While many adults may not be familiar with these young pop stars, Summer Smash was a big hit with teen girls judging by the deafening screams echoing throughout the F.M. Kirby Center on Tuesday, June 19.
Following meet and greets with each of the performing artists, Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Top 40 radio station 98.5 KRZ presented their annual kickoff to summer concert in the Wilkes-Barre theater, with “Big Time Rush” star Logan Henderson starting things off with songs like his debut single, “Sleepwalker.”
Fresh from her “Girls” collaboration with Cardi B, Bebe Rexha, and Charli XCX, British singer Rita Ora, a late addition to the lineup, was up next with her backup dancers, followed by pop rap duo Jack & Jack singing about the “Wild Life.”
22-year-old Brit Dua Lipa impressed with tunes from her self-titled debut album and a dance team of her own. Modern boy band Why Don’t We closed the night with feelgood hits like their recent single “Trust Fund Baby” as young ladies swooned over their harmonies.
It was a bit of a homecoming for one member of the group, Jack Avery. Just a few years ago, the Susquehanna native sang in front of 8,000 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fans before a hockey game at the nearby Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Now the 18-year-old is performing in front of millions as he travels the world with the quintet, who signed to Atlantic Records last year after being together for less than a year. Avery thinks their quickly growing popularity may have something to do with their chemistry and how well they all get along despite every member coming from different states around the country.
“The fans really like seeing our own personalities, and then when it’s mixed together, we’re always funny, we’re always joking around, and the fans really love that,” Avery told Billboard last year.
“It’s a good mix of things, the good vibes we always try to put out with our music.”
His name is Jason Riedmiller. He takes photographs. That is all.