After Ariana had to cancel her show in Zurich back in 2017 due to the terror attack at her concert in Manchester, Sweetener World Tour became the first time she came to Switzerland. I and my twin sister were so sad two years ago when the concert was canceled since it’s a teenage dream of us to see Ariana live. We’re fans since Victorious 2010 and we literally had to wait almost a decade to see her on stage. Her solo music career was just a rise but we all know her personal life was rather a rollercoaster. If you follow me for a long time now, then you probably know that I didn’t really enjoy her album Sweetener, besides the singles. I like her newest record thank u, next more but I didn’t review it last spring. However, I saved everything for the concert review, so let’s start.
Ariana Grande came to Hallenstadion, Zurich, on the 13th of October with her Sweetener World Tour. It was a Sunday and the concert had sold out just in a few hours, so many fans had to stay at home. When my sister and I arrived in Zurich, it was so funny at the train station. We saw everywhere Arianators dressed up with the merch. An invasion of Arianators in Zurich was the case. The security checks were strict just like at airports; only transparent bags were allowed. All fans were excited and nervous, there was a lot of pushing outside. And the queues were naturally extremely long but we went inside through the Live Club Member entrance. Therefore, I could gather a nice standing place in the third row. Right in front of her semicircle stage, which was attached to her mainstage. Ariana’s merch was very expensive, 40 CHF for a shirt, her tickets too, a standing ticket coast ca. 110 CHF. Some fans had to cry cause of anticipation while waiting and others collapsed due to the mass of people.
At 7 p.m. Social House went on stage and they were adorable just as they are in the boyfriend music video. They spread some positive vibes and a lot of high energy. During the middle of their performance, they threw some merch-shirts to the crowd. They also checked which side of the stadium was louder. After performing five songs for 15 minutes they left the stage. My highlight was their emotional single Haunt You since they stood right in front of me while singing it.
Five minutes later we got excited again for Ella Mai but I must admit that her set was very boring for me. I don’t listen to her music in general. She had almost no interaction with the audience since she performed all seven songs on the main stage and didn’t walk the semicircle. It seemed like the crowd also just enjoyed her multiplatinum single Boo’d Up. However, her vocals were powerful, even when she sang while sitting. I’m just not much of an R&B listener. She ended her performance at 7.50 p.m. The final waiting for Ariana started, we had to be patient for another 40 minutes. We were accompanied by a playlist Ariana has created herself for the tour. The fans sang along to Motivation, boyfriend, and Don’t Call Me Angel right before the waiting was over.
Ariana Grande’s Performance
From 8.30 p.m. on Ariana made us believe that God is a woman and that she has a bad idea. She performed these songs on the main stage and it was like we were at one of her award show performances. Of course, she was joined by her talented diverse dancers. The first time she walked the semicircle was during break up with your boyfriend and they danced to a sexy choreography on chairs. Everyone freaked out and screamed their lungs out. After a quick costume change, she tried to perform R.E.M. since she was distracted by some fans in the front row standing in the pit all the time. It was a bit annoying but I don’t like this song anyways. She was more focused during the fan-favorite Be Alright. Then it was time for the most boring part of the night for me. She sang sweetener and successful. I wish them out of her setlist. Everything changed to better when she danced with her dancers to Side to Side right in front of me. With 19 I was singing and dancing to this reggae-pop track way too much. A Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande collaboration has always been a highlight of my teenage years. Right after bloodline, she performed her number one single 7 rings and yes, she had the big pink car from the music video on the main stage. For the next two songs Love Me Harder and breathin Ariana was joined only by her band. It was her time to shine without the dancers and to connect more with the crowd with these emotional tracks. Her dancers came back to perform needy and fake smile on the mainstage with her, two of my favorites from the new album. Up next, Ariana had planned a lovely throwback medley of her older songs: Right There, You’ll Never Know and Break Your Heart Right Back. I was 16 again.
I was so lucky during NASA, Ariana and her dancers sat down right in front of me to sing this song with the crowd. Even though I didn’t enjoy listening to this track before, everything has changed after that performance. Then, Ariana surprisingly got out of the official setlist and didn’t sing goodnight n go but instead she pleased our ears with her ballad Tattooed Heart, which she performed inside of the pit standing under a giant moon. Where she also performed everytime in a beautiful red dress. Unfortunately, she also skipped my all-time favorite One Last Time. Following, back on the semicircle, it was time for another Nicki Minaj feature the light is coming. The energy in the crowd got elevated immediately and we were back in the party mood. Afterward, on the main stage, we traveled in time to her Dangerous Woman era, when she sang Into You and the album-titled powerful track. She amazed us all with her strong vocals. During her multiplatinum single Break Free, which is newly a coming-out anthem for the lgbtq+ community, the pride flag was projected on the big LED screen. Since this song was my karaoke song when I was 17, I remembered every line and could sing along proud and loudly. After her thank you speech it was time for another earworm no tears left to cry to close the set. Ariana sang and danced holding an umbrella and we all just wanted to stand with her underneath.
She left the stage and came back in a new costume for the encore. But right before we had the chance to watch a little video, which was a recap of the Sweetener and thank u, next era. She shared some lovely pictures of her family and friends. As soon as the video ended the intro of thank u, next was played and everyone got excited for the final song of the night. And yes, we were all singing along to this #1 hit single. Ariana surprised us with a shower of confetti and gave a shoutout to her father, who also was in the audience. To say goodbye Ariana and her dancers walked the entire stage holding pride flags. As soon as they disappeared the entire show felt like a dream.
I must say that the Sweetener Tour was the pop concert of the year. Ariana knows how to put on a show. She danced and sung for 90 minutes on high heels. Her vocals were great and angel-like just how I expected. Of course, she had every now and then some playbacks or let the audience sing some parts of the songs but all in all she did a great job. The setlist was ok, I think she challenged herself since she had to promote two albums on this tour. Therefore, we got to listen to many new but also to our favorite old tracks. Unfortunately, everything she performed on the main stage seemed just too far away, even though I was standing so close to the semicircle. I can’t imagine how small everything must have seemed from the seats or for people standing in the back. The fans standing in the pit were literally more privileged. I also missed a personal emotional moment with Ariana, maybe an inspiring motivating speech from her would have been great. All of her speeches were short and too basic. It was also such a shame that she didn’t invite Social House to the stage to perform their new single boyfriend. I mean they were just backstage. The European leg of the tour is over but Ariana is going to tour across United States again during November and December. You should definitely go and see her live if you enjoyed listening to her last two albums. It was her first concert in Switzerland and I’ve been waiting for it almost a decade, therefore it was a dream come true for me. Check out my Instagram to watch some concert videos.
Now it’s time for the GIVEAWAY! I’m giving away her new album thank u, next (CD / 12 tracks) and some surprise gifts. All you have to do is to comment on this blog post. I want you to tell me your favorite lyrics/lines from the album. Please comment using your Instagram username. Since I’ll announce the winner on Instagram, you also have to follow me there and send me a DM with the words “thank u, next” to participate. Further conditions: Participation until 9th November, Worldwide (except the US, sorry the shipping is too elaborate and strict from Switzerland). Good Luck!