(This review originally appeared at Reel Film News on March 19, 2013.)
In the music industry these days, it seems that there are two types of pop stars: the flash-in-the-pan types that don’t last more than one song, and then there are the timeless artists that have grown out of their niche with each successive album. And if you’ve been anywhere near music in the last 13 years, you’ll see that no pop music performer has evolved so viscerally or artfully than the girl they call P!nk (neé Alecia Moore). Mostly forgoing the urban R&B beginnings of her career in favor of a more hard-rock-oriented style, P!nk has defied critics’ and audience’s expectations around the world by becoming not only one of the most prolific singers of the modern era, but one of the most talented performers in history.
Currently, her “The Truth About Love” tour is taking her all over the world, starting in North America in February and ending in Australia in September, and once again, she is dazzling audiences with her versatile vocals and acrobatic stunts, much like she did with her “Funhouse” tour. “The Truth About Love,” the album this tour is supporting, is a fascinating entry into her catalogue, with songs ranging from electro-pop dance numbers [“Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” “The Truth About Love”] to anthemic stadium rockers (“Are We All We Are,” “How Come You’re Not Here”) to the naked and deeply personal (“Just Give Me A Reason”). P!nk uses this tour to showcase her entire range, including all of the songs listed above mixed in with crowd favorites.
It is a welcome sight to see many of the dancers and musicians returning from the “Funhouse” tour, as that show was utter perfection, both musically and aesthetically. Drummer Mark Schulman’s metronomically steady beats make it easy for the other musicians and P!nk to do their thing; lead guitarist Justin Derrico continues to help the songs soar with his skillful fingerwork; bassist Eva Gardner and guitarist/keyboardist Kat Lucas create solid sonic backdrops for the band; and finally, Justin Chapman more than capably gives fittingly lush backgrounds on the keyboards and piano. But through it all, the one constant is P!nk, boasting strong vocals (neither Autotuned or lip-synched!) and a mighty stage presence. Whether standing still by a piano (“Family Portrait”), being accompanied by a filmed performance by fun.’s Nate Ruess (“Just Give Me a Reason”), joining her dancers in perfect choreography (“U + Ur Hand”), spinning and moving intricately in a gyroscope (“Sober”), or flying on wires high above the remote parts of the stadium (“So What”), she doesn’t miss a step or a beat, singing with the intensity and drive of a woman possessed. There are few modern acts or singers that can pull off the kind of show that she lays before us, and she makes it look like a whole hell of a lot of fun doing it.
A P!nk show is a one-of-a-kind experience; there’s something for everyone here, from ballads to rockers to dance club jams to acoustic numbers. There are only two acts which I’ll drop everything to go see, and she’s one of them (the other’s Coldplay) because her shows are engaging, well-done, and so much fun to watch. It doesn’t hurt that her stage banter is self-deprecating and hilarious, and she has the stamina and endurance to match her dancers move for move. If you have the opportunity to go see her show, you’d be a fool to miss out on it. And as I finish writing this, she’s just announced that the tour will be back for some more North America dates from October through December, thus putting her on the road for ten months. Check out her schedule and get yourself tickets, ‘cause you don’t want to miss her a second time.
FINAL GRADE: A+
Reel Film News Concert Review by Eddie Pasa