That’s the exact feeling I had when I was leaving the Capital One Arena for the “Beautiful Trauma” Tour starring P!nk. The pop (and sometimes rock) star, who is currently on a 38 city North American tour, brought her show to Washington, D.C. for two back-to-back sold out night, beginning on April 16th. Coming off of the success of her last international blockbuster trek “The Truth About Love” Tour, you can bet that the stakes were extremely high for her to pull off a top of the line performance, but did she meet those demands? I’d like to say she well beyond exceeded my expectations.
I’ve been a casual P!nk fan since her debut album “Can’t Take Me Home” pushed her into the limelight 18 years ago, and over the years I’ve watched her go through several changes, going from the pink hair R&B starlet to pop music’s “rebel” rocker. Not only has her music changed, but her artistry has evolved too, whereas earlier in her career was giving the standard early 00’s style live performance, now she’s known for delivering an out of this world concert spectacle of an experience that quite honestly has not been matched. Needless to say, I was more than ecstatic at the fact of FINALLY getting to see her live in concert.
Walking into the Capital One Arena, it was pretty clear to see that I wasn’t the only one excited, as the main concourse of D.C.’s premier concert arena was packed full of people ready to see P!nk, whether standing in line making hard decisions on which items of merch they wanted to snag or dressed up as the star in one of her numerous iconic looks over the years. I ended up speaking with a mom who had brought her 13 year old daughter to the concert, whereas this would be mom’s third time seeing P!nk, this was her daughter’s very first concert ever! You could only imagine the level of excitement that the young adolescent had once she found out that they would be sitting 10 rows away from the stage, THIS folks is the type of warm energy that was filling the bowl of the arena in anticipation for the start of the show.
That energy was warranted when the opening act hit the stage. The Bleachers kicked things into gear, starting promptly at 7:30 PM. Hailing from New Jersey, they had 30 minutes to give it their all and leave their imprint on the eager crowd. Blending comic relief with music that was equal parts pop, rock and indie, I would tend to say they fared well. With all members being musically inclined (yes, they ALL 5 played instruments), they were able to get some ears tuned in when they performed a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way”.
A brief intermission took place before the lights went back down, and now it was time to get on a sensory roller coaster ride. The show opened up with a random male dressed in a tuxedo playing a “sad” flute rendition of the 20th Century Fox intro against a bright pink curtain. Before he could finish his final notes, the curtain dropped and there we see P!nk, outfitted in a form fitted shimmering silver bodysuit, swinging midair on a huge chandelier and the beginning notes to her 2001 hit “Get The Party Started” played over the loud system.
Talk about an intro! In a world where creativity in a concert performance is relatively marginal, P!nk shattered that idea straight out of the gate. She would make a quick onstage costume change, throwing on a black and pink full length jacket and moved on to her latest single “Beautiful Trauma“.
Throughout her set, she was determined to take us on a journey through different facets of entertainment experiences. During her show that clocked in at just under 2 hours, I felt like I had visited a carnival and watched a theatrical Broadway play, over the top Cirque du Soleil show, and pop concert all in one. The second act of the night served as the Funhouse portion of the show, where there were extremely bright colors and a whimsical feel, which was displayed by her massive video wall playing images of slightly deranged variations of fun.
For the performance of “Revenge“, she sang alongside a massive blow up doll, as her skills of an aerialist made its first appearance of the night. Anyone that’s seen this woman perform knows that she’s got a few tricks up her sleeve, mainly which of making anything a high flying act. Later on in the concert, there was a performance of “Secrets” where she, along with her dancer Khasan, did a lyrical style aerial routine that was one of the most beautiful moments of the show. Without the assistance of a pulley or safety net system, they flipped and turned several feet above the stage, over her audience that sat in the pit section of her heart-shaped stage. You could totally tell that she was a pro at this.
Don’t get it twisted though, she didn’t only rely on circus tricks to act as a decoy for the reason of why she’s had successful longevity in today’s fickle music industry. There’s a level of vocal talent that exists in her body that I honestly forgot about. She has this slightly raspy tone which totally works for her, since it’s perfect for the evoking raw emotion needed to perform songs like “Just Give Me A Reason“, “Try“, and “What About Us“.
Towards the end of the concert, she gathered her band and moved them down stage to be closer to the audience for a few numbers that featured more stripped down arrangements. One noticeable attribute about this tour was the focus placed on the tour crew. The band consisted of 8 members and was dominated mostly by women! No surprise there because P!nk has often been vocal about women empowerment. I’ve been to many shows across various genres, and I can count on one hand how many of those artists place the spotlight on their band and dancers and give them individual attention, but P!nk is one of the elite who has no qualms with doing it.
The fan interaction in which she has is top notch as well. Where few artists rarely take the time to deviate from the programmed set to breathe, there were many instances where she would walk around her pit and engage with fans, even going the length of autographing items on stage. This coupled with her various messages about spreading positivity further cemented he fact that she isn’t some stuck up pop star that’s separated themselves from the rest of humanity.
My bottom line opinion is that P!nk is absolutely amazing in concert, and I’m almost kicking myself that I’ve waited so long to see her in concert. The creativity and sheer performance factor left very little to be desired, with the exception of me wishing that she added a few songs from her first album. For anyone reading, do yourself a favor and GO see her when she comes to your town. The “Beautiful Trauma” Tour is on the road until September, so you still have time!
In the meantime, take a look at our images shot by Arturo Holmes.