WBLI Summer Jam 2018

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WBLI Summer Jam is an annual concert hosted by the radio station 106.1 BLI at the Jones Beach Amphitheater in Long Island, New York. The concert consists of a multitude of popular acts performing their biggest hits and latest releases to celebrate the beginning of summer. People of all ages come every year to experience the energy and listen to their favorite artists. I had the opportunity of attending the concert on June 15th to experience what the hosts claim was “the most historic lineup Long Island has ever seen.” The energy of the crowd, mixed with great music and sunny weather made for a perfect environment to hold a Summer Jam.

The show started off with DJ Ricky City spinning popular music to energize the crowd for the first act. Shortly after, the MC’s welcome the first performance of the event, American boy band Why Don’t We, to the stage to perform their hit songs. The group had many young girls excited with their choreographed dance moves and their 2017 release These Girls to close off their act. The second act of the night was Dua Lipa, who started her performance with her newest song with Calvin Harris, One Kiss. She also performed her most popular songs  IDGAF and New Rules as an anthem to anyone trying to move on from heartbreak.

The third act of the show was 5 Seconds of Summer who began their act with a throwback to 2014 hit She Looks So Perfect. They also include more of their well-known songs including Amnesia and their Ghostbusters soundtrack contribution Girls Talk Boys. The band continued to perform new music from their new album Youngblood, which was released earlier that same day. The band displayed their growth as musicians with new sounds such as Valentine, Want You Back, and Youngblood that consisted of deep bass and electronic 80’s vibes.

The energy of the event continued with Bebe Rexha walking off the stage and into the crowd for her latest hit Meant To Be with Florida Georgia Line. Liam Payne also made an appearance for his first solo performance on Long Island with his song For You from the 50 Shades Freed soundtrack and Familiar, which showed off some of his Spanish speaking skills. Alessia Cara appears next on the lineup and treats the audience to a newly written verse to her first hit Here. She also goes on to introduce Scars to Your Beautiful by discussing the beauty in being different and sending an inspirational message to women to love who they are and how they look. The crowd took this opportunity to light up the theater with the lights from their phones to add to the beauty of the music Lastly, she treats the audience to her version of How Far I’ll Go from Moana and a new song she released earlier that day called Growing Pains, which she says is about the various emotions she felt as she was growing up.

The next artist to come out is Zedd who energizes the crowd with his hit songs Stay the Night, I Want You to Know, Break Free, and many more. He invites Liam Payne and Alessia Cara back onto the stage to perform their collaborations Get Low and Stay. The overwhelming mixture of lights, music, fireworks, and smoke turn the show into the ultimate rave. To mellow out the crowd, Shawn Mendes is brought out to perform his top hits along with music from his new album such as In My Blood and Lost in Japan. He often lets the crowd have their moments in his songs as they sing the lyrics in perfect synchronization. His guitar playing, sweet voice, and the sheer happiness he shows while performing swept many young girls in the crowd off their feet.

The crowd is given a throwback to the eighties as the Backstreet Boys take the stage, singing their hit songs I Want it That Way and Backstreet’s Back that they claim is over 21 years old. They go on to sing their newest release Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, which keep the original spirit of the band’s sound while appealing to the younger generations of music listeners. The lights, visuals and dancing give the band the same young appeal that excite the crowd and the older listeners that have been fans of the Backstreet Boys for years.

Bringing back the energy from Zedd’s performance, WBLI brought out Marshmello to play his upbeat music such as Silence. He also plays his collaboration with Selena Gomez called Wolves, and his song FRIENDS with Anne Marie. The crowd sings along to the music as his intense visuals and lighting make for an energetic party vibe. To close off the night, Meghan Trainor performs her upbeat songs All About That Bass, and mentions her recent engagement to fiancé Daryl Sabara, best known for his role as Juni Cortez in Spy Kids. She invites him out onto the stage to sing him Happy Birthday and continues to perform Dear Future Husband to remind the crowd of how a man should treat his wife.

Overall, Summer Jam was the perfect beginning to another summer and a great experience. All of the talented artists that performed excited the crowd and displayed a great amount of energy as the night went on. Summer Jam takes place every year, so if you didn’t have the chance to catch the show this summer, be sure to check out the lineup for next year’s concert and buy your tickets!

Louis Elton