sat 18/05/2024

Pink, O2 Arena | reviews, news & interviews

Pink, O2 Arena

Pink, O2 Arena

Alecia Moore raises the bar for high-budget arena shows

Pink: high-wire act

On Monday, Pink shocked Twitter followers by announcing she was pulling out of a gig at Birmingham’s LG Arena. A lung infection had confined her to the hotel. “She better get well soon,” said one fan. “I’d die if she cancelled at the O2.” She didn’t, of course. Whether due to an awful lot of oranges or sheer guts she arrived on stage last night, catapulted by giant bungee cords.

The high-octane pace lasted all night long. At the end she was flying again – this time suspended on wires and being fired from one end of the arena to the other. In the intervening two hours, the 33-year old mother proved herself possibly the most exhilarating, dizzying arena act around.

Pink has a star quality that made this concert uniquely American and uplifting

She may be the most charming too. Pink (real name Alecia Beth Moore) arrived on stage with her usual, general “screw you” attitude, but her interaction with the crowd was never anything other than perfectly full of grace. The bad manners were left to an irritating and  cartoonish MC character called Rubix, who seemed to model himself on Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice. The purpose of this creation was, of course, to provide diversions during costume changes. The premise presented to the audience, however, was that he was the demonic host of a supernatural game show. On giant screens the audience saw Pink plucked out of the audience as the first contestant.

She walked over the stage and then, bang! - there she was exploding through a trap door. The opening number, performed mainly upside down, was the only time it wasn’t clear if Pink was benefiting from a little assistance from backing tapes. Otherwise, it was undoubtedly all her.

In total, the punkette from Pensylvania performed four songs airborne. The most spectacular, “Sober”, was performed in a kind of egg-shaped cage (pictured right) with dancers hanging off the side. The egg was hung over the split-level stage. Behind were a number of huge bedroom mirrors – the main one was heart-shaped – housing huge video screens. The band filled the rear of the lower stage.

The set was nicely divided between the new album and Pink’s greatest hits, with a decent mix of fast and slow. Sometimes, in particularly energetic numbers like “Trouble”, you could hear her breathing fast. Generally though, the vocal performances ranged from good to excellent. 

The musical highlight came just after an autograph session halfway through. Sitting on the catwalk that protruded into the audience, Pink performed an acoustic set that really allowed her lungs to fill. Most intriguing was a cover of James Taylor’s folky "Fire and Rain".

When the band returned, their performances were suitably well-polished, though they always left enough grit to give the music a satisfyingly earthy character. As a result many songs, like “Are We All We Are”, fared better than their recorded counterparts.

Pink's glossiness on record can sometimes attract criticism from hipper quarters. Such cynics even suggest that, musically, she is little more than a kind of souped-up Avril Lavigne. It’s all nonsense. Pink has a star quality that made this concert uniquely American and quite uplifting. It was subversive, wholesome, glitzy and individual all at the same time.

Watch Pink perform "Slut Like You" live in LA

It was subversive, wholesome, glitzy and individual all at the same time


Editor Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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