Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande.jpeg

By Lisa Diedricks

Artist: Ariana Grande

Date / Venue: Saturday September 2nd, 2017 - Spark Arena, Auckland

She's here ladies and gentleman! Miss Ariana Grande stole the hearts of many New Zealanders last night with her debut Auckland concert. The city was alive with the screams and cries of many, as they sung along with Ariana and danced the night away. 

Ariana arrived on our shores early Friday afternoon and snaps of her enjoying Auckland City quickly swept over social media. The show began with lights, bass drums and a stunning Ariana, making her way to the Spark Arena stage in style. Cheers could probably be heard from all over town, as this has been one of the most anticipated shows to hit New Zealand this year. 

With the devastating attack that was endured at her Manchester concert, Ariana and her crew have been taking extreme precautions when having concert goers attend her shows, with no bags of any size and no cameras. Cell phones were the only items guests were allowed to bring in, and it had been made known to ticket buyers for the last week and half via social media.   

With that being said, the concert was next to nothing one of the most enduring and soulful shows I had the pleasure of seeing. Ariana has always been in my top lists since her days on Victorious where many people were shocked to witness she could actually sing. Who would of thought that one of the supporting actors from an old school Nickelodeon afternoon show would be one of the world's most influential people of all time? 

Ariana's performance was not shy of tears and emotional hearts, but the girl really knows how to deliver her voice to the audience, and her interaction was no less that amazing! She sung, locked eyes and drew in from everyone's energy throughout the night. With chart toppers like 'Everyday' and 'Be Alright', she had the arena dancing and throwing their hands up. And with studio ballads like 'Thinking Bout You' and 'Moonlight' the crowd was deemed to fall silent to listen to her incredible vocal range. Soulful tracks such as 'Greedy' and 'Leave Me Lonely' (which may I add was my personal favorite) were by far some of her best vocal work on this tour. 

Her presence on stage, which extended out to audience, inspired so many people - from old to young, boy to girl, she has managed to accumulate such a large and dedicated fan following. With song genres from rock to slow jams, as soon as you hear her voice on a track it immediately has you listening to her vocal riffs. 

Smoke, flames, lighting, the stage was not shy of any visual enhancements, and the dancers were not bad to look at either. The subtly of charisma and sex appeal through out the show was probably my favourite part. It wasn't too raunchy but it wasn't cookie cutter cute either, and that's what I love about Ariana, she knows how to appeal to her following. On stage and off. 

Ariana has been quoted in many interviews that Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston are the two musical influences that has shaped who she is as an artist. Which, contrary to much disbelief, she has not intentionally fused her voice to Mariah's. A lot of critics have said that Ariana is trying to be the next Mariah, and to be honest, there can only be one Mariah - just like there can only be one Michael Jackson. But does Ariana have vocal range and stage presence like Mariah, just like Chris Brown and Bruno Mars have similar dance energy like Michael? The answer is yes, and after seeing her live you will agree, there's no copycat crime happening here... merely an ever-rising star that many of us see someone we used to know. When you listen to Ariana you can hear a massive difference of the types of songs she is trying to push compared to Mariah. While watching her on stage, I couldn't help but feel a sense of proud mama like emotion, more of the fact that I've seen this artist grow, and only realising then I've been a fan since day one.  

If vocal ranges weren't enough to reign you in, the visual effects certainly would. Ariana has always been known for implementing her stories on stage and making them come to life. And this time round, she did not disappoint, Auckland was made sure that Miss Grande was here for the night. From visual presentations through-out the night, dancers, props, levels of stages, you name it, I'm sure I even saw some flames pop off on stage during the show!  

Her outfits! The hair! The shoes! OMG let me tell you, they caught everyone's eye! And if you say you hated them, you're lying to yourself. Risk, flare and unapologetic fashion choices were made within last night's performance. I mean don't get me wrong, I'm all for artists pouring out their gratitude to the crowd, but I'm not going to lie, the boom, boom pow's got my heart racing too!  

There was a little girl sitting in front of me absolutely captivated that everything Ari was doing on stage and knew literally every single word to her songs. Every time Ariana would even walk the slightest bit near us on the stage she would throw her hands up and hope she was seen. Its not rare that an artist has this effect on kids these days, but it's always a happy part of any concert I attend to see genuine awe and admiration in a young persons eyes. Plus she had some wicked dance moves! Emily if you're reading this, you made my night with your enthusiasm all night! 

Whenever a huge artist like this comes to our town, there are always massive levels of expectations for the artist to try and put on the best show NZ has seen. She really brought her 'A' game and anyone walking out of that concert last night would happily say the same.  

There's a lot I could say about Ariana. The girl has a lot of social hype, good and bad on her, but whenever you mention her name, what is the first thing everyone comments on? The voice. That’s not a lie, its fact, so I'll leave you with this... 

"No matter how much she is underestimated ... she is going to open her mouth and that unbelievable sound is going to come out. That extraordinary, versatile, limitless instrument that allows her to shut down every objection and every obstacle. That voice – powered by nothing but her remarkable empathy, her ravenous intelligence, her cool discipline and her voracious ambition"  

And that ladies and gentleman is what you get when you are able to indulge yourself in an Ariana Grande concert.