Z100’s Jingle Ball ‘97
December 9th was the day. The day I was finally going to see Hanson. That Tuesday it was hard for me to sit still in school, but let me start where it all began.
It was the middle of November. I was listening to the radio, Z100, doing my homework as always, when I heard them start to talk about their annual Jingle ball benefit concert. There was going to be 10 artists performing but they hadn’t told which ones. They just gave clues. They played pieces of the artist’s songs, I was almost sure I had heard Taylor’s voice, but I couldn’t be 100% sure until Monday when it was going to be announced.
When Monday came around I found out I was right. It was Taylor! Not only was Hanson performing but Savage Garden, Fiona Apple, Allure, Sarah McLaughlin, Aerosmith, Backstreet Boys, Lisa Loeb, Chumbawamba and the Wallflowers. I was on the phone with my friend Tiffany when Cubby (the DJ who hosted Hanson at their Paramus appearance) announced that if you were caller 100 you could win tickets right then. We both tried to win, even though we do live 2 hours from New York! When the phone started to ring I crossed my fingers. Then I heard it “You are caller 100!” I was in so much shock, but so happy! “You’re going to see Jingle ball ‘97 in Madison Square Garden!”
Okay, back to December 9th 1997. My mom picked me up at 3:30 and we caught the 4:20 train out of Princeton junction to Penn Station. When we got into Madison Square Garden itself we found out that there was a surprise guest, Celine Dion. We stood on line and got our tickets. Then off we were to try and find out seats in a stadium that seats 22,000! The concert started at 6:00pm and ended at midnight. First up was the surprise guest Celine Dion who sang one song, “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.” After her was Fiona Apple. She was incredible! She started out at the piano and sang “Shadowboxer” and then later stood up for her other songs such as “Criminal”. After Fiona’s 30 minute set was over Allure came on. At Jingle ball, there were two stages. A big one and a small one. Fiona Apple was on the big one and Allure came out on the smaller one. Allure was wearing matching pink dresses. While Allure was doing a fine job it was hard for me to pay attention. Over on the big stage, I saw people setting up the Hanson drum. I was so psyched! During Allure’s performance I made my way up to the front. I was at stage level now. There was a railing and below was about row 5 or 6.
When Allure was finished Ivanka Trump came out and announced Hanson. There was about 10 other Hanson fans where I was and we all ran up to the railing and just screamed. To my surprise, there wasn’t any pushing or rudeness, just a bunch of girls who loved Hanson. I stood there screaming in disbelief! I mean it was Hanson right in front of me! I was about 20 feet away from Taylor. Taylor was wearing a blue shirt with designs around the neck. Isaac was wearing leather pants and a dark short sleeve button-up shirt. Zac was wearing a yellow shirt with orange down the sleeves.
First they sang “Thinking Of You” “Where’s the Love” then “I Will Come To You” and “A Minute Without You” then they did “Merry Christmas Baby” “Run Rudolph Run” and they ended their 45 minute set with an “MMMBop” I remember Taylor shouting “I want everybody in here clapping!” It was awesome to see so many people singing and clapping along.
I was hoping Taylor would look over and see me but he only looked over once. However, I got some major eye contact with Isaac, who looks really good in person/concert!
After Hanson performed was Savage Garden on the smaller stage. They were really good. Their last song was “Truly Madly Deeply,” beautifully done. Then was Sarah McLaughlin, followed by Lisa Loeb who had everyone singing with “I Do.” Next, The Backstreet Boys came on. They danced and sang very well. I didn’t really like them very much before I saw them, but now I’m definitely a fan. The Backstreet Boys brought three very lucky girls up on the stage to dance with them. They gave them each a rose and a slow dance which I thought was really very sweet.
After the Backstreet Boys was Aerosmith. Aerosmith played a lot of the older tunes such as “Walk this Way” and new ones too like “hard on the knees” and “Pink.” During “Pink” they stopped playing and all the lights went out. A pink light came on from the ceiling and snow came down on the audience. When the light shined back on Steven Tyler he was wearing a big pink top hat. The performance was truly amazing. People young and old were on their feet dancing and cheering.
Chumbawamba came up next on the little stage. They played a pumped 20 minute set, full of energy and life. Of course they ended with their number 1 single “Tubthumping.”
Last but not least was The Wallflowers. Now because I live far away from New York we had to leave to catch a train. It was 11:30 already! The last thing I saw at Jingle Ball was a video from Hanson, “MMMBop.” That was the perfect way to end an already amazing night. While I was upset that I missed The Wallflowers I had seen them in concert the week before in Princeton and they were definitely outstanding.
So, in conclusion, Jingle Ball ‘97 was totally awesome, and something I will remember for the rest of my life. I definitely recommend you see Hanson in concert, because they’re truly magnificent.
Thank you's: Cubby Bryant from Z100, Fiona Apple, Celine Dion, Allure, Hanson, Sarah McLaughlin, Lisa Loeb, The Backstreet Boys, The Wallflowers, Aerosmith, Savage Garden, Chumbawamba, and everyone who took the time to read this. Thanks again!
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