If anyone were to doubt P!nk’s status as a legitimate superstar, any uncertainty was smashed by her enormous headlining performance at the Pepsi Center. Despite falling on a Tuesday, the room was filled from the densely populated floor to the upper tier of the nosebleeds — and for good reason. P!nk, born Alecia Beth Moore, brought every extraordinary trapping of big-budget pop productions and filtered them through her distinctly anti-pop vision to produce a tremendous, pseudo-gothic, high-budget rock extravaganza of epic proportions. The show came complete with a top-tier team of some of the industry’s finest backup dancers, a three-piece rock band, a string section and a seemingly endless supply of outfit changes and stage-alterations — all centered around Moore’s unconstrained charisma and intense acrobatics.
While Moore commanded the stage with one of the meanest struts in the game, she spent more than half the performance suspended high in the air. She hung from a chandelier, reclined on an ornate, floating four-post bed, flew solo and at one point hung upside-down suspended only by the strength of one of her particularly herculean dancers. The singer’s already prodigious presence was amplified by her aerial mastery, her apparent lack of any and all constraints and the perfect visual representation of the music.
The stage antics were approached with the kind of commitment and choreography usually reserved for a Broadway play. The dance- troupe were in perfect sync, contorting their muscular frames in painstaking unison. The background seemed to shift with every song. There was a psychedelic hotel scene bathed in pink and purple light, “Revenge Land” complete with a claymation torture chamber, a hellish masquerade ball and a 40-foot tall inflatable Eminem who floated to center-stage while his featured verse played. Suspended by wires, P!nk took to the air to kick the rapper’s likeness in the face as the song concluded. The stagecraft was truly the stuff of legend.
Moore played all the hits. “Get the Party Started,” “Who Knew” and “Just Like a Pill” boomed from the speakers with incredible clarity. Despite the sheer enormity of the production the stage never managed to overshadow Moore, who either stood atop the scene or became inseparable from it.
The crowd was a funny combination of baffled-looking dudes and ecstatic, gushing ladies singing along to each word with deep, unapologetic fervor. Though the female fans weren’t the only ones supplying the energy, one definitely got the sense that there were a lot of good, albeit and somewhat weary boyfriends in the room. Some were visibly won over by the end of the set, others seemed to be trying to preserve their machismo by remaining aloof.
Few artists could announce a 2019 return the same day as their show and expect results, but P!nk is more a force of nature than a recording artist. Due to the vibrant, morphing nature of both P!nk’s persona and her explosive sets it would be easy to imagine that many of the same faces will turn up next year, excited to see just what fresh takes the singer will have interpreting her oeuvre. Of her many strong-suits, the ability to make her biggest hits — many of which were released in the early 2000’s — sound as energetic and contemporary as ever, is probably her best. Moore is an artist always in motion, and if Tuesday’s show was any indication she’s kicking more ass than ever.