Show Review: Pandora Holiday

Pandora Holiday Live
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 06: The stage at the Pandora Holiday Live event at Pier 36 on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Pandora Media)

This week we had the incredible opportunity to attend Pandora Music’s annual holiday event, hosted at Pier 36 on the Lower East Side, New York City. Last year we got to see Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco, so expectations were sky high. But when they announced Bastille and The 1975 for this year’s lineup, we knew we were in good hands.

The show opened with Bishop Briggs, a relative newcomer recently off tour with Coldplay. I wasn’t sure what to expect from her, but this chick brought just enough energy and then some to really get the crowd pumped and ready for the night. And even through all her bouncing around and crazy awesome graphics flashing on the backdrop, she brought a whole other layer of talent to her set.

Pandora Holiday Live
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 06: Bishop Briggs performs on stage at the Pandora Holiday Live event at Pier 36 on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Pandora Media)

Her song “Pray (Empty Gun)” was a definite highlight, really showcasing Brigg’s vocal talent. I loved the lyrics about her heart being an empty gun, and just the fact that I could make out any lyrics is at least some nod to any singer. Live shows can be tough, but Briggs brought it, absolutely.

After a bit of setup, in which mysterious, holographic looking mannequins appeared on stage, Bastille came out and the crowd was ready. The excitement for them–I would swear they were the headliners. And man if they didn’t blow me away. I was a fan of their first album, but this performance definitely tipped the scale for me. It may have been one specific moment, where I suddenly lost sight of singer Dan Smith on stage, only to find him walking/singing toward me through the crowd, but I won’t be that biased. (Okay, yes I will.). He was so in the moment, and clearly having fun, offering us a little laugh as he made it to the barrier and then turned to go back onstage, singing the whole time.

Pandora Holiday Live
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 06: Dan Smith of Bastille performs on stage at the Pandora Holiday Live event at Pier 36 on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Pandora Media)

“The Currents” was another favorite moment. Everything just kept coming alive, and this song, obviously as well as “Pompeii,” culminated all that the crowd and Bastille were feeling throughout the night.

After that, I had a moment where I truly wondered how The 1975 was going to follow such a performance. But we were all still pretty pumped for our headliner, and then there they came, front runner Matthew Healy rocking an ugly Christmas sweater (because, of course he was).

There were points in this last set that were definitely more mellow than the rest of the show, but then again so is The 1975’s second album, I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it. Healy also took the time to get comfortable on stage, lighting up and drinking and clearly making himself at home, and why shouldn’t he? He and his voice (not to mention dance moves) had all of our attention.

One of my favorite moments was John Waugh’s saxophone solo. I commented that we were all getting “warm and cozy” with The 1975, and indeed the jazzy feel was palpable.


Naturally “Girls,” “Chocolate,” and “The Sound” were show stoppers. I think Healy might have been most into “Chocolate,” on his guitar and fully engaging the crowd. That’s also one of my favorites so I’m glad I got to catch it in all its glory.

I’m not quite sure what it is, but Pandora clearly knows how to put on a good show. Even if you only got to listen online or watch Live on Facebook, I hope you enjoyed it half as much as me. And it’s safe to say I’d jump at the chance to see any one of these artists again.

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