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Pink set the tone for her show in the opening number, a ballsy rock anthem in which she sang – or rather belted out – lines such as “I don’t give a damn, tonight I’ll do what I want”. And so she did.
There were costume changes galore (Pink in a slinky black dominatrix outfit, Pink writhing in a net in a bikini, Pink looking demure in a long satin dress singing an acoustic version of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”). There were startling feats of acrobatics such as the sight of her singing her hit “Get the Party Started” while swinging upside down from a rope high above the stage. And there was social comment in the form of her Bush-bashing protest song “Dear Mr President”. It was an exhausting, illogical whirl of activity: entertainment at its brashest.
Previous exponents of girl power – the Spice Girls, say – rarely translated their feistiness into music. But Pink in her spiky blonde quiff and multiple tattoos, butch yet girlishly pretty, not only looks the part, she also sounds it. Her songs, the odd foray into dance-popand R&B aside, are thumping pop-rock numbers built around surging, defiant choruses: they are pop’s equivalent of a rallying cry.
They may be predictable – here comes the chorus! – but they are also the perfect vehicle for Pink’s powerful vocals. Unlike those of her peers who think that vocal range equals emotional range, she does not indulge in showy, melodramatic warbling. Instead her singing, reminiscent of Janis Joplin, is forceful and direct: it gives life to her music.
Similarly her show, for all its slick dance routines, never seemed mechanical or insincere. Unpredictable changes in mood and lyrics that were surprisingly un-anodyne for a mainstream pop star (“Stupid Girls” lampooned vacuous celebrities such as Paris Hilton) helped make it genuinely engaging. Pink’s “don’t give a damn” attitude is a winning attribute. ★★★★☆
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