iHeart Radio Music Festival 2014

Las Vegas might be notorious for “The Strip” and an excessive amount of strip clubs but on the third weekend of September, the Nevada city was all about the music. On September 19 and September 20, around 13,000 fans packed themselves into the MGM Grand Garden Arena for one of the year’s biggest music festivals. The fourth annual iHeartRadio Music Festival attracted today’s hottest celebrities, today’s most successful musicians and millions of viewers worldwide. Don’t worry, the MGM Grand’s capacity limit wasn’t broken—the entire festival was available as an exclusive livestream on yahoo.com! Night one included some of our favorite acts as Ryan Seacrest and co. made their way to Los Angeles to celebrate Top 40 music!

Needless to say, there was a lot of action during the 5-hour concert but check out some of Night One’s most memorable moments below!

Performing hits like “Love Story,” “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift opened the 4th annual iHeartRadio Music Festival. My Twitter timeline went into overdrive as people were live-tweeting Taylor’s twenty-seven minute set, reminding us that iHeartRadio’s livestream is one of the best ideas ever! Move over, sliced bread! Swift, whose new album hits stores at the end of October, wasn’t alone on the MGM Grand stage. A nine-piece band joined the newly declared pop singer, including a four-man horn section of saxophones and trombones plus four backup singers. For now, the track list for Swift’s upcoming album, 1989, remains a secret but if she can perform thirteen new tracks in the same manner that she performed on Friday night, I only see success in the rest of her career.

Although T.Swift started off the festival with a significant amount of girl power, there was no shortage of excitement as some of the industry’s hottest bands took the stage on Friday night. The guys of Coldplay might have swapped a stylist for tee shirts from Target but their outfit choice definitely didn’t impact their performance. The band rocked the stage as they performed “Clocks” during their twenty-four minute performance. Don’t worry, Chris Martin even found time to take an on-stage selfie with fans! Making the transition from Coldplay’s unique sound to Zac Brown Band’s country roots, there was no shortage of genres onstage Friday night. But, I hope you left your cowboy boots at home because the country group played Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” before immediately transitioning into “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and later performing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Zac Brown Band wasn’t the only group to shock the audience. Motley Crue showed up for a thirteen-minute performance that featured a rendition of “Girls, Girls, Girls” that included a frenzy of pyrotechnics, pole dancers and motorcycles. Plain and simple, when bands took the MGM Grand stage, there was no shortage of talent!

Before showing up on stage, Steve Aoki said, “the club scene in Las Vegas is exploding and the artists making it explode are the star DJs.” Trust me, we definitely agree. Now seems like an appropriate time for a shoutout to our favorite DJ of all time, bossman DJ Tay James! During Aoki’s set, Will.I.Am made an appearance, Pete Wentz went crowd surfing in a raft and a sheet cake was hurled at four volunteers in party dresses and button-downs. There was no shortage of excitement as Steve Aoki performed—a feeling that continued as Bastille got the crowd jumping during “Pompeii” and as Jason Derulo performed a medley of “Talk Dirty,” “Wiggle” and “Trumpets.” Derulo, who has amassed 1 billion views on YouTube, made a surprise appearance at the festival but was possibly one of the night’s best performers.

Speaking of performances and incredible stage presence, it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t included the Queen of Hip Hop, Nicki Minaj. During a thirty-minute set, Minaj performed some of her biggest hits, including “Superbass” and her most recent smash, “Anaconda.” Although she’s making a transition into a softer look, Nicki’s outfit was by no means “modest” but in true Minaj fashion, she pulled it off! Also impressive: her “Bang Bang” performance and booty bounce off with the industry’s hottest star, Ariana Grande! Shortly after, Grande took the stage again with her own twenty-five minute set, including an appearance from Childish Gambino during “Break Your Heart Right Back” and her now notorious “Problem” dance! Ariana Grande’s voice might be big but Alicia Keys showed up on stage to talk about some big issues. With lyrics like “let’s talk about Gaza… let’s talk about Israel, cause right now it’s real” the main objective of Alicia Keys’ new song, “We Are Here,” was to encourage listeners to pay attention to current events. As a team, we’ll always support being up-to-date on everything happening in the world. Keep doing your thing, Alicia!

Closing off the night with an ever appropriate “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” Usher took the stage to perform some of the greatest songs to ever be recorded. With a set list that included “OMG,” “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love,” and “U Make Me Wanna,” Usher had the crowd on their feet the entire time. A guy like Usher has been in the music industry for a majority of his life so he has to have a lot of talented friends, right? A surprise guest appearance from Chris Brown to perform their smash hit “New Flame” and a dance-off proves that Usher only rides with the best! After their dance off, Usher slipped off his high tops and lit them on fire—you have to end things with a bang, right?

Night one of the iHeartRadio Music Festival has come and gone but thanks to the Internet, the incredible performances can be found on YouTube. If you have some time (or if you need a reason to procrastinate) make sure to head over to the video-sharing platform and check out all of the iHeartRadio Music Festival performances! Also, send us a tweet @weknowthedj to let us know what you think of this year’s performers and the hype surrounding the annual festival.

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