What do you get when you take 6 of radio’s hottest rising stars and put them into one show? Well you get the annual Trendfest in Hershey, PA which featured Shawn Hook, Daya, Nathan Sykes, Melanie Martinez, Troye Sivan, and Charlie Puth. Hosted by local radio the show was a sprint in nature with set changes that occured in rapid session and sets that were no longer than 5-6 songs for most of the artists. However these small performances heighten the urgency of each performer to connect with the audience of 2500-3000 that had packed into the cut down set up of the Hershey Giant Center.
Daya was the first artist of the night to truly seize the opportunity to connect with the audience. Her singles have been charting heavily on radio for the past few months since the release of “Hide Away” in 2015. Dressed casually but ready to slay a tight performance Daya walked on stage to the screaming crowd and thanked them with a smile before she started her set. She ran through a set that got the crowd warmed up and even took a moment to slow it down behind the piano but closing the set with her newest single with the Chainsmokers, “Don’t Let Me Down.”
Next to the stage was Nathan Sykes, however this wasn’t his first time in Hershey as he has toured with The Wanted for many years before making the move to go solo. Signs with name written on them were hoisted above fans heads as he and a guitarist came out to perform for the Trendfest crowd. Sykes was the wild card that evening, he kept it low key and acoustic which lead to a stand out performance. In a show that was built around highlighting pop music sensibility, Sykes took a left turn and delivered a performance that focused strongly on his vocal talent. Sipping tea between each song Sykes was very grateful to be back on the stage performing and his time in The Wanted clearly gave him the most amount of confidence of any performer at Trendfest on stage.
He focused solely on his new material and had the crowd singing along to every track including his biggest “Over and Over Again.” Sykes may have been only the 3rd performer to hit the stage but he stole the show with his performance and everyone after him had to fight to get it back.
Following his set Melanie Martinez delivered her signature artist style to the crowd while hidden behind a color wash of blue and purple. Her set was shorter than the rest due to the time it took to set up her stage props. Troye Sivan hit the stage next and delivered a very emotional and raw alternative pop performance that was fueled by the recent tragedy in Orlando, Sivan took the moment to thank the crowd for supporting him and the entire LGBT community and welcomed all the pride flags in the audience. Sivan like Sykes commanded the crowd and put on a true performance that was worthy of more time. Sivan’s “Wild” is one of the hottest songs of 2016 and it really rose the charts out of nowhere. At just 21 Sivan has a long career ahead of him.
The night ended with Charlie Puth but for many it ended shortly after Sivan’s set. Crowds of people had begun to exit the venue before Puth took the stage and it only continued stronger once he was a few songs in. Trendfest 2016 was a success though as 2500 people showed up on a Wednesday to celebrate the next generation of pop Will everyone of these artists continue to rise? Tough to say but Nathan Sykes and Troye Sivan will be back to the Hershey Giant Center as headliners soon enough. That is one prediction we aren’t afraid to make.