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Review: Ariana Grande puts on ethereal show at Madison Square Garden (Includes first-hand account)

Grande kicked off her Madison Square Garden show with “Be Alright,” which featured a monochromatic background on the televised screen, as well as top-notch choreography from Grande and her dancers.

“What’s up New York?” Grande asked, prior to breaking into “Every Day” as red lights dimmed from the stage, coupled with pyrotechnics. “C’mon, New York,” she said, midway through the song.

She went on to perform “Bad Decisions” on an elevated platform, while “Let Me Love You” was a haunting vocal performance, surrounded by blue laser lights, where she displayed her incredible four octave range on key!

After an outfit change, where Grande and her dancers were all dressed in white, she continued with “Knew Better, Part II.” “Let me hear you, New York,” she screamed. “Forever Boy” was a hypnotic tune, where she had the crowd every step of the way with her.

She incorporated her infectious hit “One Last Time” as a sing-along, which she performed with minimal melisma. “Touch It” was an expressive vocal performance, where she showcased her impressive whistle register. After a sip of water, she immediately broke into “Leave Me Lonely,” which featured her trademark pipes.

Grande underwent another outfit change, as her set was transported into a gymnasium (with Grande and her dancers on stationary bikes), as she performed her smash hit “Side to Side,” sans rapper Nicki Minaj. Equally fun was her solo performance of the spitfire “Bang Bang,” her collaboration with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj.

During “Greedy,” counterfeit money (featuring Ariana’s face) drizzled as confetti from the venue, which many of her young fans kept as souvenirs of the tour. “Make some noise for the band,” she said, and the audience complied with her request. She closed the third act of her show with “I Don’t Care.”

“Moonlight” featured a celestial background, as well as Grande’s honey-rich voice, and it was followed by her beloved single “Love Me Harder,” where she encouraged everybody to sing along with her. “Break Free” had a futuristic vibe to it

“New York. How y’all feeling?” she asked. “Are you having a good time so far?” she asked, and it is safe to say, that the venue’s answer was a resounding yes.

“Sometimes” was the song that she claimed as her personal favorite off her latest studio album Dangerous Woman, while “Thinking Bout You” was an upbeat love song. “Thank you so much for having me. I love you guys. I love New York so much,” she said, effusively.

She invited Tony winner Jason Robert Brown on stage with her as her special musical guest, who played piano on “Jason’s Song (Gave It Away).” The pop muse closed her set with “Problem,” which featured a noteworthy dance routine, as well as her refreshing single “Into You.”

“New York,I love you so much,” she reiterated. After the fans kept on chanting “Ari, Ari, Ari,” the songstress returned to the stage for her encore, which included another outfit change in the form a black latex dress, where she delivered an electrifying solo rendition of “Dangerous Woman,” which was accompanied by pyrotechnics. She went on to express her gratitude towards her fans, as she blew everybody kisses.

The Verdict

Overall, Ariana Grande gets better with age and experience. The production was superb, and her dancers and musicians were all at the top of their game. Grande’s vocal range was impeccable, as she belted out song after song. Her live show at Madison Square Garden garnered five out of five stars. Congratulations.

To learn more about pop mega-star Ariana Grande and her tour dates, check out her official website.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 18,000 original articles over the past 16 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a six-time consecutive "Best of Long Island" winner, and in the past three years, he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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