This spring is about to get a whole lot sweeter!
After two albums, a Grammy, a few chart-topping hits, and a couple signature Starbucks drinks, Ariana Grande is set to kick off her hotly anticipated Sweetener Tour on Monday (March 18) in Albany, New York. Ari will jet-set all over the U.S. and Canada until mid-July before she takes the tour overseas from August to October.
So what can Arianators expect when the superstar hits the stage? She’s been careful not to reveal much in the way of sets or costumes, but she has teased, “it’s my favorite stage i’ve eva had for sure.” The “7 rings” singer has also been flooding her feed with some BTS shots that showcase her talented team and the furry friends who will join her on the road. Below, see everything else we know about the Sweetener Tour (a.k.a., the Sweetener/Thank U, Next Tour!).
The setlist will span both of her most recent albums
In a tweet, Ari said that she plans on “doing as much of the two new albums as possible,” referring to 2018’s Sweetener and this year’s thank u, next. That’s a lot of material to pack into one setlist, which could mean fans are in for some creative medleys and mash-ups. There’s also the question of whether or not she’ll perform certain Sweetener songs at all (cough cough, “pete davidson”).
Don’t expect to hear “ghostin” live, either
As beautiful as this thank u, next ballad is, it’s also unsurprisingly tough for Grande to perform live. Answering a fan who asked if she’ll sing it on tour, she admitted, “if i can get thru it yea but right now it’s not on the set list. i jus want to have a good time with y’all and like …. make it thru the show lol.” Elaborating on the raw, strings-laden number, Grande told Zach Sang, “It’s a lot. It’s like, too much, actually. … It is really beautiful, but, you know, I don’t listen to that one.”
The visuals are going to be stunning
How do we know? Because Ari’s already revealed that she and go-to director Hannah Lux Davis recently shot a bunch of visuals for the trek. Davis, of course, is the eye behind such recent music video masterpieces as “thank u, next,” “7 rings,” and “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored,” so expect these visuals to be similarly epic.
The tour’s opening acts are to die for, beginning with Grande’s trusty producing team Social House. The duo — made up of L.A.-based musicians Michael “Mikey” Foster and Charles “Scootie” Anderson — co-produced “thank u, next” and “7 rings,” and they’re certified hitmakers in their own right. Not only that, but former Fifth Harmony siren Normani will be joining the trek, flexing her solo prowess after a steady stream of recent releases, including “Waves” and “Slow Down.” For the overseas Arianators, “Boo’d Up” singer Ella Mai will assume opening duties on the tour’s European leg.
Her pups are coming along
Grande’s already shared peeks at the skincare pod and the portable vocal steamer that’ll have her in tip-top shape for the tour. But emotional self-care is just as important, which is why she’s bringing a couple of her furry pals along for the ride. To absolutely no one’s surprise, Toulouse and Myron are joining the trek, while it looks like music video star Piggy Smallz may sadly be sitting this one out.
She’ll perform a couple of throwback faves
Grande teased on Twitter that two songs from her 2013 LP Yours Truly made the cut, as did the My Everything fan-favorite track “Only 1.” She performed that deep cut at her L.A. Sweetener Sessions concert back in August, and I can confirm that it does slap live.
Clear bags are where it’s at
Given that this is Grande’s first tour since the attack in Manchester, it’s understandable that she and her team are making safety a top priority. That’s why the pop star recently announced that only clear bags will be permitted inside the venues, “so everything can go as smoothly and safely as possible.” She’s even selling clear Sweetener World Tour tote bags, wristlets, and fanny packs on her website, because why not make safety fashionable?!
The tour may spawn another docu-series
Grande’s trusty videographer Alfredo Flores was on hand during the entire Dangerous Woman trek, capturing all the action behind the scenes and on stage. The fruits of his labor hit YouTube late last year when the four-part Dangerous Woman Diaries premiered — and, judging by the above tweet, it sounds like he’ll do something similar with the new tour.
“God Is A Woman” may look similar to the VMAs
In a recent rehearsal pic, Ari and her crew of dancers join hands while seated side-by-side at a long table. That setup echoes her performance of “GIAW” at last year’s VMAs, where she and her dancers recreated the Last Supper with an intricately choreographed set. Looks like fans might be seeing similar choreo on tour!
“thank u, next” is going to sound amazing with a live band
I mean… the video is all the proof you need. What a dream, indeed.
It’s going to be emotional for everyone involved
If you think seeing the Sweetener Tour is going to be an affecting experience for you, rest assured Ari’s feeling the same way. In a recent letter to fans, she wrote, “about to embark on my third tour and am for sure deep as fuck in my feelings. … i’m just grateful to be here still. and excited to see you. i’m prolly gonna cry a lot.”
She continued, “a few months ago i told my team i wasn’t even in an okay enough place to tour or work at all and my friends, you guys and this music really saved my life and turned everything around. i’m still healing but i feel a lot lighter as of late and i think this is really going to be such a beautiful time. thank god we are doing this.”
So there you have it — Grande is committed to making this tour a beautiful experience, and you can do the same by singing your heart out when she comes through your city. Happy Sweetener Tour, everyone!