It was all about the nostalgia as 103.5’s KTUphoria returned to Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater on Saturday evening to start the summer off hot.
The iHeartMedia concert brought together both throwback and emerging artists with performances by Shaggy and Sting, Charlie Puth, 98 Degrees, Dua Lipa, Enrique Iglesias, Ne-Yo, Pitbull, and the (one and only) Backstreet Boys.
Between sets, KTU DJs kept the party going with a mix of tunes from the 90s to today (in other words, they clearly knew their audience).
For Long Island native Shaggy, the event was a bit of a homecoming.
“That’s my show,” Shaggy told Newsday. “I look at it as my show for my community… I’m a Long Island guy and I’ve always loved KTU. It’s like family at this point.”
But this time, Shaggy had international superstar and former Police frontman Sting in tow. And with a lineup so jam packed, the duo was the first performance of the night!
On the surface, Sting and Shaggy’s collab doesn’t quite make sense. And then you hear their reggae-lite tunes, and you get it. With the sun still shining over the water, the two performed songs off their album 44/876, which debuted just two months ago. It was the perfect start to KTUphoria 2018.
Next up was up-and-comer Charlie Puth, who performed “Attention,” and “Done For Me” from his second album Voicenotes. Puth also showed off his musical skills, taking to the keyboard for “How Long.”
Gen-Z audience members may have been all about Puth’s songs, but millennials couldn’t get enough of the next group: 98 Degrees. On the screen? A powerpoint of sorts flashing album covers. On the stage? The four guys, looking just like we remember. Their set included all their top hits like “The Hardest Thing,” “Because of You,” and “Give Me Just One Night” as the crowd sang along.
Rising star Dua Lipa followed. The English songstress had a short but sweet set singing songs like “One Kiss” and “IDGAF” with two backup dancers in tow.
As the sun set, Enrique Iglesias took the stage getting the crowd moving with his number one hits like “Bailando” Pitbull also joined him for the first live performance of their latest collab “Move To Miami.”
Ne-Yo was up next, continuing to up the nostalgia. The R&B star covered all his bases with renditions of the tunes that made him famous like “Let Me Love You” while the #throwback videos played on the big screen. The soulful crooner brought two women on stage for a dance-off, and both ended up winning (their prize was dancing with Ne-Yo, of course). He also told the audience to light up the arena, encouraging them to wave their cell phone flashlights.
But the highlight was the Backstreet Boys, who performed three songs, including recent single “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” for the first time ever, “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back,” and “I Want It That Way.” Turns out, they’ve still got it. Dance moves included. The five showcased nearly perfect choreography throughout their short set.
Pitbull, who moonlights as a motivational speaker and educator, took the stage with words of wisdom and inspiration for the audience. With the longest set, he got the crowd on its feet and dancing to hits like “Fireball,” “Timber,” and “Hotel Room Service. To close out the show, Mr. Worldwide brought Ne-Yo to the stage to sing their 2011 hit single “Give Me Everything.”
If one thing is for sure, KTUphoria 2018 was everything! We can’t wait till next year!