Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
- Backstreet Boys!
- Rocking out to "I Want It That Way"
- Backstreet's Kevin Richardson post performance
- You can see those dimples from a mile away
- Mario Lopez!
- To ensure the night was seamless, a teleprompter featured the words to every song
- From the stage
- Michael Bolton!
- Bolton post performance
- The Caruso Top Hats
- A Make-A-Wish foundation patient was invited on stage to light the tree
- The 100-foot Christmas tree in all its glory
Two words sum up last night's Grove tree lighting celebration: sensory overload. Rick Caruso and co. went all out to ensure the CITI-sponsored event's 10th anniversary was one to remember, enlisting everyone from top hosts (Mario Lopez) to Grammy-winning boy bands (Backstreet Boys) to love ballad legends (Michael Bolton).
Although the party was set to start at 7:30pm sharp, fans started piling into the bustling shopping center as early as 4:30 to secure their spot. The place was filled to the brim by show time, when Lopez and his signature dimples emerged to introduce the opening act: two-time Grammy winner Colbie Callait. Her performance was followed by individual crooning from American Idol winners Scott McCreery and Phillip Phillips (real name), as well as an upbeat act by hip hop vets Far East Movement.
After much anticipation, the one and only Bolton took the stage for a duet with Melanie Fiona, which featured tons of Bolton's signature facial expressions. Next, the Backstreet Boys were met with eardrum-numbing squealing from female fans as they performed their hit single "I Want It That Way," complete with a nostalgic dance sequence. A great moment was when AJ McLean danced over to Lopez and said, "When I grow up I want to be just like you!"
The night culminated with a dance break by Caruso's Top Hats before introducing Santa, who arrived in style on a sled. Lopez and Santa then welcomed a Make-A-Wish Foundation patient onto the stage for the main event. The lighting of Grove's massive 100-foot tree was accompanied by real snowfall and a sensational fireworks finale.
· It's Starting To Look A Lot Like Christmas at The Grove [Racked]
· Michael Bolton Joins Santa To Celebrate The Grove Tree Lighting [Racked]