The first official day of summer may still be a couple weeks away, but when iHeartRadio KIIS FM Wango Tango comes to town, summer comes early. The 2022 edition at Dignity Health Sports Park hosted a variety of pop music Saturday night, from singer-songwriters to Latin, dance to hip-hop. The heavy-hitters included a set by Diplo at dusk, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Charlie Puth, Becky G, 5 Seconds of Summer, The Chainsmokers, LAUV, Tate McRae and some impressive newcomers/rising stars including Lauren Spencer-Smith, Latto, GAYLE, Em Beihold, marking the first show of the year (or in a while) for several. The Wango Tango Village also offered day-time performances from Bibi, Iann Dior and Jena Rose.
The Chainsmokers played the final set of the night, showcasing four new tracks from their fourth album So Far So Good, released last month including pop/rock feel-good tune “High”, dance-pop focus track “I Love U”, the electro-leaning “Riptide” and the falsetto-centered banger “iPad”. The New York duo kept the energy up for their closing set with their first major banger, 2015’s “Roses” featuring Rozes as well as the Coldplay-assisted smash “Something Just Like This”, not to mention their 2016 #1 “Closer” featuring Halsey.
Shawn Mendes performed a hits-filled set wearing a simple orange t-shirt (alongside his bandmates) mentioning midway that orange was to provide awareness around gun violence. The Toronto pop singer kicked off with 2020 tune “Wonder” with a dramatic opening with big drums and bass. The crowd clapped wildly for 2022 single “When You’re Gone” and the vibes were felt on “Call My Friends”. The pulsing drive of “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” intensified the energy, sounding like a rock show, as the guitar held the vamp and Mendes held out a massive high note at the very end. The fragile piano ballad “It’ll Be Okay” was heartfelt with lights twinkling on the stage and a chorus of fans singing “be oh-be OKs”. Pop track “If I Can’t Have You” was a danceable moment with the crowd singing along and during “In My Blood”, Mendes took the piano at the start of the song, later grabbing the guitar and rocking out, while the lights flashed and the fans joined in with the anthemic “oh-ohs”.
Camila Cabello played a number of songs off her new Familia album such as “psychofreak” and “No Doubt” and started off with a slowed-down, yet frantic version of her #1 hit “Senorita” with red lights flashing. Camila came to entertain in a black and silver bustier kind of outfit, launching quickly into her first #1, “Havana” with stellar choreography, bright colors and she shook her butt off to her fans. “It’s so great to play live concerts again with people,” said Cabello. The pop star sat down, joining her guitarist playing acoustic for “Never Be The Same”, hitting some pretty high notes that sounded like a trumpet at times. Cabello brought the swagger, working it with her dancers to reggaeton-leaning pop song “My Oh My”. Latin-pop tune “Bam Bam” way joyful and brought smoke blasting from the stage floor and finally Camila Cabello wrapped with the salsa anthem, “Don’t Go Yet” smashing her vocals and dance moves, all while serving the perfect amount of attitude. She whipped her hair during the instrumental and spit some impressive scat singing.
Philadelphia super-producer Diplo took the dusk slot, elevating the party with glow sticks illuminating the arena while the DJ played some of his own tracks mixed in with tunes from many eras. The dance party included Diplo’s own “On My Mind” (recorded with SIDEPIECE) mixed effortlessly with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll”. His “Turn Back Time” (recorded with Sonny Fodera) also made the setlist, in addition to newest track “Tupelo Shuffle” which features Swae Lee, Gary Clark Jr. and Austin Butler with a rockabilly sound, sampling Elvis Presley’s “That’s All Right Mama” (off the upcoming Elvis soundtrack). Elsewhere, Diplo rocked a remix of ABBA’s “Gimme Gimme Gimme”, Robin S.’s dance classic “Show Me Love”, an aggressive rework of 2006 Cherish bop “Do It To It”, a moment of “Fade” by Kanye West and finally Diplo’s own new electro house banger “Don’t Forget My Love” (recorded with Miguel).
Singer-songwriter Charlie Puth impressed in funky summer pants, playing his catchy new track “Light Switch” while grooving at the keyboard. The hits continued with “How Long”, smashing his big notes while the crowd sang along and he talked briefly with fans about his desire to create a song like Ed Sheeran’s 2015 tune “Bloodstream”. Charlie’s answer was “We Don’t Talk Anymore”, which he beatboxed a moment of and continued with the addicting, danceable “Attention” while fans danced along and sang in unison. Puth played “One Call Away” as well and talked to his fans following. “I wrote this song seven years ago. I dedicate this to anyone who has experienced any form of loss”, and he took his choir of voices with him for the amazing “See You Again”, performed beautifully, hitting especially hard with all of the tragedy across the country. A massive roar took over the venue for Charlie Puth as he left the stage with his hand held over his heart.
Inglewood’s own Becky G launched into the powerful “Fulanito” with an epic, lively opening with male and female dancers, and Becky donning a flattering Laker purple outfit with silver accents. The dancing and energy remained high for “Buen Dia” and she brought the swag for the Bad Bunny-assisted “Mayores” with her six dancers, jamming alongside one of them for a moment. Becky G’s set also included “No Mienten”, new song “Baile Con Mi Ex” and she concluded with the Karol G-assisted “MAMIII”, bringing more choreo heat and fire blasting from the stage floor. Becky G also took a moment to reminisce, sharing with fans that she performed at the Wango Tango Village in 2013.
Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer played their newest tune and brought all the feels on “Me Myself & I” off their upcoming fifth album titled 5SOS5, arriving September 23. 5SOS brought their 2014 #1 hit “She Looks So Perfect” and smashed “Youngblood” on vocals, with the entire arena echoing the chorus as colors flashed the screens behind the band.
Canada’s show stopping Tate McRae delighted fans with her heartfelt vocals and non-stop dance moves, performing “stupid”, “friends don’t look at friends that way” and “she’s all I wanna be” with killer precision. She slithered around the stage with her incredible athleticism on her massive hit “you broke me first”.
Pop singer LAUV stacked various hits with new tracks including “I’m So Tired…”, the BTS-featured “Who” and bright new track “All 4 Nothing (I’m So In Love)” off his upcoming August album of the same name (All 4 Nothing). He sat on the stage at the start of “fuck, i’m lonely”, bleeping himself as he later jumped across the stage. “This is actually my first show of the year, thank you iHeart and KIIS and thank you so much for being here”, LAUV said to his fans. LAUV delivered his falsetto notes beautifully on 2017 smash “I Like Me Better”, bringing chills to the timeless mid-tempo ballad bop.
Atlanta rapper Latto sported a tight orange and white look and fired off her Mariah Carey/”Fantasy”-sampled single “Big Energy”, rapping with conviction and turning her back to the crowd at one point to shake her derrière. Nashville-based singer-songwriter GAYLE performed recent single “Sleeping With My Friends” showcasing her powerful and appealing pop/rock voice as well as her anthemic “abcdefu”, while fans joined in.
Vancouver singer-songwriter Lauren Spencer-Smith showed off her pipes wearing highlighter hot pink and hoop earrings, singing her heart out on “Flowers” with lovely falsetto and powerful notes. She told fans it was one of her first shows ever and performed a cover of Lewis Capaldi’s piano ballad “Someone You Loved”. Later, Spencer-Smith reminded fans how her life changed when she posted “Fingers Crossed” to TikTok, shouting out iHeart Radio for playing it on the airwawes before belting out the inspiring song. LA singer-songwriter Em Beihold performed her jazzy-pop tune “Numb Little Bug” and reminded us of Sara Bareilles at the top of her career.
Wango Tango also brought out numerous celebrity announcers including the one-and-only Ryan Seacrest, Dancing With The Stars pro Cheryl Burke, Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Jonathan Bennett, numerous iHeart personalities, several reality stars and many more.
Main image by Ashley Osborn