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I Went to Wango Tango, & These Were Hands Down the Best Performances

This weekend I had the opportunity to cover 102.7 KIIS FM’s Wango Tango concert at the StubHub Center in California. Not only did I talk with Aaron Carter and Sofia Carson on the red—er, yellow—carpet, but I also enjoyed listening to pop’s top hits in the California sunshine. Here are my seven favorite performances of the night.

1. Katy Perry

Katy Kats really got the full range of work from one of the true queens of pop. Katy Perry started her set with “Chained to the Rhythm” and went on to sing some of her many hits, including “Roar,” “E.T.” and “Firework.” She strutted across the stage in her neon punk outfit, and I was totally digging her edgy, short blonde hair. Many of her numbers included strange backup dancers in bodysuits with their faces obscured, almost like sheet monsters caressing Katy’s body. She finished the evening with her new single “Bon Appetit,” but the concert was just getting started.

2. Maroon 5

Obviously bae—I mean, Adam Levine—had to make the list. His uber popular band Maroon 5 has practically been around longer than I have. They opened with “Moves Like Jagger” and continued to play their all-time best songs, like “Sugar,” to get us all dancing and screaming the lyrics over their electric guitars. 

3. Zedd

I went in without expectations for Zedd, to be honest, because I’m not an expert on DJs. But the German producer was completely LIT at Wango Tango. He played Justin Bieber remixes and had an epic futuristic background display that looked as if he was zooming through a space shuttle tunnel. He even brought out Alessia Cara for his final song, “Stay,” which seriously pumped up the crowd.

4. Miley Cyrus

Ms. Miley is back, and she’s f l a w l e s s. Her newest single “Malibu” signals her possible shift back toward mellow, country numbers, though I don’t think it’s exactly her best sound. She performed “Malibu” live for the first time at Wango Tango, with colorful balloons on stage and others bouncing in the audience. She then brought us from Malibu to Tennessee by singing Dolly Parton’s rocking song “Jolene.” But it was her last number that made me so happy to be there: “We Can’t Stop,” one of my favorite Miley songs.

5. Niall Horan

Sure, Harry Styles may have released his new album last week, but I was totally caught up obsessing over Niall at Wango Tango. He performed “This Town” and “On the Loose” wearing an adorable newsboy cap that fit his Irish lad vibe. AND he brought along former One Directioner Liam Payne to cheer him on—Liam even introduced Ryan Seacrest later in the night. 

6. Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee took a page out of her pal Taylor Swift’s playbook by BRINGING IT to Wango Tango with her strappy outfits, sharp dance moves and go-with-the-flow attitude. She was a spectacle to watch, beyond her singing over her tracks; she was perfectly in sync with her silver-jacketed backup dancers, too.

7. Backstreet Boys


The Backstreet Boys made me think, “This is what One Direction will be like in 20 years.” The OG boy band closed Wango Tango with classics like “Larger Than Life” and “I Want It That Way,” because are we ever too old to enjoy the best songs of the ’90s?! UGH LOVE.

The best part of 102.7 KIIS FM’s Wango Tango is that you get a taste of so many artists and you hear them perform the hits you know and love. The concert also has short set times, which is just enough to hear your favorites before moving on to the next talented act. Wango Tango is truly a must-see in Southern California each spring.

Lindsay was the president/editor-in-chief of the UCLA chapter of Her Campus from 2015-2018. She was previously the Viral Section Editor at Her Campus and an Editorial Intern at the headquarters in Boston. Lindsay grew up in Washington state and transitioned to love the Southern California sunshine while studying communications and environmental science at UCLA. Twitter: @WeinbergLindsay.
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