Daring physical performance and a discography packed with instantly recognizable party songs – what more can you ask from a pop gig?
There are only a small handful of artists who could sell out Wembley Stadium 20 years into their career. This weekend, Pink did it two nights in a row.
To put the star and her myriad achievements into perspective, it’s over 10 years since I last saw her in concert – the Funhouse Tour in Manchester – and I can’t remember any of it.
Well, save for one thing: being absolutely blown away by her aerial acrobatic skills.
Over the ensuing decade, my respect for her never wavered… Even if I’ve struggled to connect with the music like I did Missundaztood’s singles in 2001-02.
I must also admit, I tired of the circus skills schtick. Especially after she scaled the side of building for her 2017 AMAs performance of Beautiful Trauma. What could top that?
Well, consider my hat well and truly eaten. Seeing such spectacle in person, and making a concerted effort to remember it this time, was breathtaking.
Watching the 39-year-old be catapulted around Wembley Stadium during the climactic So What – her reliably powerful voice on point throughout, even while spinning mid-air – was possibly the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen at a concert. I can’t imagine any of her peers having the bottle to do it.
Her entrance was equally dramatic: lowered to the stage hanging from a chandelier for compulsory show opener and all-round mission statement Get This Party Started.
The energy didn’t let up throughout, largely thanks to an extensive discography packed with instantly recognisable party songs. Many, of course, are arena-ready anthems, from Raise Your Glass to Blow Me (One Last Kiss).
In fact, my only criticism of the whole gig is the omission of certain tracks. For example, those of us who have been with her since her debut Can’t Take Me Home will know that album contained some strong songs. (Only one, There You Go, made it onto her 2010 greatest hits package).
It would be good to see them get an airing next time, but you do imagine an exhaustive two-hour spectacle stretching into three-hour territory. And while last night’s Cyndi Lauper Time after Time cover was totally superfluous, Pink still found time to revisit many past hits. (Which was more than can be said for February’s Brits medley…)
Indeed, the Beautiful Trauma World Tour show is packed with thrilling moments. There was a standout dance number for the searching Try, with Pink’s partner moving with equal precision and conviction and, evermore elaborate group choreography for What About Us.
Another touching moment was a spoken word interlude in which the 39-year-old discusses feminism and her relationship with her daughter. (‘Do you see me growing my hair? ‘No mama’ ‘Do you see my changing my body?’ ‘No mama’).
Best of all, it was simply a privilege to hear an artist belt out songs that hold so much meaning for me, and transport me back to different stages of my life, from the unparallelled Just Like A Pill and barnstorming 2017 album track I Am Here. An utterly brilliant night.