Dozens and then hundreds of young fans packed a sun-drenched Canalside on Friday in anticipation of Kiss the Summer Hello, the annual curtain-raiser to the summer concert season, sponsored by radio station Kiss 98.5.
MKTO, Austin Mahone and chart-topper Jason Derulo are heading the sold-out show. This year, the station moved its pop music party to Canalside, giving attendees a chance to swoon to MKTO’s “Classic,” sing along with Mahone’s Pitbull collaboration “Mmm Yeah,” or simply bop and sway to Derulo’s brass-backed No. 1 single “Talk Dirty” – all while carousing on Prime Street’s cobblestone.
News Music Critic Jeff Miers reported at 5:34 p.m. that the line for the concert stretched all the way down Marine Drive.
Many young fans got to the venue early hoping to get a good spot for the shows or catch a glimpse of their favorite artists getting ready.
“I came down early because we got party pit tickets,” said Madison Jellerson, 16, her friend nodding beside her.
“We want to be right down front. We want the artists to sweat on us,” the Sweet Home High School student continued.
Others left school early, including a group of fourth- and sixth-graders from St. Christopher’s School in the Town of Tonawanda. The girls screamed and danced when they thought they spotted their favorite singer, Austin Mahone, walking out of his trailer.
Jessica Sierra, 36, spent two weeks calling into the radio station to try to win free tickets for her daughter’s 14th birthday. She got as close as caller 91 (caller 98 is always the winner at Kiss 98.5). She eventually bought general admission tickets for the two of them.
Many fans also were excited to see the opening acts.
Briana Moore, 18, and friend Courtney Sipcich, also 18, came to wait in line nearly three hours early so that they could be front row for the first band, Boston’s Timeflies.
After seeing Kalin and Myles last summer, Emma Florian, 22,and Allie Moran, 20, said they spent all year calling the radio station to feature the “sweet-rapping” duo.
“They rap, but they don’t swear or anything like that. They are like sweet boys,” Moran said.
Other acts taking part in Kiss the Summer Hello include AJR, SoMo and DJ Cassidy.