The phrase that “one can weep with happiness” proved true in Ariana Grande's moving concert on her return to Manchester Pride, where the artist was welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd that not only shed tears, but also greeted her with shouts of joy.

"No Tears Left To Cry" was precisely the song Ariana Gardner selected to open her nine song concert, the first melody she played after her retirement from Manchester Pride since the terrorist attack there in 2017 in which 22 people perished.

'...a special place in her heart'

The artist uttered words of thanks to the cheers of the crowd shouting her name. Ariana Grande admitted that Manchester Pride "had a special place in her heart". The artist uttered words of thanks as the police patrolled outside. She also said “she was very overwhelmed and happy" by the warm welcome from her fans.

One of them, Mason Thomas, 20 years old, who was present the night of the attack, was also another of the fans who shed tears to hear the melody "No Tears Left for Cry".

"She" (Ariana) was there for us, the LGBT community," he told the BBC, recognising how significant Ariana's return was to him. "It means so much to the city and it means so much to the world to show what she did tonight and show that hate doesn't win."

Molly Baigent, 20, of West Yorkshire, who also joined her cries of welcome to those of the crowd to express her love for Ariana, admitted that one of her reasons for attending the concert was to show herself that she could control her anxiety. And Sadie Scorah, 28, of Bolton, felt how "beautiful and really emotional" it was to witness Ariana's return.

'One Last Time'… again

Among the melodies included by Ariana in her return concert was "One Last Time," which after the attack was sentimentally elevated by Ariana's followers to hymn status. The artist, who previously acknowledged having been a victim of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the bombing perfromed at a new outdoor space in the city centre that currently serves as a depot for disused trains.

Ariana admitted her affection for the gay community ever since she was a teenager learning to sing and went to gay bars. In their honour during the concert, the artist and her corps waved rainbow-coloured flags as they performed "Thank U, Next”.

The event, however, did not fail to attract some detractors who criticised this annual public celebration of the gay community. Others complained of inconvenience in entering the event because their tickets were blocked because they didn´t know they had to be in Manchester at 19:00 BST.

(British summer)

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