The purple lights inside the American Airlines Arena dimmed around 9 p.m. to showcase a handful of Ariana Grande’s male backup dancers and her staple drawstring ponytail, which was longer than usual. The ponytail swung left to right to the beat of “Be Alright,” the opening song of her second-to-last stop of the North American leg of her Dangerous Woman Tour.
The stadium began to roar, not only because Grande’s ponytail was so on beat, but because this concert was the perfect way for the average 13-year-old to spend the last few days of spring break. You could see the looks on their excited faces as they watched the former Nickelodeon star sway her ponytail to the beat; you could also see the expressions of the not-so-excited parents or older siblings who were forced to enjoy their kids' off-key singing along to the single off Grande's third studio album, Dangerous Woman.
While the crowd was full of tweens decked out in bunny or cat-ear headbands, emulating earlier incarnations of their idol, Grand hit the stage dressed in a black long-sleeve body suit and black miniskirt with diamond jewels that glistened under the spotlight, giving her the “adult” look she needs to push her career past the awkward teen-idol stage she has been struggling with.
“Miami, let me hear you scream,” she said in a high-pitched voice.
Suddenly, lights turned dark red for Grande’s latest single, “Everyday” featuring Future, who wasn’t present on the stage but had his prerecorded cameo projected on the stage's backdrop. “Sing it if you know it,” screamed Grande into the microphone. At this very moment, every mother snapped their neck at their child to see if they were brave enough to sing along to Grande’s risqué lyrics, but it didn’t stop them from whispering, “He giving that good shit / Make me not quit,” under their breath. Her male dancers thrust their pelvises along with her on the side of the stage, making it an awkward moment for any kid in the arena who already lost their virginity and was keeping it a secret.
The Boca Raton native disappeared into the fog to come out to sing “Knew You Better” in an all-white pantsuit with white jacket. She and her dancers pulled out white baton sticks from the side of the stage and started swirling them around, almost synchronized, to the instrumental playing in the background like color guard rookies. She threw them to the side to continue singing the rest of song, which the audience happily swayed along to with the beat of Grande’s ponytail.
While Grande went in to change into her third dangerous woman outfit and tighten the drawstring on her ponytail, the arena went pitch black to accompany a visual of her on the screen. “Not asking for it” flashed in big bold letters as Grande touched herself and danced around in a nude body suit and black thigh-high socks. The words “feminist," "divine," "sexual," "soulful," "free," and "female” flashed during the montage, assuring her young audience that you can be female and free and control your own sexuality.
Suddenly, Grande reappeared on a bike and dove into her hit single “Side to Side” featuring Nicki Minaj. While no dick bicycles were present during this part of the show, Minaj's on-screen cameo emphasized the fact that she can still ride along.
“Give me your phone so I can take photos,” yelled an 8-year-old girl to her mom, who was watching four other kids during the concert and was 100 percent fed up with her shit. She rolled her eyes at the girl but forked over the phone so the pre-teen could take photos of Grande prancing around stage in a sports bra and miniskirt.
Grande made sure to work in some throwbacks into her setlist, including “Bang Bang,” “Problem,” “Break Free,” and “Love Me Harder,” for those who didn’t know any of the songs from Dangerous Woman. The songs were accompanied by confetti blasts of thousands of fake Ariana Grande Dangerous Woman dollars, which sadly couldn’t be spent on a drawstring ponytail. One parent snatched those fake bucks and pink balloons that fell from the sky right out of the hands of the kids in front of her.
Grande thanked the crowd and ran off into the smoke once again, but the crowd wasn’t pleased with such an abrupt ending. “Ari! Ari! Ari! Ari!” chanted her fans nonstop until she reappeared in her fourth dangerous woman outfit — a black trash bag-like dress — to finish the show. She ended with “Dangerous Woman,” the most sought-after single on the album. The stage lit up in red lights and hot flames as Grande walked around the stage, swishing her trash-bag dress through the fog while waving farewell to her fans, most of whom undoubtedly dubbed themselves dangerous women as well by the end of the night.
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