Mariah Carey’s Nemesis, Ariana Grande, Receiving Mixed Concert Reviews

Ariana Grande was supposed to be the “Mariah Carey” of the new generation. She’s still got potential, but is hitting some roadblocks along the way. Her latest concert tour hasn’t been very well received. Cory Garcia of the Houston Press had very mixed feelings about Grande’s performance at the NRG Stadium Wednesday evening.

“What’s worse: a bad show or a mundane one? This is a hard question to answer, because there are arguments for both. And it’s worth considering here, at the start, because Grande herself did not put on a bad show. There were things about how that show was put on that were bad, but she herself was, at worst, OK.”

The initial part of the review doesn’t sound too bad, but Garcia goes on to slam the costume changes and the Mariah Carey style vocal flourishes. Ouch!

Of course, it’s not all bad. The Kansas City Star called her in-town stop a grand spectacle “akin to the kinds of audio-visual spectacles delivered by fellow pop-divas like Katy Perry and Britney Spears.

When Mariah hit Milwaukee on her tour, the reviews were more harsh. Piet Levy of the Journal Sentinel thought Ariana Grande just needed more practice.

“But Saturday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Grande faced one of the bigger tests of her career. The 21-year-old headlined an arena for only the second time on her first-ever tour. And it showed. The Bradley Center may have been filled to near-capacity with automatically adoring teen and preteen ‘Arianators.’ But the Milwaukee stop on Grande’s Honeymoon Tour didn’t signify the birth of the next superstar. Most of the time, it felt like a dress rehearsal.”

By contrast, the Morning Call chimed in that Ariana is “one of the most pristine, technically talented singers in all of music,” in a rave review of her show at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center.

“The success is deserved. From the opening ‘Bang Bang,’ the 2014 collaboration single with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj that made Grande the second female artist to ever have three song in the Top 10 simultaneously, she immediately showed off her singing chops, offering skyrocket vocals amid actual fireworks.”

Chicago didn’t seem to give it up for Ariana Grande either. The Chicago Tribune gave Ariana Grande a better review, at first.

“Cautiously flirtatious and constantly smiling, the singer came across like a playful albeit safely removed collegiate cheerleader that winks at admirers but refrains from acting on temptations. She blended sweet charm with light sass, moving away from girl-next-door innocence yet keeping wholesomeness within clear view.”

Critic Bob Gendron continued the review with a more negative slant. He says Grande’s singing and focus often got lost amidst recurring sonic interference as well as unnecessary visuals. He also mentions that some of her performance seemed artificial.

Some of the reviews indicate something that seems to go unnoticed in the music industry: just because an artist can sing doesn’t mean they can put on a great concert performance. But, as said before, this is only Grande’s first concert tour. Ariana Grande will likely improve with experience and, hopefully, have a very long career.

[Photo Credit: The Houston Press]