Last night (April 14), Ariana Grande cast a spell over the audience with her microphone, a musician’s wand, at Coachella during her headlining set. She intertwined the music of yesterday and today when she brought out NSYNC during her set for a reunion (sans Justin Timberlake) for the ages. Using her own song “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” as the bridge, she embraced the ’90s heartthrobs in a performance bursting with the kind of nostalgic splendor that brings tear after salty tear.
“I’ve been rehearsing my entire motherfucking life for this moment,” she announced to deafening cries from the crowd. “Coachella, NSYNC!” Grande announced as four of the five members stormed the stage. Grande weaved them into her set expertly. She performed her Thank U, Next hit “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored,” which samples the band’s 2000 hit, “It Makes Me Ill.” Then came the announcement and stage takeover that took the audience back in time 19 years with early aughts choreography of sharp movements and sharper facial expressions. After a performance of “Tearin’ Up My Heart,” the band exited, not before saying, “Coachella, this has been a dream of ours.” Grande was equally stunned. “I can die now,” she breathed into the mic.
NYSNC were the talk of the town, but they weren’t the only guests that Grande brought with her on stage. Nicki Minaj came on later to perform “Side To Side” and “Bang Bang,” although reported technical difficulties marred this chapter of the set. Grande rounded out her time by bringing out Diddy and Mase for a trio performance of “Mo Money Mo Problems.” This flashy throwback to the ’90s ended with Diddy giving special shoutouts to Biggie, 2Pac, and Mac Miller.
Grande is heading back out on the road for her Sweetener World Tour after her additional performance this upcoming weekend at Coachella.