Let’s talk about P!nk (and yes, I’ll honor her stylized brand). She’s come a long way since I first saw her open for Lenny Kravitz back in 2001. Over the course of her 13-year career, she could have taken two paths: the Beyonce/Kelly Clarkson “we run the world” trajectory or the Britney/Christina “oops, lotus, really?” spiral. Fortunately for the planet, she followed the path of the former. On the first leg of her Truth About Love tour, P!nk reigns supreme. Still packing that “so what?” attitude of a 19-year-old, she balances it with the matured heart of a 33-year-old daughter, wife and mother. It’s authentic and refreshing and it’s what endears her to so many.
She opened with “Raise Your Glass” and never put it down. So many highlights it’s tough to distill: “U + Ur Hand” is one of my favorite quintessential Pink songs, as well as a personal favorite “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)” during which she dorked out to the way most of us probably dance. But her signature aerial acrobatics while singing heart-wrenching anthems “Try” and “Sober” stole the show. How she sings pitch perfect while flying through the air, and keeping her perfect coif in place both defy the laws of physics. I was mesmerized with the video delay treatment on the live video feed as it added so much drama to her performance. It was beautiful. I thought her cover song choice was interesting, Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” and on point for her aforementioned matured heart. She has killer pipes that are no better showcased than on on pop/rock ballads like “Just Give Me a Reason” with fun.’s Nate Ruess (on video), “Family Portrait” and an acoustic version of “Who Knew.”
Like all great artists, P!nk knows to save the best for last. She closed her main set with appropriately titled “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” and then dazzled a jaded concert goer like me with “So What?” She was fastened into some aerial contraption that enabled her to fly above her fans and to all corners of Madison Square Garden, getting so close that the folks in section 300 at the back of the arena were able to blow her that last kiss. These were rock moves I’ve never seen before. Are you ‘f-ing kidding me? Beyonce may have dabbled with in-arena flight on her last tour, but P!nk’s show raised the bar for all arena concerts going forward. In two weeks I’ll see Fleetwood Mac at MSG though I doubt we’ll see Stevie Nicks fly around on a broomstick, but how much would you pay to see that? P!nk’s final bow was an encore of “Glitter in the Air,” the riveting Grammy performance from two years ago that combines aerial acrobatics, flawless vocals and that infamous dip in a pool of water. I’ll end this post saying it was the most satisfying “big box” concert I’ve seen in a long time. P!nk’s on the road into 2014, so don’t miss this spectacle. It’s almost fuckin’ perfect.