KIIS FM's annual summer blowout has become a huge draw, not just for listeners around the Los Angeles area, but for pop artists vying for heavy rotation spins on the hit station. So it's no surprise that Wango Tango, now in its 14th year, pulled out the big guns at downtown L.A.'s Staples Center on Saturday. What did throw audiences and artists alike for a loop? The diversity of the lineup and one suave recovery by Jennifer Lopez after a technical glitch knocked her microphone out.
With the doors officially opening at 6:30 p.m., early performances came by way of rockers Cobra Starship, hip hop duo New Boyz and newcomer Cody Simpson. Nick Cannon was the house DJ for the night, amping the crowd between sets and introducing a litany of special guests like Romeo, JC Chasez and Joe Jonas, who announced his next single, called "See No More," by revealing how weird it was to be onstage without his brothers.
The American Idol portion of the show came early in the night, with Jordin Sparks showing off her slimmed-down figure upon hitting the stage to introduce Season 10 favorites, Pia Toscano and Casey Abrams. The two finalists were greeted with massive applause, as Abrams delivered a rousing rendition of Maroon 5's "Harder To Breathe" and Toscano sang Whitney Houston's "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" with the confidence of someone who's played packed stadiums for years.
Continuing its roll-out of Fox stars, Glee's Matthew Morrison came next, performing a cover of Kanye West's "Gold Digger" and reprising his Lolita moment on the show with the Police song, "Don't Stand So Close To Me." He also treated fans to "Summer Rain," the first single from his debut album, out this week.
With the crowd buzzing, it was time for a big name which Ryan Seacrest dutifully delivered to his listeners by bringing out a newly svelte Britney Spears. The two then introduced Lupe Fiasco, who performed a power-packed set for the ecstatic crowd. Opening with "Superstar," the Chicago emcee followed it up with his current hit, "The Show Goes On," which had the crowd singing along to his uplifting lyrics.
Taking the visuals up a notch, Ke$ha came out with a slew of mohawked, blue-lipped dancers behind her, the perfect complement to her sassy singing style. She proceeded to fire on the crowd with a glitter gun and even rocked an electric guitar for part of the set, which included chart-toppers "Blah, Blah, Blah," "We Are Who We Are" and the track that put her on the map, "Tick Tock."
Next up, T-Pain gave a surprisingly athletic performance which showed off his dance moves as much as his voice. He later joined Pitbull for the song "Hey Baby," one of a string of hits the in-demand rapper has seen chart in the last couple years. Another surprise came in the way of Ne-Yo, who hit the stage to sing the hook for their latest hit, "Let's Do It Tonight." Both guys looked dapper, with Pitbull donning a sharp suit and tie and NeYo in his signature jacket and hat.
Of course, with Pitbull's performance, anticipation for an appearance by Jennifer Lopez hit a fever pitch, and sure enough, J. Lo emerged for her latest hit, "On The Floor."
Rising from under the stage and clad in a glittery gold cat suit, the crown erputed as soon as Lopez delivered the opening line, but moments later, the vocals were gone and the stage silent. Unbeknownst to Lopez, her microphone had gone out and the whole crew continued with the song and choreography until it was over. Not until the big finish did she realize that no one had heard her.
Pitbull seemed to clue her in with a whisper in the ear. Ever the pro, Lopez shrugged off the malfunction, telling the crowd, "We're not gonna let that get us down, are we? Nobody keeps mama down." Lopez then instructed the band to take it from the top, jibing, "Somebody's getting fired tonight!" No doubt for the fans in the front rows, who got to see an encore presentation of the infectious hit, the snafu was worth it.