Ariana Grande has been a busy girl lately. Following 2019’s monumental GRAMMY-nominated thank u, next, she released her sixth studio album Positions in October 2020. She then found her forever boy, got married, all while continuing to break quite a few records, doing tons of social work, and now these live performances from Positions. You know, the usual queen stuff (which includes four Hot 100 #1s and one #1 Hot 200 album).
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, potential plans of a tour were probably trashed early on in the album-making process and the possibility of live performances was reduced to a near zero. Eight months into the Positions era though, Ariana teased fans with a series of photos from behind-the-scenes of a performance shoot and later proceeded to reveal live music/performance videos of some of our favorites off the album, in collaboration with Vevo.
We are so excited to release these exclusive video performances to Ariana’s fans. We’ve loved Ariana’s music for years, and it’s been such a privilege to watch her artistry grow and evolve. An immensely creative and collaborative artist is key to these visually stunning performances and Ariana embodies that — her efforts translated beautifully onscreen. We look forward to seeing her continue to blossom and hope everyone enjoys watching these.
JP Evangelista, Vevo Senior Vice President of Content, Programming & Marketing on Ariana’s Positions live performances
All of us Arianators at the THP HQ have been holding our breaths ever since the six-track set was kicked off, starting with our all-time favorite ‘pov’ followed by ‘safety net’ with Ty Dolla $ign, ’34+35′, ‘my hair’, ‘off the table’ with The Weeknd and closing off with lead single & title track ‘positions’. Each performance was, no doubt, phenomenal but we have a specific 1 to 6 sequence based on majority preferences.
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Ever since ‘pov’ saw the light of day, we have been absolute fans. It is possibly one of the most emotional, honest songs Ariana has ever penned and vocalized. The live performance is every bit, a testament to the fact. The singular spotlight, the lush acapella opening, and the hauntingly beautiful, purple floodlights serve as the perfect threshold to tap into the dreamy beauty, the song is.
“I wanna love me (ooh) / The way that you love me (ooh) / Ooh, for all of my pretty / And all of my ugly too /I’d love to see me from your point of view.”
Seriously, what is with her vocals? The emotions and candor in them cast a spell on you and go on to prove how amazing an artist Ariana is being able to touch souls with her music. This is the best she’s ever sounded – in love and all things perfect and gosh, we couldn’t be happier for her.
‘my hair’ has always been a fan favorite and requests for live performance for the same flooded Ari’s Instagram comments when she asked fans to guess the next song. All of the ‘my hair’ enthusiasts were obviously not stood up (unlike irl) and boy, did she deliver. Performing alongside her band comprising NΔłŮΓΛL, Aaron Spears, Eric Ingram, Nelson Jackson III and joined by saxophonist Rashawn Ross, Ariana gives the ‘my hair’ live performance a jazzy air to it, amplifying the breezy vibe that was established on Positions.
By the way, have you recovered from that whistle note yet? If yes please help us with a remedy because we have not and will possibly happily never want to!
The lead singles off of her sixth studio album, another Hot 100 chart-topper, the ‘positions’ live performance finds Ariana with her looper and absolutely stunning vocals. It shows an excited Ariana Grande who creates a whole backing-track, live, to bring the “mmms” and “aaaahs” into the verse, later in the song which is one that demands all these layers. The passion is unparalleled. The talent is “heaven-sent.”
Special shoutout to the drums arrangement at the end of the bridge though!
‘off the table’ with The Weeknd
Following, 2014’s ‘Love Me Harder’ and the recent Hot 100 #1 hit – ‘Save Your Tears (Remix)’, this iconic duo met up again for the live performance of ‘off the table’, and can we say one thing? Please never stop working together because Ariana and The Weekend in the same song are what a musical elixir sounds like!
Individually and together, Ariana and Abel create chemistry that is unmatched which helps them unfold the nooks and crannies that are only obvious to accomplished musicians like themselves. Also, his proud smile featured in the music video when Ariana hits those notes — we stan supportive besties in this house!
An instant earworm and chart hit, ‘34+35‘ is a difficult number to nail, live. But Ariana does it again, effortlessly at that. A close rendition of the studio version of the song with a live band, ’34+35’ proves to remain atop our playlist of bops. The lustful lyrics are in the air, and visions of a private evening with boo accentuate the fun undertones of the track. The song has become a certified classic since it arrived last fall, its steamy luster being the obvious winner in the live rearrangement.
Oh, and props to Ari for those little vocal tweaks which put her voice right up front, exactly where it should be.
‘safety net’ with Ty Dolla $ign
Ariana Grande has us “trippin’ falling with no safety net” headfirst, in love with this performance and even more with the song. Joined by Ty Dolla $ign on the second verse, ‘safety net’ chronicles around the fears of falling in love, unrestrained and with no warnings. The live version captures the emotional climate of that dilemma, just right. The whole song is a soothing listen for the ears and the performance seems to give tough competition to the studio version.
That bridge, the harmonization…chills.
Accolades to Team Ari, though for that beautiful, beautiful set and her top-tier outfits/makeup and to her band who made the absolutely perfect original version of the songs, sound even better. Though a tour would have been the absolutely perfect closure to the Positions era, this set of performances feel more intimate and close to home. Big hugs to Ariana for doing everything in her power to show her love for us, even in the worst possible situation for a performer and their fans. Hope she knows we love her back, just as much!
So that was our ranking of Ariana Grande’s Vevo live performance setlist. What do you think? Do you agree with our ranking, or would you like (a) certain song(s) higher up the list? Let us know in the comments below, tweet us @TheHoneyPOP, or find us on Facebook and Instagram.
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Featured Image Source: Ariana Grande via Twitter