Kesha & DJ Khaled's Superstar Surprises, Niall Horan & Miley Cyrus' Live Debuts and More iHeartRadio Fest Day 2 Highlights
The 2017 iHeartRadio Music Festival is all said and done, but there was so much excitement across the two-day weekend (Sept. 22 and 23) that it’s definitely one for the festival history books. After Day 1 saw Harry Styles, The Weeknd, Pink and more take the stage at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, Day 2 provided twice the star power, as the #iHeartVillage featured some of the summer’s hottest hitmakers (Halsey, Migos, French Montana, Cheat Codes… the list goes on) before the sun even went down.
Then once it was time for the big show, the thrills happened all over again, with Miley Cyrus, Big Sean, Kesha, Niall Horan, Lorde, Thomas Rhett, Kings of Leon and DJ Khaled taking the stage – and that doesn’t even include the surprise guests.
Relive the magic of Day 2 by checking out highlights from both from the main #iHeartFestival show and the #iHeartVillage below.
12:41 p.m. PT Cheat Codes’ beats alone were enough to make fans go nuts for their beat drops despite how early in the day they are performing, but they provide some extra incentive for jumping up and down: The guys made it rain $1 bills.
1:20 p.m. Khalid didn’t even perform his hit “Location” during his 20-minute set, but that didn’t matter – every American Teen song he sang, including the title track and his other recent hit “Young, Dumb and Broke” resulted in a sing-along that was almost louder than the singer himself.
1:49 p.m. "I've never played this song in my set before," Bebe Rexha says before playing her Louis Tomlinson collaboration “Back to You.” Little did the crowd know that her rare performance was happening because Tomlinson was in the building: The former One Directioner surprises the crowd for his verse and dances around the stage with Rexha for the rest of the song.
2:10 p.m. Continuing what Rexha started with a surprise guest, French Montana has Juicy J – whom he referred to as “one of my idols” -- join him for a couple of tracks. Montana hardly even needed a cameo in his set, though, as he has plenty of his own songs and features such as Fat Joe and Remy Ma’s “All the Way Up” and his Swae Lee-featuring smash “Unforgettable” to make the crowd go crazy.
2:56 p.m. After singing “Stay Together,” Noah Cyrus tells the crowd that her next song “I’m Stuck” is in honor of her Bachelor crush. "I dedicate this song to Ben Higgins, if he's here," she says, then realizing she completely missed her queue to begin the song. "I lost my spot talking about Ben Higgins!"
3:40 p.m. Little Mix cause a mad rush to the stage upon their arrival, starting out their rather quick performance with an a capella intro to “Wings” – sans Perrie Edwards, who Jade Thirlwall clarifies is a little under the weather. “Our little Periwinkle isn't feeling very well, so she couldn't join us, but that means you guys just need to sing extra loud!” Despite the missing member and some sound issues with the first song, the girls nail their performance of “Touch” with killer vocals and choreography.
4:41 p.m. Niall Horan starts off his set with the heartbreakingly sweet ballad “This Town,” then jumps to his most recent release “Too Much To Ask” and hits every note before carrying on with two more upbeat tracks for the other half of his set. Before beginning his biggest hit “Slow Hands,” Horan announces that he had just been informed the song was about to become the No. 1 radio song at midnight. “[Number] 25 for 6 weeks or something, and now we're at number one, it’s crazy!”
5:13 p.m. Starting off her set with her Lauren Jaregui collab “Strangers,” Halsey continues to bring the energy level up a notch with each song, including older hits like “Colors” and other hopeless fountain kingdom tracks like “Now or Never.” After revealing the news that she will be giving an all-ages New Years eve show in Vegas to make up for a previously canceled gig (“Vegas I owe you a show don't I?” she said), she plays the now-iconic Chainsmokers team-up “Closer” that really gets the crowd going – but only the parts with her in it, because “my part's the better part anyway,” she smiles.
5:47 p.m. “Open it up! Open it up!” Migos yell in an attempt to start mosh pits in their massive Daytime Village-closing set. Much to the delight of older Migos fans in the crowd, the rap trio play some classics like “Hannah Montana” and “Fight Night” amidst their more current hits such as “T-Shirt” and the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “Bad and Boujee.”
7:49 p.m. Kesha opens up night two of the T-Mobile Arena part of the iHeartRadio Festival, using most of her time on stage to deliver new tracks “Woman,” “Learn to Let Me Go” and a moving rendition of “Praying,” but also tosses in a more revved-up version of her oldie-but-goodie “Take It Off.” Along with being first to take the stage, Kesha was also the first to bring out a special guest, having Macklemore join her for their brand new collab “Good Old Days.”
8:36 p.m. “You all ready to have some fun?” Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill asks the crowd before singing their blood-pumping hit “Sex on Fire.” Serving as the only rock band for the evening, the guys certainly did that role justice by playing a collection of their fast-paced tunes like “Waste a Moment,” “Radioactive” and, of course, “Use Somebody.”
8:44 p.m. Although Taylor Lautner was in charge of introducing Lorde, she’s already set up at the mic before he can even say a word (as many fans caught, screaming with joy to see the singer on stage right away). Right off the bat, Lorde brings out Khalid to help with “Homemade Dynamite” – she recently released a remix of the song with him and SZA – and later has Melodrama co-wrtier Jack Antonoff join her for a beautiful piano-only rendition of “Liability.” While she was excited to return to a Vegas stage as she acknowledges it’s been a while since she’s been back, she also acknowledges that perhaps it’s her underage status that has kept her away: “I'm too young to gamble this is a strange town for a young goth.”
9:25 p.m. After Thomas Rhett delivers an almost doo-wop version of his hit “Crash and Burn” as well as his Maren Morris collaboration “Craving You,” he can’t help but fanboy over how great Lorde’s set was: “Everybody give it up for Lorde, she blew my mind tonight.” But as the night’s only country star, Thomas Rhett finds himself fanboying over another fellow performer (“I’m really excied to see Big Sean tonight,” he gushes) and shows his Bruno Mars love with a little snippet cover of “That’s What I Like” amidst playing his current single, “Unforgettable.”
9:46 p.m. Despite already playing the Daytime Village just hours prior to taking the T-Mobile Arena stage, Niall Horan was just as pumped to sing his same four songs for a mostly new crowd of faces. Yet, he acknowledges that there’s likely some repeat attendees in the crowd. “Thank you for hoppin’ around to see me,” he says. Before ending his set with “Slow Hands,” he once again shares the news that the song is the top song on the radio – and makes it clear that it still hasn’t quite set in: “How'd this happen to me?”
10:01 p.m. In between acts, Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow comes on, resulting in the loudest sing-along of all the intermission songs (aside from a Hyundai ad featuring “Sweet Caroline”) and proving its worth at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
10:07 p.m. As Miley Cyrus starts out with her prolific new song “Younger Now,” she notices some Happy Hippies in the crowd and shouts them out. Carrying on with two more tracks from her forthcoming album Younger Now – including the live debut of her recently released song “Week Without You” – Cyrus expresses her excitement for the record to come out in less than a week from her performance: “It makes me the happiest I've ever been to share how I feel and speak the truth.”
After covering “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” simply because “it just felt right” with the black knee-high heeled boots she was wearing, Cyrus sings two of her classics, “We Can’t Stop” and “Party In the USA,” giving a deeper meaning to the latter. “It's not a party in the USA if we don't have equality, justice, understanding, change, expression, kindness, opportunity,” she declares. “I won't stop fighting for justice for every fucking single one of you.”
10:41 p.m. Louis Tomlinson and Bebe Rexha join forces once more for another performance of "Back To You," sounding just as awesome together as they did at the #iHeartVillage earlier.
10:46 p.m. Fresh off the plane from New York after performing at Global Citizen Festival earlier in the day, Big Sean shows no signs of jet lag. “I came a long way to be here, y'all ready to fucking party or what?” he says, adding, “I'm ready to end my night right here in Vegas” and giving a shout-out to those who put the work in to get him there on time. Amidst singing his crowd-hyping hits such as “I Don’t F—k With You” and “Bounce Back” (as well as some of his biggest features, “Mercy,” “Clique” and “Feels”), Big Sean tells the crowd that 2017 has easily been one of the best years of his life. “I’m doing better than ever. I get to take care of my family, I get to take care and my mom and dad.” And in line with his career being at an all-time high, Sean promised that he has new music coming very soon.
11:19 p.m. “You know I got surprises right?” DJ Khaled teases as he begins his set filled with all the classics like “All I Do Is Win” and “Shining.” “But before I bring surprises mind if I show you how I dance?” he says as he gets his groove on to the Rihanna and Bryson Tiller-featuring “Wild Thoughts.” Once “I’m the One” begins, so do the surprises. First up is Quavo to rap his verse on the Hot 100 chart-topper, but it doesn’t take long for cameo No. 2 to happen – out comes Chance the Rapper to lay down his “I’m the One” verse, and the three guys dance their way through the rest of the song.
OH MY GOD pic.twitter.com/Gs3rHsoyg6— demi lovato vocals (@ddlsxvocals) September 24, 2017
In Dj Khaled fashion, of course he had another one (and another one, and another one). Bringing out Travis Scott next to rap “Butterfly Effect” and “Goosebumps,” Khaled throws in perhaps the most unexpected surprise of the night with an appearance from Demi Lovato, who sings her song “Sorry Not Sorry” with all of the guys at the end of the catwalk. And just to make sure the night is unforgettable for everyone in attendance, Khaled finished things off with French Montana rapping his smash “Unforgettable.” But before leaving the amped-up arena, Khaled has two quick announcements to make: “Travis Scott new album coming… and I'm back in the studio.”