• By: Keith Whittier

Ariana Grande Lights Up the CT Centre

The Ariana Grande show started with a bang, or more precisely, a “Bang Bang.” The hit song by Jessie J, nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards 2015, was the opener for Grande’s Honeymoon Tour in Ottawa, on August 7th. Screaming young girls, accompanied by parents, filled the Canadian Tire Centre.

Grande 2Accompanied by a DJ, string quartet, guitarist, keyboardist and drummer, Grande captivated her audience with her outstanding vocal range. The saucy choreography and the many extravagant entrances made for a great show.

The tour featured her most recent album My Everything, which hit shelves August 22nd, 2014. “Best Mistake”, a fan favourite, was a showstopper with Grande dramatically singing on a cloud suspended over the stage. She used this opportunity to showcase the softer side of her voice, something that is rarely seen in her more popular songs.

A clip featuring Imogen Heap, a Grammy winning singer/songwriter, introduced gestural music wear, gloves that she created to enable artists to modify their pitch, tone and timbre without a soundboard. Ariana followed with a demonstration of the technology, to her song “Why Try.”

My Everything” was prefaced by an audio clip of the pop star speaking to her late-grandfather, who passed away last year from cancer. She sang from the edge of a grand piano, dressed in a long purple skirt, which hung down to the floor. The audiGrande 3ence pulled out their phones and lit up the arena with waving lights.

Along with most of her young audience, Grande sported a pair of cat ears, in reference to her character, Cat Valentine, on the Nickelodeon show Victorious.

“I have a very-very-very special relationship with my fans, and nothing else compares to it,” Grande told the audience, acknowledging a following that has supported her rise from child and YouTube star to a pop icon.

The opening to “One Less Problem,” the show’s encore, brought everyone to their feet. She thanked the audience again for coming, saying, “I love you Ottawa,” as she and her dancers sank into the stage.

The opening act was Prince Royce–a 26-year-old heartthrob–who serenaded the “beautiful ladies” in the audience with songs from his first English album “Double Vision,” released just last month. His warm voice, active crowd interaction and charm made the audience swoon.