With Lady GaGa’s tour cancelled what’s a music fan to do? Who can we turn to for the spectacular theatrics, mind blowing electric music, the ‘wish-I-could-do that’ dance moves? Fear not ladies and gents, Pink is the answer. Diamonds may be a girls’ best friend but what our lady Pink brought to the BB&T stage this evening was high energy, high flying acrobatic. , Oh yeah, plus really great music, and rousing vocals that will make your hair stand on end.
Way back in the day, 2000 to be exact, I first met Pink at a meet-and-greet for a local distributor that I worked for. She was promoting her debut CD Can’t Take Me Home and playing the video for the release. I’ll never forget it; neon pink hair (no surprise there) dark sunglasses, very understated. Who would have imagined that young lady who signed my 8×10 picture ‘peace, love & blessings, Pink’ (using a peace sign and heart) would turn into this mega star who is as big as one of her idols, Madonna. Her second CD M!ssundaztood was the release that completely broke her out of the box with the smash singles Get the Party Started (written by Linda Perry from the band 4 Non Blondes), Just Like a Pill and Don’t Let Me Get Me (both songs written by Pink and Dallas Austin). All three songs reached the top of the charts and made Alecia Beth Moore (her real name) an ‘overnight sensation.’
This evening it’s her “The Truth About Love Tour,” that has the whole town talking and coming to the BB&T Center in droves. Though the sold out crowd (appox 17,000) really wasn’t sure what to expect it was understood from the opening song this was going to be much more than a rock concert. The entire evening was spent on our feet. Even the balcony was up and at ’em the entire 90 minute plus show. We had the makings of a barn burner on our hands.
The stage was set as a ‘The Truth About Love’ game show with Pink as a contestant. Pink appeared high above the stage suspended by a bungee cord type of device accompanied by three male dancers singing Raise Your Glass. Obviously her husband Carey Hart isn’t the only daredevil in her family. The surrounding stage set was an elaborate vision in itself. Consisting of 5 video screens directly behind the stage (one shaped like a heart directly in the middle), plus one on each side, a five piece band, two backup singers, dancers, staircases with light posts, an MC (whom combined the bizarre and eccentric all in one package), and a few costume changes. Let’s face it, with all this going on that was probably the only time Pink had to catch her breath in between numbers. Another interesting note is there was a pseudo mosh pit in front of the stage. It wasn’t big in size and there wasn’t the usual jumping around but it did afford those in that area a face-to-face experience with our Lady Pink. In fact on a couple of occasions she sat on the floor, shook hands, received gifts (a portrait of herself, flowers and stuffed animals) and even posed for a photo with one lucky fan. It’s clear as big as she is professionally she hasn’t lost touch with those of us who come to her shows and buy her CD’s. She was genuinely happy to have us there.
With her tongue-in-cheek humor she dedicated Leave Me Alone to all the terrible dancers in the audience; there were quite of a few of us who registered on her ‘dork-o-meter’ displayed on the video screen. In my own defense no one said I was going to be pressured to show my low-down dirty moves on the dance floor only to be registered as a dork. Though she claimed to be one of us I doubt her ‘bad’ dance moves were anything but. She made it look good. There was a lot to spy onstage and much to keep everyone’s attention. We caught more than a few glimpses of Pink’s famous ripped ABS thanks to a few costumes with midriff and a body suit that appeared seamless. I’m sure I’m not the only one in the audience who marveled at her lean physic. I’d kill to have a stomach like that. Speaking of which there were quite a few other ‘ladies’ in the audience who captured the crowds attention on the floor. I’ve never been able to put my finger on it but apparently drag queens like me. Guess because I’m cute and short; they all tower above me by a good foot. It was certainly turning out to be a festive evening for all.
The show’s pace was rapid at times especially at the beginning of the show. She didn’t slow down until her cover of Chris Isaak’s sexually charged Wicked Game. She began the song center stage alone behind the microphone but that moment was fleeting. Three male dancers appeared and with her in rather suggestive poses and body part groping. The showcase for her amazing vocals really shone through with the song Just Give Me A Reason, a duet she performed with Nate Ruess via video screen. Two of the most tender moments of the show came when accompanied only by pianist Jason Chapmanthe. Familiar notes of Family Portrait (her song about her parents divorce and their broken home when she was a child) rang through the arena. Adding to the intensity of the song photographs showed on the screen behind of stage of her early years and pictures of her family. Who Knew was the other heart breaker with Justin Derrico on acoustic guitar. Before kicking into the crowd pleaser F**KIN’ PERFECT she remarked that she would be performing the ‘clean’ version of the song by changing the ‘wrong words’. It was at this point she spoke to a young boy right in front of her; his adorable face focused on the center screen.
Another classic moment came to fruition as she loudly asked if there were any “sluts in the audience?” I don’t want to say that there were but judging by the audience’s reaction there may have been a few thousand among the ranks. Remarking that she herself is now a ‘former slut on Thursday’s 9 to 11,” this prompted a stage set change as we were transported thanks to our MC to a sleazy strip club complete with neon signs, a stripper pole and dancers. The theme of the set; fetishes. Pink herself took a couple of spins and worked it like a pro; the stripper pole that is. She brought the roof down fueled with the high energy and a sexually amped up Slut Like You and Blow Me (One Last Kiss).
Her encore was a sight all on its own and worth the price of admission. Our lady of the rock dressed in a gold bodysuit, strapped into a harness, was flying over the crowd. If there was ever a camera phone moment of the evening this was it. All eyes were transfixed on the flying star that stopped momentarily through the song on ledges located on both sides of the arena and floated back again over our heads. For those doubters I can tell you this first hand; she proved she can sing upside down, swinging in a harness, and performing killer dance moves. There was no lip syncing tonight. As the show came to close she ended with Glitter in the Air. Still suspended above us she spun in an amazing performance that showcased not only her amazing vocal control but incredible grace.
Her opening band Swedish rockers The Hives put on an entertaining show keeping their set to 45 minutes. The band sounded tight and managed to rally the audience with little effort. All dressed in their best tuxedos their front man Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist did his best Roger Daltry impression (combined with Mick Jagger dance moves) complete with swinging microphones (I always expect someone to get hit in the head) and Nicholaus Arson’s guitar leaps (aka Pete Townshend). Get the feeling the boys may be Who fans? Their hit single Hate To Say I Told You So set up tonight’s show to be unforgettable.
All I can say is Pink; you totally rocked the BB&T Center to its core. If for whatever reason if this ‘pop music career’ thing doesn’t work out for you Cirque Du Soleil may be another way to go. But judging by tonight’s performance I believe you’ve cemented your place in rock history as one of the most dynamic and entertaining singers on the scene today.