Zedd turned the capacity crowd at Highline Ballroom into an arm-waving, bouncing mob that let out the occasional howl of approval during his thunderous DJ set.
British sweetheart Jessie Ware, tipped to be the next Adele, charmed the crowd with a stripped-down acoustic set. And Robert DeLong seemed to surprise everyone with his mad-scientist-doing-synth-pop approach that included live sampling of the crowd's screams and triggering samples on a drum pad like it was 1982.
In the old days, this MTV showcase of "Artists to Watch in 2013" would have been filmed for a special that aired a few times on the cable channel and then retired. These days, MTV pulls together showcases like this to be available any time on its website, setting up the taping to reach a much larger Internet audience.
The recent showcase, which included Ohio rockers Twenty-One Pilots, is part of the channel's yearlong campaign to help fans discover new music, with each "Artist to Watch" landing the MTV spotlight for two weeks.
"It's an honor," Zedd (aka Anton Zaslavski) says backstage before his performance. "I just hope to be the right artist to introduce people to this kind of music."