Kissmas Bash 2016
Thursday December 15, 2016
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
The annual Kissmas Bash put on by radio station WKSE 98.5 took place at KeyBank Center Thursday evening. Despite the frigid temperatures outside the atmosphere was hot on the inside if you were one of the many patrons who adore the artists that grace this particular radio station. Over the years Kissmas Bash provides some of the biggest names in music (anyone remember when Cher played?) although more recently they seem to focus on up and coming, lesser established artists.
This years bill featured six acts when it was all said and done. One act who was set to appear was rapper-singer Jon Bellion who ran into bad weather on the way from Milwaukee and was unable to make it town. Another act Daya also had problems getting to town due to cancelled flights. She finally made it causing some adjustments to the schedule resulting in her going on just before the headliners The Chainsmokers.
The show started off with 19-year old singer-songwriter Jacob Whitesides. Accompanied by an acoustic guitarist Whitesides started the evening off with an inspiring set.
For my money the next act JoJo was perhaps the best artist of the night. JoJo is no stranger to Buffalo as she also appeared as a 13-year old at the 2004 edition of Kissmas Bash. Her short set offered just a taste of what to expect when she comes to the Town Balllroom in April.
Pop-rapper Jake Miller followed with his brief set of music. Miller wore a Sabres jersey with his name on the back. With his charm and looks he easily had the ladies eating out of the palm of his hand. Too bad the music was lackluster and offered nothing of worth.
Another of the standout acts were DNCE who were led by singer Joe Jonas. Bassist Cole Whittle, drummer Jack Lawless and guitarist JinJoo Lee rounded out the band. “Toothbrush” and “Body Moves” were just two of the songs that went over well with the young crowd. I can see big things ahead for this group.
Daya finally arrived and she did not disappoint. Scheduled to go on earlier in the night, a flight problem delayed her and pushed her set back. “Sit Still, Look Pretty” and “Hide Away” were memorable songs. She endured a very long and trying day to come to play for just 20 minutes but she didn’t let that hinder her performance.
The night ended with Buffalo Sabres player Jack Eichel coming out to help introduce the headliners The Chainsmokers. The DJ duo of Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall came, played some of their hits and the crowd for the most part ate it up. This is what music has come to? For the early part of their set they played it near the back of the stage far away from the crowd unlike the other performers. Those down in front on the floor could barley even see them at times.
Kissmas Bash has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Earlier shows were played at The Connecticut Street Armory and the Buffalo Convention Center. A move to the then named HSBC Arena took place in 2001 where it has remained since despite the numerous name changes to the venue. As far as the acts go other than JoJo, I did not know any of the acts on the bill when it was first announced. Many of the fans in attendance did and they bought the tickets.
This year’s show wasn’t as smooth running as the last few. There were at times long delays between acts. The hindrance of Daya making it to the venue caused the show to go longer than expected. Last year’s show seemed to be more polished due to the fact they had two stages so when one act finished another could start almost immediately. Whoever is in charge should look into things for next year. Perhaps they may even be able to land a few more acts with a tighter run ship.