Words By Rohan Mahadevan, Photos By Emily Cohen
When P!nk arrived on the scene in 2000 she was different then her peers. She was more brain than Britney Spears and lacked the classically trained vocal chops of Christina Aguilera, but her three single run off Can’t Take Me Home was a breath of fresh air on pop radio. A full thirteen years later, P!nk has shed her earlier sound and has become one of the most dynamic stars in the game. Like her smash hit “So What” states, she is a rock star and on a chilly Sunday night at the Verizon Center, she out shined her old and current peers in a dazzling stadium show.
Pink’s fans range from young girls to mothers, as her fan-base have grown up with her. The plenty packed Verizon Center crowd came for the hits and got that and more. Touring on her sixth record The Truth About Love, Pink not only sounded flawless but looked flawless too. Pink’s has been on the road since February and played Verizon Center on this tour last March, but even though her tour has been lengthy, she Pink shows no signs of burning out. She made every dance move and ever acrobatic stunt look easy.
The show was MCed by a games show host/preacher dressed in a half sequin half white suit. When not delivering speeches, the MC danced with P!nk’s dancers adding comic relief to the show. Before the show he walked through the packed crowd stealing and chugging audience member’s beers also licking an attendee’s bald head.
Starting the set off with her feel good anthem “Raise Your Glass,” P!nk strapped into a bungee harness and jumped around and above the stage doing twirls and flips. While Beyonce may fly into the air to get to her second stage, Pink spent a good chunk of her set in the air pulling off Cirque du Soleil stunts with the help of, in her words, “the best acrobats.” The explicit “Walk of Shame” followed leading into “Just Like a Pill,” the only selection for P!nk’s star-making sophomore record M!ssundaztood. Subsequent hits from the record, including the ubiquitous “Get the Party Started” and “Don’t Let Me Get Me” were left off the set, though their absence was easily forgivable, as P!nk has hits for days.
“U + Ur Hand” allowed the five-piece band to rock a hard and solo, while “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)” fell flat being more of a transitional costume change track. The second section of the show consisted of slower numbers including the track “Try” complete with the choreography P!nk premiered on last year’s American Music Awards. Also in the set was an odd cover of Chris Issac’s “Wicked Games” which I would’ve easily have swapped for another hit. “Just Give Me A Reason” brought sing alongs, with the song’s co-writer and singing partner Nate Ruess of the band fun. represented on the large heart shaped screen above the stage.
Things got back to the rock energy of the start of the set with “Trouble” and P!nk even played the drums to the energetic Truth About Love opener “Are We All We Are.” Set highlight “Sober” allowed P!nk to return to the air in a spinning circle cage with her acrobatics jumping on and off through out the track. Like the song’s lyrics go P!nk was “Safe up high” but the “party” was far from over. P!nk said she tried to teach herself new thing every tour. Last time she played guitar for a track and this time she played piano on “The Great Escape” apologizing beforehand if she messed up any of the notes.
While most pop divas of her statue will rely on canned banter, P!nk mixed it up. She also accepted all of the fan’s gifts humbly saying they weren’t for her but for her daughter Willow and unlike most pop-stars she performed full songs with the gifts locked in her lands rather then giving them to a stage hand. She even traded an autograph for a Flipeez hat which she wore before performing an acoustic version of “Who Knew.” P!nk sang about 60% of the set, as dancing/flying in the air and singing is hard to do, but “Who Knew” gave her a chance to sit back and stretch out her voice. “Fucking Perfect” was done in radio edit form which was jarring when compared to the beginning of the set, which let swears fly with reckless abandon. From “Fucking Perfect” on Pink went full on self-censor letting the audience fill in the dirty lines.
Not forgetting where she came from, P!nk plated a medley of “Most Girls,” There You Go” and “You Make Me Sick,” from Can’t Take Me Home. In most sets this would be fan-service, but Pink handled the medley with the same energy as her newer numbers. “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” ended the set on a high note with P!nk’s dancers chasing her around the stage and gyrating on a stripper pole before everyone jumped on a huge couch and went off the stage.
For the encore P!nk took to the air one last time to do “So What” tumbling and flying around the entire venue close enough for some to touch her. Though her back-up singers did most of the work it was an impressive display of athleticism and one that only P!nk could do. Like Pink said during the show, she really does have “the best dancers, the best band and the best acrobats.” Hands down she puts on a damn good show that is not to be missed.