Last night, the world came as one.
There were no more boundaries of the genres in music. No more ‘pop’, or ‘rock’, or ‘rap’.
Last night there was no more barriers, or hate or division amongst fanbases. Last night, music was as one.
I wanted to write something after what happened in Manchester, but I couldn’t get the words right, or express exactly how I felt.
And that’s why I’m grateful that artists like Ariana Grande exists.
I’m a huge music lover, and being so, naturally, I like all genres, and listen to basically anything. Whether it’s small indie bands, major rock bands, small labels pop punk, or huge-companies artists and radio-friendly or commercial music. Any kind of music really, so long as I am happy listening to it or that it makes me feel something as a musician.
I’ve been an Ariana Grande fan since her first album came out, and I’m glad to have watched her shape into the beautiful artist she’s now become.
On May 22nd 2017, after her show in Manchester, a bombing took place and cost the lives of 22 persons and injured so much more. I have no words to describe what happened but an act of cowardice to actually attack the only safe place these days in the being of a concert venue.
It’s supposed to be a place where there’s only happiness. To be surrounded by people who share the same love you do of music, of the good times ahead, of being completely free of all inhibitions for the time of the show.
But they’ve attacked that haven, and it wasn’t the first time either.
Once it’s happened, you usually think « lightning never strikes twice at the same spot » and even if it wasn’t technically the same spot, it was the same circumstances. The same audience.
The free-spirited who only want to enjoy their lives.
But I’m not gonna go any longer on this anymore.
I want to talk about what it represents, to have all these people, from different ages, different careers, different styles, coming all together as one.
Last night, Ariana Grande pulled off what only few (if not rare one or two) have managed to do, and put all these celebs and music giants in the same stadium to serve the same cause and purpose.
Stand strong as one.
I’d never seen such a line-up of artists, putting aside their egos and accepting to perform under one common artist. But it was for the greater good and for a good cause ! And I’m glad this happened.
I won’t deny being tearful throughout the whole show. I’ve had my share of concerts where I usually end up in tears cause let’s face it, when you love an artist, there’s always gonna be that one song that usually gets you the most and you HAVE to cry.
But last night, I was tearful.
Ariana Grande is the kind of artist that mostly has dance floor anthems you’ll say. So’s Katy Perry, or the Black Eyed Peas and Miley Cyrus, but for this one cause, their songs took all their meanings.
Talking about the show, I won’t be able to fully be impartial to it, mostly cause concerts are sacred to me, and also cause I loved every artist performing last night.
Concerts are my safe place. My favorite place to be in the world. My go-to for every happy memories. Even if I wasn’t there physically, I was there in spirit last night Manchester.
I didn’t have the chance to actually catch the whole show, and came in right when Robbie Williams started singing « Angels ».
Get that I had turned the show on for like 30 seconds and I was already in tears haha.
Then came the moment when Pharrell Williams came onstage. Performing Happy with Miley Cyrus.
Then Miley came by herself and sang and dedicated one of her new song called Inspired to the victims of Manchester.
Finally Niall Horan (from former boyband One Direction) came onstage and proved that he too could have a solo career and that people were really liking what he was doing. With his two singles out yet. Before finally preparing us for the show to come.
Scooter Braun (manager of Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber) took the stage for a couple minutes to talk about the events that had occurred the previous week and the night before in London, to finally let the stage to the main star of the show.
I think I can speak on everyone’s behalf to say that it was clear how difficult this was for her to do, considering she had paused her current tour to focus on herself until she announced this concert.
I had tear then again (yes I cried a lot, I told you) when I saw her come onstage and start singing « We’re gonna be alright ». This wasn’t then just the beginning of another song of hers. (I mean, yes it was, but) that night, it sounded like an affirmation. A big « YES WE’RE GONNA BE ALRIGHT NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED ». And I’m glad she did start with that song.
Everybody was there to support her, her fans, the other artists, everyone.
And it was beautiful.
After a couple songs, Little Mix took the stage.
I’ve always been a fan of them, they make good songs that makes you wanna dance. But this time, they sang one of their most renown and relevant songs for that night in singing the huge hit ‘Wings’ which is an anthem to stand up to those who give you shhhhh*. When that final chorus hit, and it came to just them singing with the crowd and the drums, I had tears of pride, tears of strength and tears of joy coming up, saying « no, I won’t let anything scare me anymore ».
Thanks for that Girls, you did a good job.
Ariana then came back with her good pal Victoria Monet to sing Better Days, a song they had previously written regarding all the current events in the world.
Then with The Black Eyed Peas.
I felt nostalgic watching them perform. I remember being 11-12 and hearing their songs on the radio and seeing their music videos on MTV, and it was crazy, but it was so good.
What’s even crazier than seeing the BEP once again together, is the fact that even if the song came out 15 years ago, their rendition of Where Is The Love is, unfortunately, truer than ever. And everybody got hit with that huge nostalgic punch. And for those who discovered this song and the BEPs, well, their first album ELEPHUNK was a true masterpiece, so go listen to it.
Imogen Heap took the stage to perform Hide And Seek with the purest talent you could ever have.
Tearjerker event number uncounted of the night came again, when a school choir performed My Everything, with a lead singer being what seemed between 8 and 13. And it was pure. It was good. It was emotional. It was everything. It was their everything. When that little girl started crying, all I wanted to do was to go and hug her. Who didn’t ? I just wanted them to know that everything’s gonna be okay. Fear won’t ever hold us back from doing what we love: singing, performing, being one.
Ariana then performed her first single ever with boyfriend Mac Miller, and it was beautiful. To see the chemistry between them, and how happy and safe she felt, it was like seeing her breathe for the first time in a while.
Performing his debut single as well, Dang!, Mac Miller owned it.
Then Ariana and Miley performed Don’t Dream It’s Over together, and I’ll admit, I’d never hear of this song before, so I was kind taken aback for that song, in discovering it for the first time.
The next song wasn’t supposed to be on the setlist or maybe in a different order, but Ari took the mic to explain how she’d talked to one of the victim’s mother, who told her not to cry, and that her daughter would’ve wanted to see her perform her hits, and so performed her Nicki collar Side To Side.
Katy Perry’s turned came.
I’d never see Katy Perry perform live aside from her Super Bowl one, and we hadn’t heard from her in like 3 years. And I like Katy Perry. So I was really looking forward to see her.
And she did not fail me.
With an acoustic rendition of her song Part Of Me, she blew everyone away.
Wearing a coat made out of feathers, she then exposed her full dress which stood with the pictures of all 22 victims of the bombing in the shape of a heart.
MESS AGAIN I WAS.
Roar was definitely another highlight of my night, while being chanted by almost 50 000 people. It proved to be quite the stand up anthem as well (and that was the whole point of the night).
Justin Bieber came too on-stage, and performed acoustically two songs in being Love Yourself and Cold Water, his collab with Major Lazer.
Not much to say here except that it was yet again a great performance and that though it was a bit short, it was worth it.
Love Me Harder set everybody back in the Ari mood.
Rumors of Oasis coming to perform were already spreading on the web.
Chris Martin came and sang Don’t Look Back In Anger with Ariana, and then went on to perform one of the most powerful songs of our days, Fix You.
Viva La Vida followed, and everybody, police officers included, were seen dancing around the stadium. And seeing everybody dance like that, had this whole union thing have a bigger meaning. In a country unused to see armed forces much, seeing them all happy, joyful and fearless was very beautiful.
Last Coldplay song of the night, their collaboration with the Chainsmokers in the song Something Just Like This.
Lights went out. Just the screens.
Noel Gallagher, rock’n’roll legend, from Oasis, to whom we owe the international hit Wonderwall, came onstage.
I think I never hated missing a concert more than this one.
Performing 3 songs, Rock N RolL Star, Wall Of Glass and Live Forever, I think we can honestly say that last night more than ever, Manchester was the place to be.
If Ariana could unite all these various personalities and get them to sing together and be together, at only 23, we can definitely say that she, ladies and gentlemen, is a true artist.
For the last song, everyone was brought on stage and everyone stood side by side (pun about the song intended).
One Last Time’s first notes started, and everybody knew it was about to end. And everybody sang louder than ever.
Seeing her perform that song, at that particular moment was very moving. That song went from being Ariana’s hit to international anthem against hate.
Rarely you can see a song switch status just like that, but this one… oh man…
Breaking down a bit (and we don’t blame her), the 50 000 fans who were there took it upon themselves to fill in for her (and I have to admit, I admire her for being able to sing while being so overwhelmed, and especially hitting those high notes).
Finally, once there was nobody left onstage, Ariana came back. Alone.
And granted us with one last performance, of a song who was dedicated to those 22 souls who had crossed onto the other side.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
Love her or hate her (I for one love her), no one will take what she did away from her. No one will ever be able to say that she isn’t a true artist.
She did more than anybody ever has in those circumstances. And for one night, she united the world.
Rest assured little angel, you did good. And I’m sure those poor souls are proud of you too.
In case you missed the show, I’m pretty sure it’ll be either sold as a dvd to the benefits of Manchester or if not, available on any streaming services you may find.
And here’s the setlist for you if you want to relive a bit of the concert.
Also know that Ariana Grande released again her single « One Last Time » whose benefits will all go to the Manchester Emergency Fund, so go buy it on iTunes.
Marcus Mumford – Timshel
Take That – Shine
Take That – Giants
Take That – Rule The World
Robbie Williams – Strong
Robbie Williams – Angels
Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky
Pharrell Williams – Happy (feat Miley Cyrus)
Miley Cyrus – Inspired
Niall Horan – This Town
Niall Horan – Slow Hands
Ariana Grande – Be Alright
Ariana Grande – Break Free
Little Mix – Wings
Ariana Grande & Victoria Monet – Better Days
Ariana Grande & The Black Eyed Peas – Where Is The Love
Imogen Heap – Hide And Seek
Choir singing – My Everything (along with Ariana Grande)
Ariana Grande & Mac Miller – The Way
Mac Miller – Dang!
Ariana Grande & Miley Cyrus – Don’t Dream It’s Over
Ariana Grande – Side To Side
Katy Perry – Part Of Me (acoustic)
Katy Perry – Roar
Justin Bieber – Love Yourself (acoustic)
Justin Bieber – Cold Water (acoustic)
Ariana Grande – Love Me Harder
Ariana Grande & Chris Martin – Don’t Look Back In Anger
Coldplay – Fix You
Coldplay – Viva La Vida
Coldplay – Something Just Like This
Liam Gallagher – Rock N Roll Star
Liam Gallagher – Wall Of Glass
Liam Gallagher – Live Forever
Ariana Grande – One Last Time (with every artist on stage)
Ariana Grande – Somewhere Over The Rainbow