Reviews: Ariana Grande, Drake, John Mayer, Dierks Bentley & More

This week, for your reading enjoyment, we have compiled critical reviews of live performances from Ariana Grande in Toronto; Drake in London; John Mayer in Singapore; Dierks Bentley in Columbus, Ohio; Mariah Carey in Philadelphia; and DMX in Saratoga County, N.Y. 
(Ross Gilmore / Getty Images
– Drake
Sold 93 percent of the 300,100 Scorpion units moved in the UK digitally
Ariana Grande @ Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, April 3 – “’This is really special,’ said a shaky-sounding Grande of the Toronto concert which featured her big, four-octave voice, about a half-dozen costume changes and 25 songs but was strangely void of a lot of personality on her part until that point in the show. ‘I should never talk. I should just shut up. Oh, dear.’ In fact, Grande should talk more. Those emotions were a welcome glimpse into her and what she has been dealing with.” – Jane Stevenson / Toronto Sun
Drake @ The O2 – London in London, England, April 1 – “The O2 Arena went out of its way to welcome him, changing its signage to “O3” in reference to one of his lyrics. The crowd on the floor was hysterically hospitable too, despite missing out on half of the show — a video screen the size of a basketball court which formed the stage in the centre of the room.” – David Smyth / Evening Standard
John Mayer @ Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore, Singapore, April 1 – “It was as though the crowd of more than 10,000 was privy to an intimate studio jam session of blues, country, rock, folk, pop and soul tunes with 41-year-old Mayer and his friends – who included acclaimed musicians like bassist Pino Palladino, guitarist Isaiah Sharkey and singer-guitarist David Ryan Harris.” – Anjali Raguraman / The Straits Times
Dierks Bentley @ Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, March 29 – “While the storytelling was there last night, the clarity was not — the sound was bass- and drum-heavy, leaving little room for the lyrics that are so clear on his recordings. Most people don’t go to a Dierks Bentley concert for thoughtfulness and lyrics, though. They go for the party. Bentley is known for putting on a relentless, high-energy, live show, and this tour does not disappoint.” – Lynn Green / The Columbus Dispatch
Mariah Carey @
DMX @ Upstate Concert Hall in Saratoga County, N.Y., April 4 – “While at no point was the energy flagging, DMX seemed to become more invigorated as the show went on. Between songs he was lecherous, telling a female fan that he doubted she was over the age of 18, asking to see her ID and noting what his plans for her would be if she was in fact a legal adult. During ‘What’s My Name’ and ‘Where the Hood At’ he was physically animated, bobbing back and forth, climbing on top of equipment, arms constantly in motion. On both tracks, when DMX engaged folks to say his name or encouraged them to get involved, the audience was more than willing to oblige.” – Jim Shahen Jr. / Times Union