On the the 4th of June Ariana Grande held a benefit concert at Old Trafford Cricket ground in Manchester, in the memory of the victims and families of the Manchester Terror attack.
I attended the gig… and my what an atmosphere! I have never experienced something so loving or emotional, the concert showed defiance to hatred with the coming together of live music – something everyone can relate to!
The 23-year-old was joined by many of her friends such as, Take That, Robbie Williams, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and a surprise appearance from Manchesters own, Liam Gallagher!
Emotions were high on Sunday night as it has been less than two weeks after the terror attack following Ariana’s gig in the city. But the show also demonstrated the power of pop music to bring people together.
The concert was watched by an average of 10.9 million viewers, peaking at 14.5 million as the gig drew to a close – making it the most watched TV show of the year so far.
Here are some of the night’s other most powerful moments.
Robbie Williams sang a new version of his 1999 classic ‘Strong’ into a rousing song to rally the masses in Manchester 2017.
The crowd sang louder and louder throughout the evening, especially during his hit ‘Angels’ which he dedicated to the victims of the terror attack.
Of all the performers, Katy Perry captured the mood of defiance and strength the best. She had the crowd shouting and screaming ‘I LOVE YOU’ to each other. Wearing a white feathered gown, she started by telling the crowd: “Love conquers fear and love conquers hate and this love that you choose will give you strength, and it’s our greatest power.”
Katy’s song ‘Part of Me’ hit exactly the right tone – reflective and empowering – before she unleashed her full-throated anthem of defiance, Roar. Being part of the crowd felt right, there was no hate, no fear, just pure love and emotion – it was a sight to behold!
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The Black Eyed Peas were by far one of the most popular acts of the evening – they performed ‘Where is the love?’ with Ariana Grande.
Almost 15 years after it was a mega hit, the song still sums up the feelings of many around the globe whilst offering hope that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Ariana joined on vocals and there was a real moment when the band encouraged fans to raise a finger to represent “one love” and make heart shapes with their hands.
Another song that has taken on new significance for Mancunians in the past two weeks is Oasis’s Don’t Look Back In Anger. Here, it fell to Coldplay to perform it, with a little help from Ariana. At the last chorus Chris and Ariana could hardly sing over the crowd, it was incredible everyone came together and sang…. The feeling of togetherness over-powered the cricket ground.
As the sun set, thousands of mobile phone lights twinkled during Fix You. Then millions of small multi-coloured stars drifted across the crowd after being shot out of a glitter cannon as Viva La Vida morphed into Something Just Like This.
Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher was a surprise addition to the line-up, pleasing many of the Mancunian music fans.
And the hit ‘Live Forever’ became melancholy and tender here. That was thanks in part to Chris Martin, again, who filled in for Liam’s brother Noel on acoustic guitar.
Of all of Ariana’s songs, ‘One Last Time’ is the one that fans have turned to since the attack. It was the penultimate song here, which she sang with the rest of the line-up stood behind her.
On the verge of tears, she then went into an incredibly poignant version of Over the Rainbow to close the show.
The 23-year-old and her tour team created history here in Manchester on Sunday…
No-one will ever forget her performance throughout the night that carried dignified emotion, true grit and willpower by staging this show less than two weeks after those tragic events.