What do you do when three of your favorite artists come to your city in three days? You obviously go to every concert and rage your face off… duh. That’s what I did last week, I went to the JoJo, MØ, and Ariana Grande concerts. There was no way I was going to pass up an opportunity to see these three badass women live.
JoJo @ Concord Music Hall
JoJo, the queen of my middle school life. If you didn’t bop to JoJo’s “Leave (Get Out)” when you were younger, then you had a sad childhood. But, I don’t want to talk about JoJo’s old music that much. Her new album shows how she’s grown as an artist during her almost ten year absence.
Because of record company troubles, JoJo couldn’t release new music for a while. “I was in a bad contract, and the label I was with didn’t have distribution and I wasn’t able to release anything,” said the singer in an interview with HuffPostLive. “I didn’t own my voice. So I was stuck in a situation where I just felt like my hands were tied, and they were.”
Well, lucky for JoJo (And us). She solved her troubles and released “Mad Love” last October. The album is full of jams and I needed to see her perform these songs live.
JoJo’s concert was WAY sexier than I expected it to be. From the lapdance she gave to a fan to the sultry opening performance of “Clovers”, JoJo owned the stage as a strong adult woman. She is definitely not the teen pop star we knew in 2007 anymore.
JoJo’s outfit was sooooo hot. It was a leather one piece swimsuit looking thing, and over it she had on something that looked like a see-through latex dress. I’m not sure if see-through latex is a thing, but that’s what it looked like. She also had on some tights with just a hint of sparkles. All this topped off with some fabulous hair extensions (Seriously, she kept flinging those the whole night).
Highlight of the night: JoJo singing “FAB.” and telling everyone to put a middle finger up and wave it to any fake ass bitches. I’ve never collectively flipped off someone before, but everything is better in groups.
One of the other highlights was me yelling “Yeah, men suck!” when JoJo was explaining why she wrote “Too Little, Too Late”. I’m sorry, that was after several vodka tonics.
The whole time leading up to this concert, I was hoping she would sing “Vibe.”, arguably the best track from “Mad Love”. Lucky for me, SHE OPENED WITH IT. I could get my freak on immediately and I was feelin’ it. “Vibe” sounds like the lovechild of Bieber’s “Sorry” and Fifth Harmony’s “Bo$$”. Check it out, you won’t regret it.
MØ @ The Metro
What’s better than having one of your favorite artists perform in your city? Having the venue four blocks away from your house (Bless you, Wrigleyville). The Metro, where MØ performed is a short walk from my apartment, so I didn’t need to worry about catching a Lyft back. Finding cabs after concerts is always the WORST. Too many people, ugh.
But for real, MØ has been one of my obsessions since senior year of undergrad. Her debut album“No Mythologies to Follow” is a weird mix of dance pop, electronic, and indie. Standout tracks include “Don’t Wanna Dance”, “Fire Rides”, and “Walk This Way”. And I am happy to say MØ performed all THREE of those tracks.
Danish singer MØ, has been one of my top artists on Spotify for a while. Her track “Final Song” was my most streamed song of 2016. Tbh, I think I listened to it everyday. “Final Song” is pop music perfection and I will banish anyone from my life who disagrees.
The best thing about MØ’s concert was her energy. She had this awkward stage presence, but it was so cool. She wasn’t the best dancer, but she was confident in her style, voice and attitude. I loved every second of it.
One of the weirdest moments of the night was when she ran off stage suddenly. She was only about half way through her set, so the audience was confused. We then heard “Chicago! I’m in the balcony!” over the mic. Everyone looks up and there she is! Running around upstairs, singing to fans.
“Drum” one of MØ’s newer songs is hella inspiring. It’s all about living life your way and to see her sing it live was one of my coolest recent experiences. “Drum” is hypnotic and it makes you want to conquer the world (And I fucking will conquer the world after this concert).
MØ’s opener was Argentine pop singer Tei Shi. I found this out maybe two days before the show and got SO excited. I saw Tei Shi open for Years & Years in 2015 and I’ve been a fan ever since. She’s makes some of the best dreamy pop music I’ve ever heard. Tei Shi is also dropping her debut album soon, and I loved getting the chance to hear some tracks before they were released.
Highlight of the night: MØ closing out the night with two very different encores. First, she sang her song with Snakehips “Don’t Leave”. This smooth electropop ballad set the tone for an intimate moment between MØ and the fans. We all sang along with her and it was an experience, let me tell ya. I yelled “I might not ever get my shit together, but ain’t nobody gonna love you better,” with MØ and my soul was saved.
MØ then sang her smash with Major Lazer, “Lean On”. It involved a lot dancing and crowd surfing. It was all very fun I assure you. She didn’t crowd surf over me, but she came dangerously close, like five feet from me (so close…*sighs*).
Ariana Grande @ The United Center
I saved the biggest concert for last, Ariana Grande. This concert was a bit of a last minute decision. I wanted to go, but tickets were pretty expensive. Luckily, my roommate found a Groupon for this show. Bless her, no one does Groupon better than her… NO ONE.
Anyway, we got dolled up in our best Ariana inspired outfits. We coincidentally both wore torn pants with a wrapped long sleeve around our waist (Our other roommates think we might be related). I also wore eyeliner. I can’t apply it well, so I just decided to wear it messy and look cheap. It’s part of my brand.
Little Mix opened for Ariana, and I am a hardcore Little Mix stan. Everyone needs to download “Glory Days”, Little Mix’s new album on iTunes right now. Seriously, do it. Don’t fuck with me. The girls of Little Mix were not on stage for long, but they definitely packed a big punch. They performed hits like “Shoutout to my Ex”, “Black Magic” and “Touch”, and it was all lovely. Btw, listen to their new single “Touch” it makes me feel some type of way.
The moment these girls really shined was when things slowed down. Little Mix sang “Secret Love Song Part II”, the moving ballad from their last album, “Get Weird”. Before they sang it, Little Mix took a moment to dedicated this song to all their LGBT fans. The girls said you should never be afraid of who you are and who you love. I turned on my phone’s flashlight for this song, and I don’t do that often because I always have VERY low battery life. But for Little Mix, I’ll do it.
But back to Ariana, her opening number set the tone for an amazing show. Clips of her and her dancers flashed across the big screen while the starlet sang “Be Alright”. I was immediately drawn in because “Be Alright” is one of my fave Ariana songs, but then she incorporated a bit of Madonna’s “Vogue” into the performance and I was done. Ariana + Madonna = dead Marc.
For “Side to Side”, Ariana brought out the exercise bikes from the video on stage. She sang the song on an exercise bike while wearing some VERY high heels. Mad respect to Ariana, her thigh muscles must be swoll.
Ariana did not do too much of her old material. No songs from her first album, and only the singles from her last one. She did switch up the flow of her older songs though. “Break Free” wasn’t as high energy as I expected. It was slowed down to a sexy trap remix, it fucking worked though. Oh honey, it #werked.
I also want to take a moment to talk about “Into You”. Without a doubt, my favorite Ariana Grande song. While performing “Into You”, Ariana grabbed a rainbow flag and wrapped it around herself. I….am…deceased.
One thing about Ariana Grande is the girl can sing, like REALLY sing. This was evident with her performances of “Thinkin Bout You” and “Leave Me Lonely”. The production for both of these songs were more lowkey than others. “Thinkin Bout You” was a warm loving performance. Ariana walked down the aisle of the stage while neon silhouettes of couples were projected behind her. You could tell these were both homosexual and heterosexual couples–mesmerizing and heartwarming at the same time.
“Leave Me Lonely” was the most surprising song of the night. It was dark and soulful, something completely unexpected. Ariana was on her knees singing at the top of her lungs, and everything sounded.. just.. so perfect.
Highlight of the night: Ariana’s “Dangerous Woman” encore. The stage went completely dark, and moments later.. Ariana walked out wearing a floor length leather gown– think a dominatrix Disney princess. “Dangerous Woman” started and flames shot up from the stage, fire was also projected on the aisle of the stage. She slowly made her way down while hitting every high note on the song. An amazing performance to end an amazing night.
Three concerts in three days was a bit tiring, you know what I did afterwards? I slept. I was using all my energy dancing and singing. But I would 100% to this all over again, the thing that made it awesome wasn’t just the music or the stage theatrics, but spending time with some amazing friends. Whether we were grinding with JoJo, raging with MØ, or feeling a bit sexy with Ariana, I got to spend these three days with some of my favorite people.