Ariana Grande at Rogers Arena, 4/27/19
Ariana Grande fans came out in droves Saturday night to see the pony-tailed, sweetener herself take the stage at Rogers Arena. And boy, you ain’t ever seen so many thigh-high boots in your life.
Due to security measures now law at Grande shows, concertgoers sported various clear backpacks, purses and totes ranging from vinyl to plastic. The regulations only added to the very feminine Grande aesthetic at the venue.
Grande is without a doubt one of the key queens of pop on the scene right now. Fans at the Sweetener tour were privy to Grande’s effortless vocals, every bit as stunning live as on records. It’s pretty impossible to avoid Grande right now—whether yet another new hit has dropped, you’re reading about a whirl-wind romance, or you’re following her prolific on-line presence on Twitter or Instagram. Grande is EVERYWHERE.
This makes it all the more surreal to see her live. On Saturday the Rogers stage featured two large, moon-like circles which descended from the ceiling and from the stage’s backdrop. The lighting was very low and often red and golden in tone, and while that might come off as moody and sultry, it also made it sometimes difficult for fans in the stands to really make Grande out, even on the large screens. She often blended in with her dancers, but the simplicity of the set helped draw more attention to her.
Grande’s set began with Sweetener album’s a cappella “Raindrops (An Angel Cried).” Fans went crazy. Next came “God Is A Woman,” and the night was off with a bang. throughout the concert, Grande donned various platform high-heeled boots, mini dresses and over-sized sweaters, proving that part of the whole thing that makes Grande great is the unmistakable aesthetic she’s created. Next to the iconic voice, it’s her greatest strength.
“Breathin’” was without a doubt her strongest vocal performance of the evening—just gorgeous. The simplicity of the chorus’ lyrics paired with the nothing-simple-about-it voice Grande sports was pretty breathtaking. “Side to Side” was probably the real banger of the night, and “Dangerous Woman” and “No Tears Left to Cry” had the crowd glued to Grande the entire time. Grande rarely spoke to the crowd, which generated a bit of a disconnection at times, but most fans didn’t seem to mind.
It goes without saying that “Thank U, Next” was the most anticipated song of the evening, and Grande delivered with wonderfully girly choreography and a big smile. Vancouver no doubt anxiously awaits her return.