Ever since I first watched P!nk’s amazing DVD (and later Blu-Ray) Funhouse Tour Live In Australia, I knew the next time she came anywhere near the we had to go see her in person. Last night totally lived up to the high expectations that DVD set.
Opening the show was The Hives. Until recently I only knew their one American sorta-hit from 2000, “Hate To Say I Told You So”, but I recently picked up their latest CD Lex Hives and thought it was excellent. The band did a great job owning that stage in their 40 or so minute set. Their frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist seems to have endless energy and worked his way through as much of the crowd as possible making sure everyone was involved and having a good time. Then there was a break in which a strange man in a glittery suit had a spolight on him as he slithered through parts of the crowd doing strange things to people like licking the bald heads of two guys in one area, acting very mime-ish to play up to the screen that was now showing his antics, then coming back out and stopping to dance with an older woman in the crowd during one of the disco songs on the PA.
The lights died down to a roaring crowd, and first we saw P!nk’s Cover Girl commercial which was exciting and eye-rolling at the same time, then the strange guy from before hits the stage with a microphone and the show starts as a mock television show, with a skit of P!nk supposedly backstage but at a bar then drunkenly arguing with the announcer and eventually the curtain drops and BAM! The show starts with a rousing “Raise Your Glass”, and a stage that rivals her previous tours. And there is P!nk, already doing gymnastics while singing, as part of a human heart formation, dangling with bungees while singing away to our excitement. The stage screens and setups at times resembled video games, cartoons, comics, all things that fit the theme and the songs. P!nk and her amazing band kept us on our toes through “Walk of Shame”, “Just Like A Pill”, “U + Ur Hand” and a personal favorite “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)”, where once again she encouraged the worst dancing possible in the crowd, which is always a fun time.
During the recent hit “Try” she swung, flipped, and bungeed at the front of the crowd, then rejoined the stage to re-enact part of the ballet-fight sequence from the video, which is quite a feat to do that *while* singing. Granted P!nk does not sing *every* note of the song herself. But she has mastered the art of blending with her backup singers so she knows where to take breaths so she can pull off this feat and still be singing while in motion. I have yet to see any other pop stars perform anything close to this kind of feat with no vocal backing tracks at all. Next she slowed things down for a cover song. This tour she has chosen “Wicked Game”, and oh man was this ever a good choice! Her voice suits the song beautifully. This was followed by probably my favorite song on her new album, “Just Give Me a Reason”, where Nate Ruess of Fun. was on a track and on the screens in a way that made it look like they were singing the duet even though he couldn’t be on tour. Normally I wouldn’t go for this, but Nate’s voice is really irreplaceable in the song. This was followed with some upbeat songs that while aren’t her biggest hits, had the crowd going crazy just the same – “Trouble”, “Are We All We Are” which was great in a live setting, and “How Come You’re Not Here”.
“Sober” was one of the night’s biggest highlights. Unlike the previous tour which had a trapeze act during the song, this time there was a rotating globe with dancers on, in, and around it with P!nk balancing off of it and inside of it while singing, spinning high in the air. This is where the show starts to border on Cirque du Soleil. Amazing to be doing this while singing beautifully. That takes some massive stamina. Once that ended, out came a piano, and P!nk gave one of the most beautiful versions of “Family Portrait” I’ve heard thus far. She then joined her amazing guitarist for a stripped down “Who Knew”, and “Fuckin’ Perfect”, which she warned the crowd rather sheepishly that she was going to sing the clean version, and we could fill in the rest – a nod to her new motherhood and the amount of her younger fans in the audience. In fact, at times throughout the show she would self-censor here and there. The song was perfect anyway.
Next was a bit of a surprise. there was a short video montage of when P!nk started her career and her first hit singles, and then she came out onstage in a leather jacket and did a really good medley of “Most Girls”, “There You Go”, and “You Make Me Sick”, after which she shared that the jacket was what she bought with her first (I think I heard right) royalty check. The last two songs of the main set were the exciting “Slut Like You” and “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)”. After expending all of that energy.. wait! There’s more!
After strapping herself into a device that was wired to the sides of the arena, “So What” is where P!nk flew across the crowd on suspension, tumbling and flying and hovering as the crowd loses their minds every time she soars right over their heads. The second encore was my favorite. P!nk and her amazing dancers performed the now famous human chandelier for “Glitter in the Air”. The song already is so beautiful, and the grace and stamina it takes to pull off such a daring stunt just amplified the beauty of the song that much more. After the crowd went nuts and P!nk exited the stage, the screens played a credits roll like a movie, and showed a bunch of rehearsal footage for the tour while P!nk I’m sure made her getaway.
Despite the fact I was fighting what I’m pretty sure was a bout of extreme fatigue (I went to see Muse and stood for four hours the night before and hadn’t had enough rest), coupled with a reaction I was having to a lady’s perfume two seats down (pungent is about the only word I can use to describe), I was still mesmerized by this show. It was well worth the money spent and the wait to finally see her. P!nk is a class act when it comes to showing pop musicians how it’s done. And she got here doing it her own way.
Setlist (based on a looking the previous night’s setlist, so the order might not be 100%, but all songs were performed)
Raise Your Glass
Walk of Shame
Just Like a Pill
U + Ur Hand
Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)
Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover)
Just Give Me a Reason
Are We All We Are
How Come You’re Not Here
Most Girls / There You Go / You Make Me Sick
Slut Like You
Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
Glitter in the Air
Video of “Sober” thanks to YouTube member WilliamHunt:
PERFECT review, Rob. Glad we were there to share this with you all.