Since its inception in 2011, the iHeartRadio Music Festival has become a place for the industry’s top artists to gather and perform their chart-topping hits. This year’s bill once again upheld the event’s tradition of showcasing a number of incredible acts, all under one roof. A lot gets packed into two days (Sept. 20-21) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and while it’d be impossible to cover everything, we’ve highlighted some of the most memorable moments below.
Justin Timberlake Debuts Trio of Tunes
Just ahead of the Sept. 27 release of “The 20/20 Experience (2 of 2),” Justin Timberlake gave those in attendance a sneak preview of the goods by performing three new songs, “TKO,” “True Blood,” and “Only When I Walk Away.” He also strayed off course from his normal repertoire, piecing together some parts of Juicy J’s “Bandz A Make Her Dance” as well as two Jay Z tracks, giving fans even more reason to look forward to his upcoming world tour, set to begin Oct. 31 in Montreal.
Paul McCartney Samples from “New”
Fan-favorite and legendary Beatle Paul McCartney may have turned 71 years old this year, but his performance showed why he has remained atop the music world for so long. Delighting audiences with familiar hits like “Live and Let Die” and “Lady Madonna,” McCartney also included some fresh songs from his upcoming Oct. 15 album, “New,” including the title track, “Save Us,” and “Everybody Out There.”
Katy Perry Joined by Juicy J for “Dark Horse”
Katy Perry gave her fans exactly what they wanted on opening night, belting out her array of hit singles like “California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” “Firework” and “I Kissed a Girl.” The singer also made sure to plug her forthcoming album, “Prism,” as well, with a set that included the debut single, “Roar,” and “Dark Horse,” which included an appearance by Juicy J.
Elton John Earns Standing Ovation
After McCartney, the 66-year-old Elton John was one of the oldest performers at the event, but that didn’t stop fans from rising to their feet to give the “Bennie and the Jets” singer a standing ovation just three songs into his set. In addition to crooning out crowd pleasers like “Tiny Dancer” and “I’m Still Standing,” John also performed “Home Again,” from his new album, “The Diving Board,” which is set to be released on Sept. 24.
Adam Lambert, Nate Ruess Perform Alongside Queen
Legendary rock band Queen welcomed “American Idol” alum Adam Lambert and fun. lead singer Nate Ruess on stage to collaborate on various songs throughout the set. Lambert jammed out with the band for “We Are the Champions” and “Who Wants to Live Forever,” while Ruess took control for his own rendition of “Somebody to Love.”
Potential Super Bowl Halftime Show Preview from Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars’ performance at the iHeartRadio Music Festival was likely his last until the Super Bowl 2014 halftime show, and he made sure to make the most of it. Mars kicked off his performance with “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Treasure,” but was sure to include his more intimate tracks like “If I Was Your Man” and “Gorilla.” In addition to the killer pop songs, he brought along the dance moves, giving fans an extra treat and something to look forward to come February.