P!nk at The O2 on the 12th of April 2013
The lights dimmed and a rather peculiar little man, who was a cross between Ron Jeremy and a field-mouse, took to the stage reciting verse as if we were witnessing some dodgy theatre show. Soon after, the curtains were raised to reveal the stage which housed an elaborate set with stairs to a mounted platform, a full-live band, a half-dozen or so huge HD screens, seven half-naked dancers, and above all this read the words ‘Truth About Love’. A few seconds later the show began and for the lack of a better description; shit popped off.
The band belted out Raise Your Glass as the dancers leapt across the stage, but still no sign of P!nk. Three herculean men were perched in the rafters of the O2 stage and as the first chorus dropped, so did P!nk. She tumbled from a cocoon type berth from behind the men and acrobatically slingshotted up and down singing from her attached harness. From the ridiculously elaborate stage set-up, to the bonkers acrobatics and choreography; this was certainly not going to be an ordinary night of entertainment.
Walk of Shame from the new album had P!nk and her abs roaming the stage with her batch of cat-like dancers as the entire O2 became transfixed to the onstage spectacle unfolding in front of their eyes. Just Like A Pill saw P!nk fall to the floor and deeply entangle herself with the fans in the pit; some of whom queued for 12 hours to gain access and others who paid exorbitant prices for special tickets. You and Your Hand is one of the quintessential P!nk attitude numbers as she roams the stage exuding ‘Girl Power’ and charisma.
It becomes quite clear this isn’t just a music concert; this is well oiled and drilled machine of a show. When P!nk leaves the stage, the band and screens trudge along, all in time, with even our creepy mouse man and master of ceremonies returning to narrate the show to the crowd. P!nk then appears from the extending platform that sprawls into the middle of the O2 pit. She elevates far above the crowd wrapped in fabric as she intricately contorts her body, all the while beautifully singing Try.
P!nk changes costumes regularly throughout the night and appears in a tight leotard with a raunchy ‘x’ placed over her lady garden – *insert ‘x’ marks the spot joke here*. Trouble and Are We All We Are plays as the crowd get sucked further into this spectacular show; most still wide-eyed, surprised and picking their jaws from the floor. During Are We All We Are, the onstage extravaganza shows a video done through pixel art with an animated P!nk running around a dainty little pixel house. Mid-way through the song as P!nk surveys the front row of the pit, she halts mid-sentence to break up a kerfuffle happening in the pit between two guys as she says: “Hey you, yes you. Stop fighting, it’s all about peace and love”.
The highlight of the night comes as P!nk along with her dancers elevate themselves once more into the O2 air, housed in an complex cage. She sings Sober while performing some stunning choreography from the cage. This is something that even Cirque du Soleil would be proud of as the crowd try and remind themselves that this is just a pop concert.
P!nk showcases her voice as she exclusively sings Fire and Rain by James Taylor with just her and her guitar player; no frills, no gimmicks – simply brilliant. P!nk then harks back to her hip-hop and R’n’B past as she performs a Most Girls / There You Go / You Make Me Sick mega-mix with dance routines and visuals to boot. A worrying/hilarious moment for Irish culture comes as P!nk asks the crowd “Who here is a slut?”. The crowd respond with a deafening “me”, louder than any other moment on the night – oh dear.
The final hoo-haa as it were comes as P!nk performs So What for the final encore of the night. (video below) Four wires cascade from each corner of the O2 and attach themselves to P!nk’s mid-drift. As the first verse sounds out she rises up and down again wrapped in this peculiarly engineered ring that allows her to spin and flip simultaneously. As the chorus begins, P!nk unbelievably launches into the air and glides all over the O2 arena. She hovers over the upper-tier of the arena, only stopping on top of pillars at the very back of the O2, giving the ‘people in the back’ a great close look at the star on show.
As the night ended and with the crowd still in shock, a credit list scrolled through on the big screen, just like at the end of a movie with hundreds of names credited for this mammoth show. Not only was this a showcase for P!nk’s ripped abs, quirkiness and acrobatic skills; it also paraded P!nks impressive voice in the most testing of scenarios. The Truth About Love tour is about as close as you’re going to get, in pop music terms, to the equivalent of a blockbuster Hollywood movie. And even with the expensive ticket prices, this show can only be deemed as a spectacular bargain. P!nk and your abs – bravo.
P!NK at The O2 Photo Gallery
Photos: Sean Smyth