(PCM) It’s always nice getting over to the big arena for a spectacular show. When in the Philadelphia area it’s always a treat to check out the large production shows that the Wells Fargo Center brings. Known by many as the face on some of Nickelodeon television’s most popular programs Ariana Grande has made her way from the screen to the stage. It would be easy to say that her popularity from these shows helped, but truthfully it’s her talent and shining star that helps keep her relevant to her many fans.
Opening was Manchester, England natives, Rixton. Making the most out of every second they had on stage the four pack made up of Jake Roche, Charley Bagnall, Danny Wilkin and Lewi Morganpiece group went right to work. Rixton opened with “Wait on me” to an appreciative Philadelphia audience following with their hit song “Make out”. It was great to hear a song that I recognized, and one I won’t forget as many of fans in attendance sang along with them.
Though most bands have to go through the motions of connecting with fans there was a real genuine energy and charisma that the group showed. They were entertaining to watch and looked like they were having a good time. Rixton played seven songs, my favorite being the cover medley of “Fine China / Uptown Funk / Crazy in Love”. The dancing and stage presence of these guys is something you don’t want to miss. I am sure this will not be the last time we talk about Rixton. Rixton will soon be hitting the road for a summer tour with Ed Sheeran, so we absolutely can’t wait to catch these guys when they are around again this June.
After a 20 minute changeover it was time for Ariana Grande to hit the stage. The lights went down and a roar of 20,000 screaming girls filled the air at the packed Wells Fargo Center. The girl we used to know as “Cat Valentine” is all grown up now. The innocence she showed on “Victorious” and “Sam & Kat” have been replaced with beautiful sparkled dresses and stiletto heels. Aided by a full group of back up dancers Ariana showed why she is making her way up the pop charts. Opening with her popular hit “Bang, Bang!” – Ariana went into full dance mode, leading her dancers like a true pop star. The way Ariana took control of the stage was very impressive leading her dancers like she has been doing this forever.
Each song came with a full costume change with sparkled dresses and stiletto heels being the theme of the night. Though she was singing to a parent in tow younger audience I always had the feeling that Ariana was performing like she is trying to shed the teenage innocence of her TV character and enter into adulthood as a pop superstar. As she performed through her one and half hour set Ariana showed a comfort in being on stage using props like clouds and beautiful chandelier’s to carry her through the air into or out of each song. The background light screens and lights also played into her performance, using perfect light and video combinations to build up each song. The fans sung along as she performed flawless versions of songs like “Be my Baby”, “Best mistake”, “Tattooed heart” and “Love me harder”.
If the fans in attendance did not get enough interaction with Ariana the highlight moment of the night came when everyone sang happy birthday to one of her back up dancers. There was so much child parent bonding at this show you couldn’t help but leave with a song in your heart. Catch Ariana Grande on “The Honeymoon Tour” in a city near you!