The US Open may attract tennis fanatics from all over the world, but it’s lovers of music who fill the stadium seats each year for Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. On Saturday (August 24), musicians and acclaimed tennis players alike took the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, NY for a show the crowd won’t soon forget.
Tennis pros Rafael Nadal, Sloane Stephens, and the Bryan Brothers were met with cheers as they served balls into the stands and hung out with a few lucky kids, while artists like Ava Max, Austin Mahone, Meg Donnelly, MAX, Quinn XCII, and JAGMAC lit up the stadium with pop tunes. And from what the musicians on the bill told us, they were just as excited to be at the US Open as the thousands of die-hard fans who came to watch.
“I was watching some of the players practice yesterday, so it kind of got me hyped for today,” Mahone said before his performance. “This is a legendary place, so I’m very thankful and excited to be here today.”
With an upbeat performance of his newest single, “Dancing with Nobody,” the 23-year-old’s smooth dance moves and flawless vocals set the tone for what turned out to be one of AAKD’s most exciting musical lineups in years. But if Mahone felt any inkling of nerves about performing, he didn’t let it show. Instead, his demeanor projected cool, calm collection as he filled us in on his upcoming music.
“[It] has a real disco-type vibe to it. I’m coming with something that’s a little bit funky, a little bit house-y,” he told us, promising fans can expect a new album or EP early next year. “My whole thing is to just keep the tempo up, so when I’m performing on stage, it’s fast music the whole time.”
MAX, on the other hand, revealed that in addition to performing, he had another goal for the day.
“I really hope to meet Nadal,” the “Lights Down Low” singer told us. “Apparently I looked like him as a kid, so I need to get that picture. I feel like that’s the move.”
We may never know if MAX achieved the feat (Nadal is sadly missing from MAX’s Instagram feed) but the 26-year-old singer probably didn’t go home too disappointed: the Kids’ Day crowd responded positively — and loudly — after he sang his latest track, Love Me Less featuring Quinn XCII.
But the track is more than just catchy lyrics and soulful backbeats. According to MAX, it’s a bit of a comeback song.
“It’s been such a special song,” he said. “I had a health thing, so I was out of the game for like, four or five months, and it was an important song to come back with, to say, you know, ‘I hope you don’t love me less,’ to the fans.”
MAX assures us he’s doing well now and is hard at work on the followup to his 2016 album, Hell’s Kitchen Angel. Like Mahone, MAX plans to put out new music in early 2020.
The 2019 US Open continues at Arthur Ashe Stadium through September 8th.