Ariana Grande “Breaks Free” in Pittsburgh


Gigi Balsamico

This past Tuesday, March 10th, I went to the Ariana Grande concert at the Petersen Events Center. Let me start by saying that personally, I do not like the Petersen for concerts. However, I have been to impressive concerts at the Pete. I got my tickets last minute with my cousin, Autumn, and we had great seats. There really is not a bad seat in the place because of the close quarters, unless you’re at the very top on the far left or right side of the stage. The tickets were relatively inexpensive at $75, and like I said, the seats were great.

Going to the concert, I was not expecting much and was expecting to see just another young girl stand and lip-sync to her auto-tuned songs for two hours. I expected little children to be running around in cat ears and teenage girls dressed as if they were going to a club rather than a concert. I was met by half of my expectations. The little girls were dressed like cats and teens were in fact scantily clad, but Ariana Grande was outstanding. I was so impressed by her performance that after the concert, I immediately purchased her album on my iPhone.

The music was fabulous. There was not just a track playing though the speakers, as expected, but in fact a band and also a DJ making some really cool beats. He was putting on little shows in between Ariana’s songs while she changed outfits or got ready for the next show. He was pretty entertaining. The cameramen did a great job to highlight the outstanding band and violinists playing, too. The music was generally happy, upbeat, dance music, like for “Love Me Harder”, “Problem”, andBang Bang”. I was on my feet for almost the entire concert, as were the thousands of other people. Most of the people had cat ears on, and—concert-innovation alert! —they were glowing (for a whopping $40) and were activated by an app downloaded on their phones. How cool?!

Ms. Grande started off the concert with a favorite—“Bang Bang”. What followed was a very fun and energetic dance-pop production with ten leaping dancers, sparklers, confetti several costume changes, from black (short skirt/high boots) to white (short dress/boa) to silver (sequined hotpants). There was also a demonstration of electronic Mimu Gloves that robotize her vocals, which I found super impressive, on “Why Try.” As for aerial thrills, Ariana floated on a cloud during “Best Mistake” with a purring vocal and rode in on a chandelier on “Right There.” Boyfriend Big Sean inserted himself in both, thanks to the huge video screen!

Overall, I would give this concert a 7/10. Ariana was very energetic, fun, and clearly in love with her career. She was so sweet when she interacted with the audience. Props to her for being able to sing and dance and be carried around by dancers while in those heels!