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Staff Picks: Our THONcert Wish List

After a surprise performance for DNCE at THON 2017, we’ve waited a year to find out: Will there be another big-name act at this year’s dance marathon?

With the anticipation coming to boiling point, here’s who we’d love to see take the stage this weekend for the kids and for our viewing pleasure. Behold, our THONcert wish list.

Callaway Turner — Noah Cyrus

I would love to see Noah Cyrus perform at THON. She’s had a couple big hits this year that I constantly bop to, but isn’t quite the star her big sister Miley is. I could see her being a THON highlight for sure.

Carly Weiss — Bruno Mars

Performances from My Hero Zero and Go Go Gadjet are always something to look forward to at THON, but if a big name like DNCE surprised the BJC again this year, I would love to see someone like Bruno Mars perform. An artist with music for all ages is perfect for the THON crowd.

Derek Bannister — Survivor

I think Philadelphia is worthy of some representation at THON given the Birds’ big win. What better band to play than one of the most famous bands from the Rocky soundtrack? Also, Survivor would obviously get everyone pumped.

Eileen Wang — Demi Lovato

First, it was Nick Jonas at the Rose Bowl and then it was Joe Jonas at THON 2017. Obviously, the next person to come is…Demi Lovato. Sorry, Kevin, but let’s be realistic here. The Jonas Brothers’ manager is from State College and he also just so happens to be Demi’s manager as well. People didn’t believe me when I said that Kylie was pregnant so you heard it here first: Demi is probably coming this year (hopefully for a Camp Rock reunion).

Elissa Hill — MKTO

Keep in mind any artist performing at THON is going to be 1) upbeat and 2) #FTK friendly. That said, I think MKTO is a good option for any potential THON-cert this weekend. The duo isn’t huge, but it’s just big enough that almost everyone would know some songs. SPA brought MKTO to campus in 2015, and we told Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller all about THON. “It sounds dope!” Oller said at the time. “I’m all about raising money for causes like that.” Makes. You. Think.

Emma Dieter — Kevin Jonas

I just want to see Kevin Jonas at THON. Even though Kevin doesn’t put out any music, I’ve always felt bad for him and I think he deserves a little spotlight. When the Jonas Brothers were in their prime, he was always referred to as the “ugly” brother and no one deserves that. Plus, Nick and Joe have these great solo careers and Kevin has just been left in the dust. I would love to see Kevin just get up there and perform some old hits or, I don’t know, do some stand up comedy for an hour or so this year.

Gabriela Stevenson — OneRepublic

Let’s be honest, you know the lyrics to at least two OneRepublic songs. Most everyone does. They are generally likable and a crowd pleaser for people of all ages. They play the type of music you can sing with your friends, your mom, or your little brother, which screams “THON.” Even if OneRepublic doesn’t show, lead singer Ryan Tedder probably wrote a song for whoever does.

Jack Bowman — Gaten Matarazzo

Everyone has seen Netflix’s Stranger Things by now or is at least familiar with what the deal is. Fans have seen the children on the show perform on Jimmy Fallon and, with a little light YouTube stalking, it isn’t hard to find Gaten Matarazzo’s golden voice in numerous performances. So why not bring him to THON? Who better to support FTK then an insanely talented kid?

Jack Hargraves-Dix — Jon Bon Jovi

“Livin’ On a Prayer” always energized the crowd at Beaver Stadium and that’s just the recorded version. If he came out on stage and did it live, well, it may just bring the house down.

Jim Davidson — The Killers

I want to come out of my cage and I’ll be doing just fine if they show up.

Mikey Mandarino — Bruce Springsteen

THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, so why not go big with a surprise guest musical performance? “The Boss” and his world-famous band have come to the Bryce Jordan Center on numerous occasions, most recently in April 2016. New Jersey’s greatest export is clearly a fan of Penn State, so he’d certainly be willing to help out a cause as noble as THON. He could even have the BJC’s lights shut down so this year’s 707 dancers would literally be “Dancing In The Dark” as he performs. Is all of this extremely unlikely? Yes, but did anyone expect Joe Jonas to show up at THON last year?

Mitch Stewart — Jay-Z

This is a longshot, but maybe Saquon could pull off one more big Saturday in Happy Valley.

Sarah D’Souza — The Jonas Brothers

It would be simply iconic for the Jonas Brothers to have their much-anticipated reunion on the THON stage. We all know they love Penn State and just can’t stay away.

Steve Connelly — Blink-182

Let’s make up for last year. At the very least, let’s get this rumor going again, because Blink is still bomb and why the hell not?


Not a fan of any of these artists? Tell us who think should headline a THON 2018 concert in the comments below.

About the Author

Gabriela Stevenson

Gabriela is a junior majoring in print and digital journalism and Onward State's student life editor. She is from Norristown, PA, which she normally refers to as "30 minutes outside of Philadelphia" (she looked up the exact driving time). She enjoys Broadway musicals, neck pillows, and eating cereal at night. To contact Gabriela, e-mail her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @GabiStevenson if you want to feel young again.

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