Ariana Grande: here’s what went down on the first night of her mammoth world tour

Last night marked Ariana Grande‘s return to touring, with the first date of her ‘Sweetener’ World Tour. Performing at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York, she put on a career-spanning show to open one of 2019’s most anticipated tours.

The past seven months have seen the pop-star of the people turn traditional musical conventions on their head by releasing not one, but two excellent albums in the shape of 2018’s ‘Sweetener‘ and then ‘thank u, next‘ earlier this year.

Here’s everything that went down on the opening of Ariana Grande’s Sweetener tour.

Before the show

In a moving tribute to the late Mac Miller, Ariana played his music over the speakers as fans took their seats. The vocalist also set up “thank u, next gen” booths where you could register to vote in upcoming US elections ahead of the show.

In a world of her own

Grande performed on a galaxy-themed stage throughout the evening, continuing the ethereal aesthetic for her ‘God Is A Woman’ music video.

The First Supper

After opening with ‘Raindrops (An Angel Cried)’, Grande launched into ‘God Is A Woman’. As she did at the MTV VMAs, the performance was staged to imitate Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Last Supper.


‘7 rings’ and 31 songs

The vocalist blasted through a mammoth 31-song set-list for the show, however several songs from her latest album ‘thank u, next’ were excluded from the spectacle. Speaking at sound-check Grande explained that these songs were “too heavy” to play live, as they were about her relationship with late boyfriend Mac Miller.

A driving force

The staging also used the look from her ‘7 Rings’ video, with Grande writing the name of where she was playing on a pink car she performed on top of.

Frank u, next

Alongside her own tunes, Ariana surprised fans by covering Frank Ocean‘s ‘Close To You’ midway through her performance.

Throwing it back

Although much of the setlist was made up of Grande’s most recent releases ‘Sweetener’ and ‘thank u, next’, she also played a selection of her older songs. ‘Be Alright’, Dangerous Woman’, ‘Side to Side’ and fan favourite ‘Into You’ from Grande’s 2016 album ‘Dangerous Woman’ all got airings, as well as a handful of songs from first two albums ‘Yours Truly’ and ‘My Everything’.


Costume change

The show also boasted several costume changes, with Ariana swapping between plaid, PVC and ‘7 rings’ pink outfits, all with thigh high boots, obviously.

thank u, for coming

Finishing with an encore of ‘No Tears Left to Cry’ and ‘thank u, next’, Grande took to social media after the show to thank the fans for coming writing: “i really dunno what to say yet. for now, thank you will suffice. a dream come true typeeaa night. i love you. so much. thank you.”