The last time P!NK was in Australia and New Zealand, in 2018, she played to over half a million fans grossing over 100 Million dollars and setting the standard for massive arena shows. She is an artist that will leave big gaps in her touring schedule to allow for extra shows and that meant her last tour added up to 42 dates around the antipodes.
Alecia Beth Moore returns, just over five years later, this time playing 20 stadiums (so far), and renewing her love affair with this country and her fans on her ‘Summer Carnival’ tour.
“This love affair is my favourite one!”, declared P!NK about half-way through the set. “Our kids are here. What happened! I’m proud of us.” Australian fans just keep returning to see the Pennsylvania born artist and mother of two and there’s little wonder why; it is a show and a half.
If you’ve never attended a P!NK concert, you’ve almost certainly heard about it. Quotes like, “she flies over the audience” and “she’s always in the air” are often bandied about and ultimately, you have to see it to believe it, but before we get to that, the musicianship and talent of P!NK needs to be appreciated.
The show starts with an homage to ‘80s culture, as P!NK appears as a Max Headroom-esque figure, laughing, screaming and amping up the crowd. The animated character makes way for the real thing as we look up to see P!NK appear between the mouth at the top of the stage. Here we go!
She dives head first towards the stage as the show begins. The massive amount of trust that the artist has for her crew would be evident throughout the night, but it’s scary to contemplate what could go wrong with so many moving parts.
Fortunately, the only things that really went wrong for the artist the whole night were very wholesome. After enjoying her first taste of a ‘Boost’ bar. “Mmm, this is really good!” (before giving the rest to her son, Jameson), she made a slip-up on the piano during “Glitter in the Air”, laughable passing it off as she moved onto the next song, performing the Dylan classic, “Make You Feel My Love”. The following track, “Our Song”, was stopped early on because of some waving hands in the audience.
“Somebody’s having a baby?” she yelled out. The gesturing and calls for a medic lead the fan being helped out on a wheelchair. “Is it Alecia or Alex being born right now?” joked the singer. She went on to halt the song a couple more times as things got a little loose near the front of the audience, but continued on intrepidly.
The majority of the set was performed under constant drizzle, which didn’t seem to supress the energy of the audience or – impressively – the performers. “Was it supposed to rain? No-one was prepared!” announced P!NK at one point, but admirably the show continued on as if it were dry, impressive given the array of stunts, dancing and open-air performing that occurred.
After a costume change and change of ‘act’, the singer came out for an intimate acoustic section of the set, performing “Cover Me in Sunshine” with her daughter, Willow, joining her on stage to sing. The courage and talent of the 12-year-old to step on stage in front of over 30,000 people was beautiful and she has a pretty amazing voice, like her mother.
A beautiful rendition of “When I Get There” followed. The tender song, written for her late dad, left many with something in their eye, including the teary fan who the camera focused on showing her dad’s photo on the big screen. “I am Here” and politically powerful, “Irrelevant” rounded out the most subdued section of the night before the climax of the evening began.
P!NK has managed to maintain a huge presence in the international music scene almost 24 years to the day after releasing her first solo single, “There You Go”. Nine albums later, and the singer is still powering along with an energy and fitness that doesn’t appear to be dissipating any time soon.
The control, fitness and full-on bravery that the artist contains to take that trip to the top of the stadium is breathtaking and until you see it for yourself, it’s hard to believe. Despite the persistent rain, a close to two hour set and being the first show on tour, the artist ‘flew’, spun, twisted and soared around Allianz Stadium. Sure, she’s done it a few hundred times around the world by now, but the skill with which she can belt out “So What” whilst doing this is not to be underestimated. It’s stunning.
The whole night was, of course, a triumph and the tour will continue around the country to her adoring brethren as well as first-timers like this reviewer. Are the gimmicks wearing thin? Judging by the buzz of the crowd, leaving the stadium in the pouring rain with a smile on their face, we’d say not. The only thing that can dull that euphoria is the poor state of public transport and logistics at the light-rail station. Aaah Sydney, always bringing us back down to earth.
The 20-date tour returns to Allianz Stadium tonight, the 10th of February before heading to Newcastle, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, NZ and then back to Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland. Tickets available via Ticketek and Ticketmaster via Live Nation.