"It feels so good to be so young and have this fun and be successful," Ariana Grande sang to 1,600 screaming fans at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday night (August 25). Perched on a stool in the center of the ornate theater's stage, the 25-year-old celebrated that oh-so-sweet success with her third — and possibly final — Sweetener Sessions show.
And Ari definitely had a lot to celebrate — not only is Sweetener the No. 1 album in the country, but Saturday also marked the fourth anniversary of her sophomore LP, My Everything. She commemorated both milestones during the intimate, no-frills show, which found her performing almost the entirety of Sweetener (pour one out for "The Light is Coming") and throwing in a couple surprise song selections. Below, check out the evening's dreamiest moments.
She was introduced by her doting fiancéKevin Mazur/Getty Images
A few minutes past 9 p.m., Pete Davidson gave the singer a hilariously humble intro: "Coming to the stage — and I can't believe she talks to me — give it up for my love, Ariana Grande!" His bride-to-be bounded onstage wearing an oversized lavender sweatshirt and thigh-high boots, and gave Pete a fleeting, flirty kiss (cue all the screams).
She left the request line openKevin Mazur/Getty Images
From the get-go, Grande made it clear that we, the audience, were in charge. "We just kind of hang out. I hope that's OK," she explained about the structure (or lack thereof) of the "really spontaneous" proceedings, as she fielded requests for the evening's first song. The winner? Fan-favorite track "Breathin," which got the party started on a gloriously uplifting note.
She celebrated My Everything's birthday with the debut live performance of "Only 1."
"I can't believe it's been four years," Grande said. "It's so weird, because how did that happen so quickly, you know? How am I alive? How am I awake?" Her emotional musings culminated in an incredible moment for diehard Arianators: the first-ever live performance of My Everything bonus track "Only 1." Afterward, she joked that she would happily do it all over again, exclaiming, "That was so much fun! I love that song so much!"
Her between-song banter was sweet and sarcasticKevin Mazur/Getty Images
"I miss you guys. I really can't wait to go on tour," Ari told us, adding that doing these shows has made her feel "so much better" in the midst of such a "draining" album release week. She repeatedly and profusely thanked fans for being there — to the point where she even berated herself for it: "Sorry. I'm, like, so annoying and emotional. Shut up, Ariana, and sing the songs." (It should also be noted that she self-deprecatingly made fun of the way she sits on stools. She still hasn't quite figured it out.)
She fulfilled a fan's random throwback request
When Ari couldn't hear a song request from a fan in the front row, she leaned down to get a better listen and then told the crowd, "She doesn't know what listening session we're at — she said 'By My Baby!'" Ever the benevolent pop star, Grande obliged the fan's plea, performing the lovey-dovey My Everything track a cappella: another very rare, very welcome treat.
She basically copped to "Pete Davidson" being much too briefKevin Mazur/Getty Images
The Sweetener ode to her fiancé — which clocks in at a cursory one minute and 14 seconds on the album — got a gorgeous live rendition, but even Ari herself admitted it should be longer. "It keeps going in my head for another, like, three minutes," she conceded. Girl, same.
She restarted "Raindrops" because of a single fan
After performing "Get Well Soon" and declaring it as the evening's final song, Ari said, "I feel like we're missing something... Oh, yeah! We have to finish with 'Raindrops.'" She kicked off Sweetener's a cappella opening number, but then abruptly stopped, laughing as she explained, "Someone said, 'Start again, I wasn't recording!' ... And I listened!" After making sure the fan was ready this time, she took it from the top and proceeded to absolutely nail it.
And she reciprocated all the loveKevin Mazur/Getty Images
Before skipping offstage, the singer took one last opportunity to express her gratitude: "I love y'all, thank you so much! Thank you for hanging out with me and for singing along and for supporting this record and having fun with me tonight. I'm so lucky to have y'all in my life. I don't know what the fuck I did to get this lucky, but I'm so grateful and I love you so much." Sweetest goodbye ever!