In the almost-year since Pink last performed in Atlanta, some things haven’t changed: she’s real – and she’s spectacular.
The opening moments of her “Beautiful Trauma World Tour,” now in its second lap around the U.S. before heading to Europe this summer, are among the most thrilling, giddy moments you’ll experience in a sports arena.
»»CONCERT GALLERY: See more photos from Pink’s State Farm Arena show
“Get the Party Started” is an ideal opening salvo. But watching Pink, in her black bodysuit, hang from a massive chandelier, flip in the air repeatedly, drop to the stage and fall in a choreography line with her limber dance troupe and, with barely a breath taken, glide around on moving lampposts into her second song, “Beautiful Trauma,” is akin to witnessing an all-star athlete who also happens to be a powerhouse singer.
Yes, you might need to take a seat for a moment to recover from the unrelenting energy and showmanship on display.
At a sold-out State Farm Arena on Tuesday, Pink, her six-piece band and two gutsy backup singers presented nearly the same show as her April 2018 extravaganza (she was the last act to play what was then known as Philips Arena). But some things are well worth shelling out for more than once.
She sprinted through nearly 20 years of hits - from the snarly “Just Like a Pill,” to her 2017 rap collaboration with Eminem (depicted in ginormous puppet form) “Revenge,” to the most perfect of Pink songs, “Who Knew,” with its sweet pop melody that escalates into a crunchy chorus.
As she heads toward 40, Pink is in her prime. With a voice like velvet-coated leather, she fluidly zigged from the filthy flannel punk rock of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and zagged to the black lace dress intensity of “Try,” her proclamations infused with authentic emotion.
The production is her own Wonderland of aerialist straps, treadmill ramps and heart-shaped stages, a place for fans to unleash their inhibitions and revel in the fortitude of those majestic pop anthems.
The only minor change to the setlist was the tradeoff of 2006’s “I’m Not Dead” for her new song, “Walk Me Home,” from her eighth album, “Hurts 2B Human,” due in April (correct – in addition to performing like a forgotten member of Cirque du Soleil and raising a family, Pink also found time to record a new album. Sure, go ahead and feel lazy.).
The marching anthem was well-received by the adoring crowd, who sang along heartily and maintained their contributions on “Just Like Fire,” which ended with a punch of gospel harmony from Pink and her backup singers.
During the latter part of the two-hour concert, Pink and four of her band members – including Justin Derrico, with whom she had a running joke all night about his guitar issues (“He has 103 guitars and he no longer knows which one is which,” she joked) – clustered at the foot of the ramp. She hopped into the crowd to give a young fan a hug and talked a bit about the early career years she lived in Atlanta (“Remember the Gold Club? That was interesting,” she said) in between belting “Barbies” and the rootsy throwdown, “I Am Here.”
Following an inspirational delivery of the radio-friendly version of “Perfect,” her heartfelt ode to self-worth, the audio of Pink’s renowned speech at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards – about explaining empowerment to her young daughter – played before the band exploded into the hymn of a million bachelorette parties, “Raise Your Glass.”
During the festive song, Pink’s 7-year-old Mini-Me, Willow, dashed onstage – protective headphones in place – and at her mom’s prompting, waved to the crowd.
Throughout the show, Pink’s glee was evident as she bopped down stairs, slid across the stage on her knees a la Bruce Springsteen in his younger years and smacked hands with fans. Her zeal was contagious, and she infused the crowd with the rare gift of making them feel special.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.