I got my first taste of Pink as an angsty tween—I requested a Pink Floyd CD for Christmas, and was unamused to find the Misundaztood singer staring out of my stocking instead. Yet I was pleasantly surprised to find that she was not just another bubblegum popper—she was a rocker with real grit and power.
Something about seeing a performer in the flesh colors the way you hear their music from that moment on. You’ve seen them live, less-scripted, as prone to the vicissitudes of the moment as the rest of us mere mortals. I’ve been charmed by the surprising awkwardness of the indie-chic Regina Spektor, clutching her guitar and rocking back and forth like an anxious toddler. I gained new respect for Tegan and Sarah when they stopped mid-song to shame a catcaller. I watched my beloved Lady Gaga crumble from edgy visionary to self-aggrandizing mumbler. But never have I been so captivated as by Pink.
Onstage, Pink is awesomely fun. She seems like she’s truly having the time of her life, with a full, throaty laugh and smiles of the eye-crinkling, unfakeable kind. She moves with muscular verve, whether she’s belting ballads barefoot or swinging from a steel chandelier. It is breathtaking to see a body like Pink’s—ripped, broad, uncompromisingly strong—swinging from aerial scarves typically adorned by waifish ballerina-types.
The concert is loosely framed as a game show, hosted by an odd little man who looks like a balding Gotye. His stints were probably the least entertaining, but somebody’s gotta keep the crowd warm during all those costume changes. A huge heart-shaped screen provided background images and text during the performance.
The most-hyped aspect of the tour—the incredible flying stunt during “So What,” absolutely delivers. She floated and flipped over the crowd, swooping almost low enough to high-five fans, then ricocheted up nearly to the top the sky-high Key Arena dome. She wore five-inch glitter stilettos, and roared the lyrics with all her heart. The feat is so strenuous that she is just getting back to her tour after four days of mandated vocal rest.
She introduced and thanked each of her bandmates and backup performers with genuine grace, and ran a lengthy credits reel at the end (including a so-real thanks to Spanx!) that almost everyone stayed to watch.
Pink is still as hardcore as ever, but she isn’t afraid to show a more grown-up side. The 34-year-old new mom announced that she’s sworn off f-bombs until daughter Willow is at least 12, but asked her audiences to “carry the torch for her.” Will do, Pink!
CHECK OUT THESE EXCLUSIVE CONCERT PHOTOS FROM STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER STEPH BRUSIG!