I’ve had the opportunity, and great privilege, to witness and even cover many of the biggest musical stars in the world. Arguably though, I have never had the opportunity to photograph a more famous female star than the beautiful young lady that you know by the name of Pink.
If you follow this site, the fact that I’m covering a P!nk show may catch you off-guard a bit. While I won’t claim to be a huge pop fan, P!nk is, on a personal level, my favorite pop female voice. She is my biggest guilty pleasure in music. She is such a confident, talented, funny and real star. I am equally drawn to her personality as much as I am her voice. If you can watch the Carpool Karaoke video below and not see all those traits I just listed, we just can’t be friends. Lol
P!nk had early success in her career, but she never really had my full attention until I heard “Get The Party Started”. Sure it was catchy, but I heard a raw quality in her voice that I loved. It was unique, yet polished.
Then, back in the days when AOL was relevant, P!nk did an acoustic performance of the classic Kris Kristofferson penned “Me And Bobby McGee”. The song was obviously made most famously by the late, great Janis Joplin, but from that four-minute performance in 2003, I knew P!nk would become one of the biggest stars around.
I have seen Stevie Nicks, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Allison Kraus and a number of fantastic female voices over time, but if I’m honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever been more anxious to experience a performance than I was Tuesday night at the KFC Yum! Center. I’ve watched several of P!nk’s performances on TV and the ole tube of you, so I had a good idea of what to expect, but her shows are very visual and as a photographer, I was a bit nervous. Mainly because people love to hold up cell phones and we were shooting from the soundboard. So I always prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.
Thankfully though, my nervousness didn’t last long and I settled into my element and captured the photos you see throughout this article. There were a few that were ruined, but that’s just part of our culture now.
On to the show, most artists save their first big hit for the encore, but then again, most artists aren’t P!nk. She got the party started by playing…you guessed it, “Get The Party Started”. Hanging from a harness and bungee cords, flying through the air on a chandelier, no seriously, truth is stranger than fiction with this job on occasion. While P!nk was a bit under the weather with the flu, that did not slow her down at all. In fact, she sounds better sick and upside down than most every artist out there.
Okay, so most artists save their current smash song until later in the set. Guess what…P!nk isn’t most artists, so the second song was the hit that the tour is named for, “Beautiful Trauma”. The song itself is a snapshot of the times we live in and often times I turn to pop music to escape reality, but P!nk has a way of still making pop fun and definitely more interesting than most.
Now, I want to just a second before we move on in this article. I want to say something bold. I have never witnessed a more entertaining production in my 42 years on Earth than what I saw on Tuesday night. Every single song saw a set change or a tree grow or fire exploding across the stage. It was absolutely mesmerizing. I was definitely listening, but I found myself watching every thing else instead of P!nk at times. I have absolutely zero negative statements, so if you need not know more, feel free to bolt. If you’d like to know more, you’re my kinda peep! Okay, back to your regularly scheduled program.
The next highlight for me, was her performance of “Secrets”. The focus was directed to only P!nk and a single male dancer. With P!nk lying on the stage, the muscular dancer descended down to her on what appeared to be velvet ropes. With no harness, both ascended into the most sensual, sexual, beautiful and dangerous portion of the night. At one point, and again without harnesses, P!nk hung in the air by only one foot, which was grasped only by the gentleman’s thighs. From there, it got even more dangerous as the duo changed spots mid-air and left each other dangling from each others feet. Seemingly using each other as a platform to stand on. Yet it was done in such a beautiful way, that most never realized the actual danger. In that regard, this was my favorite performance thus far. It would have been my favorite, but…more on that later!
See for yourself with this fan video from Indianapolis:
The set and stage were continuously changing, as I said before. It was like watching a Cirque Du Soleil, while a Broadway musical took place beneath it, while KISS provided pyrotechnics and P!nk provided the soundtrack with 20,000 or so backup singers. Just mind-blowing.
During the performance of “Try”, the dancers donned bird and animal masks as they set the forest scene before us, with P!nk finally emerging in a big red coat, dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. Later we were taken down the rabbit hole as she performed her hit, “Just Like Fire”, from the Disney movie, ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass.” Where the stage appeared as if it was fully engulfed in flames from all the pyrotechnics and massive screens.
She also did a video duet of her hit, “Give Me A Reason”. While video and audio of Nate Ruess played, P!nk did her own thing, harmonizing, dancing and just enjoying herself tremendously. Then she got into a levitating bed. Nooo, I’m serious, again. She really did! I don’t wanna spoil the rest of this one though.
Now I mentioned before that I am equally drawn to P!nk’s personality as much as her voice and music. I mentioned how she seems so real. One moment, that as a parent, I won’t soon forget, was when she spoke of her children. We all get busy in life and time flies by, but can you imagine the time and dedication it takes to be P!nk AND a Mother? I can’t even begin to imagine. So when she sang her song Barbie, she spoke about how sometimes and some days, she just wants to go back and play Barbies with her Babies. My son moved out for college last year, and while I don’t want go back and play Barbies with him, I sure would like to back and play Batman with him. That’s the power of music, which is just an audible emotion and the magic of being a parent. During this performance you could see a sparkle in her eye and one that I likely had as well as I remembered long gone moments.
For good measure, she threw in a couple covers on the night. First up was a short rendition of the No Doubt classic, “Just A Girl”, but the big one on the night was easily a cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Complete with a flannel robe even!
Now there were plenty more highlights on the night, but I only want to discuss one more. Why? Oh I’m soooooo happy you asked. My personal favorite P!nk song is “So What.” I love the guitar, I love the melody, I love the energy and I love it’s silliness. Then, the song got taken to a whole new level as P!nk was strapped into her harness and flew around the arena on the attached wires. I don’t mean casually. I don’t mean in a designed pattern. I mean whichever way she twisted, be it right, left or even upside, away she went. There were a few pedestals in the corners of the arena that she stopped at, usually hanging upside down, striking a pose for everyone with their phones out. Just when I didn’t think the song, performance or P!nk could get any cooler…she flew across the arena. Dammit! I wanna fly too!
I’m sure being P!nk is an excruciating hassle at times, but if I could fly across the Toyota plant every night at quitting time, I’d likely never take a day off. Ha!
Listen, I know I speak positively of a lot of things here on the site, but just trust me, if you can afford it, go see a show. I promise that you’ll thank me later!