Live: Lady Gaga Is Z100's Homecoming Queen At The Jingle Ball

Z100 Jingle Ball: Lady Gaga, Pitbull, David Guetta, Kelly Clarkson, LMFAO, Gym Class Heroes, Demi Lovato, Foster The People, and Hot Chelle Rae w/Karmin, The Script
Madison Square Garden
Friday, December 9

Better than: A lump of coal and a "Firework" CD single.

To begin, let's run down a few key numbers related to the 2011 installment of Z100's Jingle Ball. Friday night's pop extravaganza had 11 sets; 32 full songs; five medleys; two point five holiday-themed songs; two encores; one Coldplay video; one Kardashian; and one member of LMFAO on the disabled list. Things that were present in abundance, so I didn't keep tallies: Screaming; festive attire; between-song ads; shout-outs to New York City.

I begin with statistics, because what is Z100—the East Coast top-40 flagship of the Clear Channel monolith—but a celebration of numbers? At the night's outset, Elvis Duran, host of the morning show, declared, "When you hear a song played on Z100, you know it's a hit." The artists atop the Jingle Ball's bill, with their ability to be reduced to one name—Gaga, Pitbull, Guetta, Kelly, all of whom have spent the month performing atop other Jingle Balls in other cities—bore this theory out in a sense; their sets, brief but longer than those earlier in the evening, contained only "hits," songs that might not have been familiar by title but that were sing-alongable within the first verse.

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Live: Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes, And The Academy Is... Sweat It Out At Terminal 5

Cobra Starship w/ Gym Class Heroes, The Academy Is..., Versa Emerge and A Rocket To The Moon
Terminal 5
Friday, September 9

Better than: Facing the Fashion Week crowds.

Fueled By Ramen—the label that brought its particular brand of emo to the MTV mainstream in the mid-aughts thanks to the likes of Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco—closed out its two-night 15th-anniversary celebration with a nostalgia trip. Night one of the celebration played host to the megasuccessful Paramore; on night two, which had a bill that served as a testament to the label's ability to birth both stars and cult heroes, only the main floor of Terminal 5 was open to attendees. The cavernous venue was transformed into something more intimate, a venue that might have hosted the label's bands played during their earliest days. But the way the night played out made clear that Fueled By Ramen has come a long way since its dorm-room beginnings.

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Live: Warped Tour Flips The Sweaty Bird At Nassau Coliseum


Warped Tour
Nassau Coliseum
Saturday, July 23

Better than: Poring over the Fuck Yeah A Day To Remember archives in an un-air-conditioned room.

To get to Nassau Coliseum from the city you take the Long Island Rail Road, then a taxi. My cab driver asks what is going on at the Coliseum. "Warped Tour," I say, explaining that it is many, many punk bands at once. "Oh, wow," he says. "I saw all of the buses drive in this morning. It was crazy."

At the gates, all the people deepened and distended by heat, a girl behind me says, "Maybe I'll lose, like, ten pounds." Everyone is advertising free hugs. Some dudes are trying to yield weed from a sign that reads, "Sell Us Weed."

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The 50 Worst Songs of the '00s, F2K No. 20: Gym Class Heroes, "Taxi Driver"

F2K is a countdown of the 50 worst songs of the decade. Track our progress here.

Since emo already ruined rock music for a generation, why not just take rap too?

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