Staff Picks: Who Should Perform At THON 2023?

THON 2023 is just a few hours away!

As students, dancers, and their supporters prepare for the best weekend of the year, we can’t help but ask — who should perform at THON 2023? Last year, singer-songwriter Chelsea Cutler and singer Bea Miller rocked the stage at the return of in-person THON.

This weekend, at least two celebrity performers will take the stage once again. Some of our staffers made their picks for who they want to see perform at THON this year.

Sam Fremin: Rihanna

Look. She just killed it at the Super Bowl halftime show. The natural next step is to perform at THON.

At THON, Ri Ri would have more than her 13 minutes last weekend, so she could play some of the hits she had to skip at the big game. Rihanna’s incredible vocals, elite showmanship, and rolodex of universally-known bangers make her an obvious candidate for a show-stopping THON show.

Ava Brendgord: Taylor Swift

I know it’s a long shot, but I think Taylor Swift should perform at THON this year. People forget that T-Swift hails from Pennsylvania, so there’s a good chance she’s heard of THON or perhaps even donated. She’s been on a roll this year, with the release of her new album Midnights and the re-release of her previous albums, so she definitely has the discography to rock out THON Weekend.

Since Swift is going on tour this spring, I think the BJC is the perfect first stop on the Eras Tour.

Colleen Nersten: Two Friends

Two Friends will take the stage the Friday of THON Weekend. First and foremost, the duo is DJing in Atlantic City on Saturday, February 18, which is exactly four hours away from State College. Logistically, it makes a lot of sense. Second, Two Friends hosted a concert at Stage West last April, so it likely has a Happy Valley connection already. Two Friends are the dudes that make the Big Bootie mixes every year, and they could certainly make it ~family friendly~ if they wanted to.

Nolan Wick: Coldplay

I’ll admit that I’m biased because I love Coldplay, but I think the music would actually fit the vibe really well. The British rock band’s discography includes endless hit songs and upbeat tunes that would make for an incredible performance at the Bryce Jordan Center. Just imagine Chris Martin singing “Clocks” and “Viva La Vida” with tons of others singing along at THON.

Keeley Lamm: Jonas Brothers

Oh, the things I would do for another Jonas Brothers appearance in State College. So what’s stopping you, Jonas Brothers? Although Kevin, Joe, and Nick are kicking off their Vegas residency this weekend, I know they have the means and Penn State love to take a slight detour to perform at THON. I mean, is there a better place than the Bryce Jordan Center at THON to promote their new single coming out next weekend and a new album in May? Probably not. JB FTK.

Marie Moyer: Slipknot

I think rock and hardcore music doesn’t get the notoriety it deserves. Nobody understands the power of an all-consuming mosh pit until they’ve been in one. I suggest acts like Slipknot or at least more pop-rock bands like Memphis May Fire and The Offspring. The loud music coupled with the pit would definitely wake people up and also let any stressed-out dancers blow off steam.

Haylee Yocum: The Aces

Look, I know The Aces just performed at last year’s Movin’ On festival, but I think that’s even more reason for them to return to Happy Valley. We know them, and we love them. The girl group brings a ton of energy to the stage and has plenty of upbeat hits to keep dancers on their feet. The group even has a brand new song out that I’m sure it would be thrilled to perform!

McKenna Murphy: ABBA

I know that all of the singers are well into their 70s now, but ABBA songs are seriously unmatched. Ever since I watched Mamma Mia when I was younger, I fell in love with the upbeat music of ABBA. I can imagine the whole BJC jamming to “Waterloo” and “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!”.

The songs are FTK-friendly for the most part and are super lighthearted. The iconic song “Dancing Queen” is perfect for THON and is a song that would surely get the whole BJC moving. No matter your age, everyone at THON would be dancing and singing along if ABBA performed.

Gabe Angieri: Luke Combs

Last year, I said I wanted to see Luke Combs at THON. That’s no different this year.

Snagging the best country artist in the world for a Saturday night performance would just be electric. Will it happen? No, but how sick would that be? The guy is just incredible.

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