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Ariana Grande performs during The Honeymoon Tour at Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata Friday.
Pop darling Ariana Grande named her Honeymoon tour after a song on her debut album, but it may as well refer to being in the honeymoon phase of her music career.
After all, it’s the first major world tour for the 22-year-old Florida singer-actress, capping off a stretch that includes a number one album, multiple award nominations and a string of top-10 singles.
While there are signs the glow of public adoration may be starting to wear off, especially after last month’s doughnut-licking incident, Grande was the sparkling belle of a fairy-tale ball at Canadian Tire Centre on Friday. To the relief of parents who brought their daughters, it was also a fairly wholesome and family-friendly outing. The crowd of 6,000 or so was predominantly female, with many sporting newly purchased glow-in-the-dark cat ears in tribute to Grande’s role as Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon TV series Victorious.
The petite, dark-haired performer and her entourage started with the bang of Jesse J’s irresistibly catchy Bang Bang, followed by the sensual Hands on Me before sailing above the stage on a “cloud” suspended from the rafters. Another aerial manoeuvre a few songs later found her performing from a chandelier over a stage that resembled a swanky ballroom.
In cat ears, high heels and various sparkly, leg-revealing outfits, the former child star spoke little and sang a lot, unleashing a four-octave voice that left no doubt as to her singing ability, although she had to work to keep the shrillness in check.
The show featured all the trappings of a big-time pop spectacle, including a top-notch band, athletic dancers, DJ and a string quartet, plus cool lighting, aerial tricks and video effects. Grande also showed off the latest in voice-manipulation technology: a pair of gloves designed by Imogen Heap that let Grande alter her own vocals with a flick of her finger. It was a surprisingly cutting-edge move, leaving one to wonder what innovations she has in store for the next phase of her career.
The concert started with a slick performance by Latin heartthrob Prince Royce, who praised all the “beautiful women” in the building as he thrust to the beats of steamy songs like Double Vision and Dangerous, crooning lyrics that were almost a little too grown-up for much of the young audience.
The 26-year-old Bronx musician, born Geoffrey Royce Rojas, had the luxury of a generous time slot, rare for an opening act, plus the skilled backing of a live band and a troupe of dancers.
The smooth-talking ladies’ man even had time for a costume change, from all black to all white, although he ditched the white T-shirt to perform his last number bare-chested. Thrilling, although the musical highlight was his cover of the soul standard, Stand By Me, reinvented with a breezy Latin feel.
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