February 15, 2013
Mandalay Bay Events Center
Las Vegas, NV USA
Review by David Huff
Photos by Wayne Posner
Carrer Projectory Justified
Okay, I'll admit it. Somewhere along the vast information highway known as the Internet, I missed the memo that proclaimed Pink was going to be a superstar in 2013.
When Alecia Beth Moore (aka Pink) released the album, I'm Not Dead, in 2006, her career most certainly was. Whatever hype that had stayed glued to her shapely figure (the one constant in her life) through the first two albums had all but vanished. Career momentum had virtually bottomed out to the point she was playing small clubs and theaters. The last rites on her career would be administered by her record label Jive, when they released her Greatest Hits album in 2010. But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Pink survived, her label did not.
Alecia's salvation the past few years has been her popularity in Europe, where she was still considered a top level talent, and particularly Australia where she's a superstar. Pink has been immensely popular Down Under for several years, and when her popularity in the U.S. waned, she found sanctuary on the island nation. But again, in the place where her talent mattered the most, Pink had become an afterthought.
My confusion about Pink's career trajectory was justified. However, standing on the floor of the American Airlines Center surveying the excited fans cordoned off in a pit before me, and those occupying every single reserved seat in the arena, had me thinking I must be here to see someone else. I mean, the last time Alecia had been in this building was three years ago and she played to a half empty arena. But no, right there on the ticket it said Pink, The Truth About Love Tour. Reality had set in. Like Lazarus rising from the Dead, Pink had indeed done the same thing with her career.
The evening's festivities started out with the Swedish import, The Hives. This band is quite good, and proved to be the perfect spark to ignite this highly combustible crowd. There 40-minute set was well-received by the masses, and definitely put everyone in a festive mood for the free-for-all that lay ahead.
When the lights went down, the noise inside the arena was deafening. It only intensified (I know, hard to believe), as she was lowered down from the lighting tresses above accompanied by three handsome hunks. I couldn't help but laugh at the scene, and tip my hat to a very clever entrance. And then the show really began.
This concert proved to be as intense as it was entertaining. Part Barnum, part Cirque, part heartfelt sincerity, the Truth About Love was anchored by carefully choreographed chaos on stage, and in the air. The dancing was as smooth and sultry as the chanteuse herself. Trust me, there was a tremendous amount of thought put in to this nearly two-hour extravaganza. The ebb and flow was constant, from slow moments with a guitar or a piano, to colorful costume changes complimenting the dancing bedlam on stage. Nothing was left to chance. No one sat down.
Listen, I don't speak Pink. If you want me to describe unique moments with songs during the night, it's just not going to happen. Log on to Wiki and look up the Truth About Love tour if you are determined to ascertain what songs she's going to perform on this tour. If you have tickets for upcoming performances, here's a clue as to what to expect. Imagine what you think it's going to be like to hear the compositions live, and then rethink it ten times over. You still won't get it right. When it comes to the old adage of 'seeing is believing', Pink's message was loud, clear and certainly exploited the point.
I like good comeback stories. I like fighters. Pink is both. The visual components she incorporated into her act breathed life into the tunes performed tonight from her six-album catalogue. I thought her rendition of the Chris Isaak's classic, "Wicked Games" was extremely good. The male dancers that accompanied Ms. Moore "wickedly" danced alongside her as she cooed the words. In fact, every song this evening seemed to have its own theme attached to it, thus creating visual identities for the crowd to latch onto. It was fun to watch the antics play out with the various tunes. The action also kept this high flying, hi-octane show on overdrive throughout.
Tonight's audience was NOT made up of 'little monsters'. As a matter-of-fact, this crowd was far removed from anything remotely associated with Lady Gaga. There were no disenfranchised people reliving their angst through Pink. There were no silly fans dressed up in bizarre costumes desperate to make a statement. Nope, this audience was about as anti-Gaga as you could get, and that in itself was a relief. It was also a tremendous testament to Pink's own career resurrection. Those in attendance were there to have fun, be entertained and not be preached to. All three occurred.
I'll be honest here. This explosion of "Pink" absolutely caught me by total surprise. If you want to last in this business, you're going to have tons of ups and downs. Pink has certainly had her share of it.
Today's marketplace demands character as much as it requires skill. Someone like Lady Gaga has the chops, but she let the trappings overshadow the music. Instead of a must-see act, it's like been there, done that, poor pitiful you, I hear and feel your pain. Pink is the exact opposite of that melodrama, as she visibly demonstrated tonight. Her attitude about music was clearly stamped on the way she delivered her show. Solidly present the music, deftly mix in the entertainment element, and leave a lasting impression when it's all said and done. This was rebirth of a career at its finest. And it couldn't have happened to a more deserving artist.