closed the night with “Look What You Made Me Do,” performing dance moves in a loose black top, black shorts and blonde bangs.
Sheeran – who joined Swift onstage for the new song “End Game” – kicked off the concert by strumming his guitar, and belting hits like “Shape of You,” ”Thinking Out Loud” and “Perfect.”
The rapper Logic, who recently earned two Grammy nominations, was also a fan favorite: the audience was energetic when he performed “1-800-273-8255,” the suicide-prevention anthem that recently peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Smith, who slowed things down during the mostly high-energy show, was a vocal powerhouse, while Lovato was in fine form, especially during “Tell Me You Love Me” and “Sorry Not Sorry.” Others who dominated with radio hits this year performed Friday, including Halsey, Julia Michaels, Charlie Puth and the Chainsmokers.
Jingle Ball also became a stage for already-known singers showcasing their solo chops: One Direction’s Niall Horan, who launched a No. 1 album this year, was a highlight during “Too Much To Ask” and “Slow Hands”; his former band mate, Liam Payne, won over the audience during “Strip It Down”; and ex-Fifth Harmony singer Camila Cabello, whose song “Havana” is No. 2 on the Hot 100, performed excitedly.
Fall Out Boy and the rising boy band Why Don’t We also performed.