Capital FM are renowned for their summer and winter gigs, always securing the world’s biggest acts for their balls. On Saturday, it was Jingle Bell Ball time once again as a 16,000 strong crowd descended onto London’s O2 Arena for the first night of the ball.
I’ve been a big fan of Capital events for years now, and with luck on my side I managed to get tickets for the Saturday show on the day of release, which sold out in a few hours. With acts such as Coldplay, Little Mix and David Guetta, it promised to be a night to remember!
I headed to the O2 in time for the opening of the doors, as one of the best things about Capital events is the build up and atmosphere beforehand. We were greeted with the famous Coca Cola truck outside the arena, as they were on of the event’s sponsors, and this added to the Christmassy feel of the night!
Just before the show started at around 6pm, one of the show’s presenters Pandora came to the stage, followed by a troupe of dancers. They wanted to get us warmed up for the night by teaching us some dance moves – it’s always surreal to see the majority of the crowd getting involved with the fun and games! Marvin Humes, Capital DJ and ex-JLS star, also played a great DJ set to get the crowd into party atmosphere.
Finally it was time for the first act, and who better to kick start the show than the mighty Coldplay! They opened with the anthemic “Viva la Vida” before Chris Martin took to the piano for the easily recognisable opening chords of “Clocks”. Coldplay are very passionate performers, with Chris in particular jumping around and working the audience. Next they slowed things down with the hit song “Paradise”, as the set shone in a rainbow of colours. There was even a fan in the audience who’d dressed up in an elephant costume, emulating their music video! Coldplay followed with a literal performance of “Sky Full of Stars”, as star shaped confetti fell from the ceiling. No Coldplay set is complete without the most recognisable song for me; “Fix You”. It gives me so many goosebumps when I hear it, as it’s a million times more emotional live – it always brings a lump to my throat when the guitar kicks in half way through. To end their set, they performed “Princess of China”, complete with Rihanna on-screen as well as their latest single “Adventure of a Lifetime”. It’s SO good to have Coldplay back – they are definitely a live act you NEED to see if you haven’t already!
Next to continue the party was Jason Derulo, opening with “The Other Side”. Jason is always so electric on stage, combining R&B vocals with high energy dance routines. “Trumpets” was next on the set list for Jason, which went down well with the crowd, followed by a throwback to his first ever single “Whatcha Say”. In true Derulo style, Jason launched into “Talk Dirty” and subsequently took his top off which excited a large proportion of the audience!! Jason ended on a high by performing his number one single, “Want To Want Me”.
Causing a rumble on stage next were Tinie Tempah and Katy B, who came along to perform their recent KDA hit “Turn The Music Louder”. The atmosphere was great at this point as all the crowd went crazy. Reluctant to leave the stage, Tinie actually stayed on for one more song, performing “Not Letting Go”. Jess Glynne also made an early appearance on the stage to perform the song alongside him!
Years and Years were the next performers, and lead singer Olly Alexander stole the show with his eye catching sparkly outfit! “Shine” was their first song which sounded spectacular in the arena. They continued with their newest single “Eyes Shut” before raising the roof with a special cover in tribute to the birthday of Britney Spears this week. Their version of “Toxic” was a massive hit with the audience! Finally they performed their huge hit, “King” which got the whole crowd dancing. I’ve wanted to see Years and Years live for a long time and they most definitely did not disappoint!
Next on the line up was the wonderful Nathan Sykes, who strolled onto the stage with a cup of tea in hand, ready to perform an acoustic version of “Kiss Me Quick”. Nathan then treated us to a Christmas classic, with a special version of “White Christmas”. His voice is just phenomenal, he really managed to captivate the 16,000 strong crowd. He also performed his recent top 10 hit, “Over and Over Again” on the piano, providing us with another stunning vocal. He is so underrated, he has one of the best vocals in the country!
After a short break, the ball was kick started again with a lively performance of “In2” by WSTRN. The song has been a big hit recently and you could see a lot of the crowd dancing along. Fleur East also brought the party along with her, and gave everyone some “Sax” as she performed her debut single. She put on a fantastic show with plenty of dance moves and sass to match.
It was then Jess Glynne’s time to return to the stage to perform her set. A crowd sing-a-long from start to finish, Jess opened with “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself”. Having risen to fame as a singer on some of Clean Bandit’s songs, Jess then performed “Real Love” and added a little twist by mixing in 90’s classic “Finally”. Of course, Jess also included “Rather Be” in her set, which gained one of the biggest crowd reactions of the night! Jess displayed her great vocals by singing “Right Here” before finishing with the upbeat “Hold My Hand”.
The night’s penultimate act was the biggest girlband in the world, the brilliant Little Mix. Even when performing at a multi act event like Jingle Bell Ball, the girls never fail to put on a spectacular show. With dancers in tow, Little Mix launched into “Salute”, followed by “Move”, both of which showed off their polished dance moves. Their next song was “Love Me Like You” which highlighted their great vocals and brought a cool vibe to the arena. We were also treated to a world exclusive – the first performance of their new single “Secret Love Song”, alongside Jason Derulo who features on the track. I’ve heard a lot of hype surrounding this song and I was truly blown away by their performance (Jesy’s high note at the end, oh my god!!!). Little Mix took us down memory lane by performing “Wings” before ending their set with a little spell, before casting “Black Magic” on the crowd. They definitely received one of the best reactions of the night, and showcased to the crowd just why they’re the hottest girlband around right now.
To end a brilliant evening, we were treated to an out of this world set by one of the world’s biggest DJ’s, the wonderful David Guetta. I find him SO endearing – I’ve seen him perform at Summertime Ball before and he is just so grateful to be doing something he loves in front of people who enjoy music. With dozens of tracks to choose from, David played some of his most well known hits including “Play Hard”, “Hey Mama” and “Lovers In The Sun”. With every intention to keep the crowd as hyped as possible, David also threw in remixes from Justin Bieber, The Weeknd and Adele. Saving the best til last, David ended his set with “Titanium” and “When Love Takes Over”, with David and the crowd making hand hearts at each other.
Another phenomenal gig from Capital – their shows are forces to be reckoned with. They always manage to get some of the world’s biggest artists under one roof, and last night all ten acts were absolutely superb. If you’ve never been to a Ball before, then make it your 2016 resolution to go – you won’t be disappointed!
You can view more videos from Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball here.