Review by Dr. Lynne Hinkey
Photos by Matt Drobnik
To say P!nk’s concert is phenomenal is an enormous understatement.This is Broadway musical, Cirque du Soleil, Rock Opera, and Mardi Gras all rolled into one exciting event…with a capital E. The opening song was a raucous rendition of Get This Party Started; that had P!nk swinging from an oversized chandelier in a pink hotel lobby set, sent the crowd at the Colonial Life Arena off on a two-and-a-half hour extravaganza. Every minute was a highlight. The sets, however, deserve special mention. A 3-D screen backdrop accentuated and enhanced the stage props, including a larger-than-life Eminem inflatable and claymation cartoon carnival during Revenge and Fun House.
One elaborate sequence befitting a Broadway rock-opera opens with P!nk singing Try as she wanders through an eerie fairytale forest in a Little Red Riding Hood cape, besieged by a stag, fox, magpie, and princes. She arrives at a creepy old house, where she then sings a duet of Just Give Me a Reason with Nate Reuss via a 1950s era-television set. The song climaxes with P!nk soaring into the air on a bed that crashes through the 3D-video ceiling and into a starry sky. She then serenades the audience with her latest, Walk Me Home, under a full moon. Returning to earth, P!nk brings down the house–literally and figuratively—with Just Like Fire. The production-value of that series of songs alone is worth the price of admission.
Even with everything that goes on–from amazing choreography and visually spectacular sets, to the athletic and graceful dancing, to jaw-dropping aerial feats–the showy parts of the show never overwhelm the main attraction, P!nk's spectacular voice belting out her greatest hits. This is the Beautiful Trauma Tour, and about a third of the twenty-plus songs come from that album, but there are also favorites from past albums including Missundaztood, Funhouse, and Truth About Love, as well as the just-released single (Walk Me Home) from her upcoming Hurts 2B Human album. The singer also gives a nod to some of her favs, Gwen Stefani with I'm Just A Girl and Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. The singer made the packed arena seem like an intimate venue as she complimented some pink bewigged ladies, a foursome with sequined tees spelling out P-I-N-K, and giving birthday shout-outs. Transitioning from old to new material, from rock anthems, to ballads like Barbie to the gospel-inspired I Am Here. The Beautiful Trauma Tour has something for everyone and that was reflected in the audience, that included pre-teens and grandmothers, and every age in between, dozens of them with hair done in styles and colors from every stage of P!nk's career.
Perhaps the parts of this tour that get the most press, and with good reason, are the aerial acrobatics. Chandelier-swinging, the soaring bed, “fights" that send dancers flying through the air, and a gorgeous aerial ballet to Secrets; performed with dancer-extraordinaire Khasan Brailsford, all leave the audience in awe. But none more than the big finale, when P!nk rockets the length and width of the arena, somersaulting and spinning through the air to So What; Even more amazing? She never falls back onto a pre-recorded soundtrack, singing through all of the high-intensity, gravity-defying moves–as evidenced by an occasional catch in her voice or gasp for breath–making the stunts all the more incredible, and making P!nk all the more a rock Superstar.