The 2016 VMAs were filled with high-concept performances, starting with Rihanna‘s monochrome opening act through Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj‘s Soulcycle-inspired choreo for “Side to Side” and concluding with Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain,” all aired live from Madison Square Garden in New York City Sunday night (Aug. 28) — relive all the highlights below.
1. Rihanna goes monochrome to run through her hits “Don’t Stop The Music,” “We Found Love,” and “Don’t Stop The Music” for her first performance of the night.
2. Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj take the stage for a gym-centric rendition of their duet “Side to Side.”
3. Future performs “Commas” after being introduced by Michael Phelps.
4. For Rihanna’s second performance, she got back to her roots with an entirely dancehall-themed set — and a few hundred of her friends.
5. Nick Jonas took his act to the people, performing “Bacon” at New York’s Tick Tock Diner (with a little help from Ty Dolla Sign).
6. Beyoncé brought down the house with a jaw-dropping rendition of several Lemonade cuts, including “Hold Up,” “Sorry” and “Formation.”
8. Rihanna cranked up the edge with her third performance, donning a black wig to perform “Needed Me,” “Pour It Up,” and “Bitch Better Have My Money.”
10. Rihanna slowed things down for the show’s finale with “Stay,” “Diamonds” and “Love On The Brain” in front of a full orchestra.