Fire, dancing woodland creatures, Claymation, feminist affirmations, a flying pop star, and a 50 foot inflatable Eminem puppet!
And that’s just the first half!
P!nk’s Beautiful Trauma tour put Vegas, Broadway and Cirque Du Solie to shame when it comes to showmanship and entertainment value at Philips Arena Saturday night. The show, which truly is designed as one all-encompassing experience, complete with a credit roll at the end of the show, is broken into 3 implied, if not explicitly defined, acts. Within each act each song is its own defined vignettes that stands on its own, distinctive from each other and even its own music video, with only tiny motifs to carry from one song to another.
Critics and cynics love to make snide comments about not needing all of this theatricality. So what?! True, she has the vocals to not need all of it. She also has the ability to do it while flying over the audience at high speeds and making even the most impeccably choreographed performance look effortless. I’ve seen some over the top pop shows in my time, and she delivers fully immersive experience that wraps up the proverbial cheap seats just as much as the front row, a feat attempted by many accomplished by few.
The through line of the night is the cocktail of fierce femme empowerment that has defined her career. The audience seemed to be the same core of fans that sang along to Missundatood in 2001 and have now grown up to have a grown up life, able to afford 3 digit ticket prices, but still feel “wrong in all the right ways” and need to raise a glass with some fellow “no good, dirty little freaks”. Even fans in their 40’s where channeling their younger-self with homemade signs and gifts that was giving me flashbacks to New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys shows of yore.
Act 1: Let’s Party – Gene Kelley-esque twirls on Seussian light poles to party anthems, a Claymation adventure through Revengeland that felt like Penny from Peewee’s Playhouse was going to appear at any moment to slice the throat of a cheating ex, and footage of Kurt and Courtney for “4 minutes to completely lose your minds”
- Get the Party Started
- Beautiful Trauma
- Just Like a Pill
- Who Knew
- Funhouse/Just a Girl
- Smells Like Teen Spirit
Act 2: Let’s Get Serious – Scaled down theatrics, stripped down performance, career retrospective/charity work footage, twirling woodland creatures with candelabras, and a flying bed (so not that scaled down).
- Just Give Me a Reason
- What About Us
- For Now
- I am Here
Act 3: Let’s Recap – Body positivity, daughter Willow, footage of the Women’s March, #metoo survivors, and you be you.
- Fuckin’ Perfect
- Raise a Glass
- Blow Me One Last Kiss
- So What
- Glitter in the Air
I laughed. I cried. I felt beautiful. I felt strong. I was entertained. What more can you ask from a Saturday night?
Review by Molly Segers and Photos by Ryan Fleisher