I’ll be honest, I’ve kept up with Pink’s (aka Allecia Beth Moore) big hits, of course, but as an artist I haven’t been keeping too close an eye on her career. Not for lack of interest, she’s just kept to herself beyond her music career and occasionally creating a political fuss for the good guys (which is a fabulous thing, considering). I have always admired her inner strength and ability to do what she has set her sights on. She has the talent, but it goes far beyond that. If you have opinions of your own and you don’t conform to stereotypical beauty, it’s difficult to stay in music at the level of success she’s accomplished. The word authentic is thrown around so much, I tend to roll my eyes whenever it comes up… so I’ll go beyond that. She’s so comfortable on stage (and I don’t mean she’s got her stage show down pat, I mean she’s honest-to-goodness acting as her true self) that she puts you at ease, like you’re in her living room and she just wants to chat (loudly and into a microphone, but still). Constantly waving at fans, ever present to those around her and not caught up in the theatrics of it all. This alone made the entire performance worth it.
Having been around in the music biz for a while as both a writer and photographer, I’ve seen some nutty shows. From the hamster ball at a Flaming Lips show (and other zany things) to the wacky world Lady Gaga creates on every tour, but I’ve never been in complete awe of the physical and natural talents of an artist like I was at the Pink show on Sunday night at KeyArena. From beginning to end the strength and beauty with which she performed her songs was breathtaking. Whether strapped into a harness flying across the arena, suspended high above the audience in simple cloth loops, or dancing down the runway stage, there wasn’t a sign she was out of breath or tired even for a moment; as a matter of fact, she skipped off stage for every costume change. As a performer she’s been around for quite a long time. Her performances have become increasingly artistic, physically demanding and simply beautiful. It’s nice to have some financial success to play around with stage shows and this one did it well. The costumes were bright and fun, but not overdone and I couldn’t stop saying wow as she belted out her songs while performing acrobatic feats of strength I doubt most of the world could have accomplished sans singing. Grace, gravitas, and kindness was the theme for the show in my mind and while the tickets were on the steep side and hard to come by after the first 5 minutes they went on sale, it was a sight to behold and well worth it.
The one moment my mood altered was the quick foray she took into cover songs. First was “I’m Just a Girl” by No Doubt and I was all for it. It fit perfectly with her personality and style. Next came Nirvana’s “Teen Spirit” and this is where she lost me. I later found out this was a song she performs regularly throughout the tour which definitely shifted my feelings a bit, but I always feel a slight twinge when a big band, not from Seattle, performs anything Nirvana. I asked around to a few folks about how they felt on the subject to gain some perspective and I got a mixed bag of responses. Some feel like it’s pandering, others who saw the performance appreciated it and felt she did it justice. I think I was too harsh in my knee-jerk judging, but I also like seeing artists make cover songs their own. If you’re going to do a cover, then there’s a reason you chose that song. Either the lyrics speak to you, it has great meaning, or it effected you deeply at one time in your life. For a song like that, I’d want to show the emotional power it had over me, to communicate to the audience the power it has over me by making it my own and in so doing make it special for them too. I just didn’t feel that during her rendition. So the show wasn’t completely perfect, but it was damn close, I’ll tell you that. To prove it, I captured a few moments from the beginning of the performance below. Fawn over them, adore her and go to her show, you won’t regret it.