Thank U, Next City: Tales From The Ariana Grande Sweetener Tour — Coachella

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for AG.
Ariana Grande's Sweetener tour is underway — with a quick pit stop at Coachella. Here, her ponytail (just go with it) diaries about the experience.
“I’ve been rehearsing my entire motherfucking life for this moment. Coachella, *NSYNC!”
These were the words that prompted screams so loud I almost blew right off of Ariana Grande's pretty little head. The singer took a "break" from her Sweetener tour to perform two balls-to-the-wall performances at Coachella, the first of which went down Sunday night. It's like Ariana was laughing at fans who thought the visuals, choreography, and surprise guests on her normal tour stops were impressive by taking her Coachella performance to a whole new level with 26 songs, an *NSYNC cameo, and a fucking orchestra.
Ariana had been teasing this *NSYNC appearance before you even knew it, posting a video of a tiny bebe Ari singing along in the audience of one of their shows last week.
This grainy, '90s camcorder style of filming proved to be huge inspiration for Ariana, whose screens during the *NSYNC were basically that Instagram filter come to life. The boy band (minus Justin Timberlake, who was on his own tour) came out for "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored" to transition into their song, "It Makes Me Ill." They stayed around to sing "Tearin' Up My Heart" with Ariana, which included this incredible choreography:
The next guest to join Ari was Nicki Minaj, who came by for their hits "Side To Side" and "Bang Bang," the latter of which included a brief but adorable moment when Minaj seemed to forget her verse.
Oh, and here's that aforementioned orchestra:
Now, it wouldn't be an Ariana Grande concert without a few emotional moments. Later on in the setlist, she brought out Diddy and Mase, who dedicated their performance of "Mo Money Mo Problems" to the late Mac Miller, Nipsey Hussle, 2Pac, and Biggie.
There were also some tears during Ariana's performances of "Needy" and the Mac Miller line on "Thank U, Next."
But the big moments of the night weren't just on stage. In the audience, some other equally important celebrity collabs were going down — notably Justin Bieber meeting Billie Eilish.
Also, James Corden was there? Cannot claim responsibility for that.
Remember: This was just weekend one of the gigantic music festival. Ari will be back on April 21 — with me swishing on in a few seconds behind her.

More from Music

R29 Original Series