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PINK @ Perth Arena gets 8.5/10

Pink @ Perth Arena
w/ The Rubens
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

8.5/10

A Pink show isn’t exactly a rock concert. It’s a mish mash of commercial pop, circus, contemporary dance and musical theatre hell bent on being eye popping entertainment.

Point in case: she emerged at her first of four Perth Arena shows (where she’s expected to play to 60,000 punters this week) hanging from a pyro-spitting chandelier singing Get This Party Started. Now, those who have seen Pink before know a little about her acrobatic prowess, but even then this was impressive. And it wasn’t the last time she would fly around the Arena on Tuesday night.

The night began colourfully with The Rubens playing their biggest Perth show to date, making the most of the experience by talking up Pink between songs and finishing on a solid run of hits including their Hottest 100 topping Hoops. Then the gap between acts was bridged by LA DJ Kid Cut Up who mashed it like a wedding DJ, quickly merging Ice Ice Baby into Down Under into Wonderwall… you get the drift.

Pink leaned heavily on latest album Beautiful Trauma, playing seven songs in total from it, with the title track her second number for the night. These were some of the night’s most theatrical productions as she upped the drama to musical theatre proportions, from the aforementioned’s fairy tale atmosphere to the forest masquerade that was particularly striking on Try.

The new songs were also hit and miss. Secrets featured death defying Cirque du Soleil like aerial work covering for what’s essentially a bad song. I Am Here on the other hand was a nice change up with world rhythms and choir vocals. Revenge saw her fly through the air to attack a giant, blow up Eminem puppet that was miming the rapper’s verse. “It’s a lot of work kicking a blow up doll’s ass,” she gasped after returning to stage, one of the few moments she didn’t come across as super-human.

The large number of new songs did come at the expense of her hits. Why she would leave out mega-hits like U + Ur Hand, Stupid Girl and Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely) in favour of ho hum deep cuts and bad covers of Smells Like Teen Spirit and Just a Girl is a bit of a mystery. Yet even her lesser songs were saved by at least some awe-inducing production spectacle, making it less of a singalong concert and more like a night at the theatre (or circus).

Hell, she even ran show credits on the big screen at the end of the night, where other acts might be lapping up the adulation and bowing to the audience.

And she didn’t leave out all the hits. Just Like a Pill with its conveyor belt catwalk and Who Knew‘s dancing zombies were early highlights, while F**kin’ Perfect had the crowd singing along late. The latter was followed by a video message to her daughter Willow (who soon after made an appearance on stage) that tackled everything from body image to androgynous rock stars. It was one of the moments that connected most with the crowd despite the 38-year old star not being on stage.

She left her best for the encore, however. In a moment no one who was there will forget, for So What Pink returned in a glitter suit and launched herself into the crowd like a human mirror ball, flying towards the cheap seats at breakneck speed, twisting and turning and generally leaving jaws on the floor. It was the most spectacular thing Perth Arena has seen outside of Roger Waters’ multimedia spectacle earlier this year and ensured this was an unforgettable night for anyone still on the fence.

Whether or not Pink’s spectacular is what we generally perceive to be a rock show is debatable, but as she flew around Perth Arena singing “so what, I’m still a rock star!” there was little doubt that she is certainly that. Surely the original Starman David Bowie would’ve been impressed by her trip into outer space. And for her legion of fans, Pink was nothing short of fucking perfect on Tuesday night.

HARVEY RAE
Photos by Sean Finney

Pink plays Perth Arena again tonight, Wednesday July 4, then Friday, July 6 and Saturday July 7. Tickets from Ticketek.

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