When getting ready to headline Coachella last night, Ariana Grande prepared to try to make her set the most memorable of this year’s festival. Just a night after some argued that Billie Eilish’s iconic performance may have made this year’s event into “Billiechella,” Ariana’s big voice, elaborate main-stage floor show and list of well-known guest performers attempted to take back the buzz and stamp the event as her own.
So did Ariana succeed in making Coachella 2019 into “Arichella,” as many Arianators argued on social media (even when they had not seen her performance)? Well, maybe. But issues during Ariana’s set made many feel that the total experience wasn’t everything that it could have been.
Only the fourth woman ever to headline Coachella, Ariana performed some or all of 26 different tracks during her set — around the same as Beyonce did at last year’s Coachella. However, some of the intended highlights of her program were performances with guests NSYNC, Nicki Minaj and Diddy – and there were issues with each of those live collaborations.
For the NSYNC appearance, the biggest issue was the fact that the newly-reunited group had not been able to convince it’s most charismatic and popular former member, Justin Timberlake, to join in. And Justin’s social media shout-out did not seem to make up for his loss on stage.
Even worse challenges hampered Ariana’s performance with friend Nicki Minaj. Technical issues interrupted both songs — “Side to Side” and “Bang Bang” — that Ariana and Nicki attempted to perform together. However, things got so bad during “Bang Bang” that Ariana nearly melted down as she lost sound in her ear pieces and both performers began stumbling over one another’s lines.
And finally, Ariana’s collaboration with Diddy in memory of Notorious B.I.G. seemed a little off. Some on social media felt that celebrating a feuding east coast rapper in front of a west coast crowd only days after reports alleged that a possible rap-related argument had led to the murder of Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle might be a little tone deaf and insensitive.
Still, where Ariana shined most was during the performance of her own songs. And that seemed to count a lot for the fans in the audience, as Ariana’s vocals and floor show – polished from practice on the Sweetener World Tour – definitely left a strong and lasting impression.
“Arichella” or not, we have clips from various parts of Ariana’s mammoth performance below.
(Image source: Coachella Twitter account)
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