The clock struck 9pm. The Truth About Love Tour experience was about to begin. Ringmaster Rubix Von Fuchenhurtz hopped onstage, greeting fans and psyching everyone up. His speeches were laced with a good many sexual innuendos but no one seemed to mind. He then asked for a volunteer to join him on stage. Arms immediately stretched out, all belonging to fans eager to get picked.
Rubix solicited the help of his cameramen, who swiftly panned their expensive equipment. Flashed now on the mammoth screens was a live video feed capturing the faces of excited candidates. But there was one that Rubix had his eyes on. A blonde-haired lady, sporting a pixie cut and clad in a jacket.
It was P!nk. A thundering peal of applause and cheers rang out. At first reluctant, she finally got off her seat at Rubix’s behest and appeared to make a beeline for the stage.
This, we later realised, was merely pre-recorded footage.
The Show Is On
The lights dimmed. The ground began to shake as the martial beats of ‘Raise Your Glass’ were played. P!nk could be heard singing the first verse of the song but she was nowhere to be found.
Then, the curtain that had hitherto been concealing the stage from our sights was finally lifted. The excitement immediately became palpable.
On the stage already was P!nk’s motley crew of backup dancers and singers as well as band members. Three male dancers were upside down, their feet so precariously hanging off the lip of a huge metal contraption. “Why so serious…” went P!nk. The contraption ascended, bringing with it the three dancers.
Dizzying shafts of light spilled all over the arena as the drum beats built to a crescendo. In a blink-and-you-miss second, P!nk is catapulted into the air, her entrance accompanied with explosive jets of gold sparks spraying from both sides of the contraption!
The incandescent smile etched on her face was proof that P!nk had yet to tire of playing at the Rod Laver Arena. The 19th August show was her 13th Melbourne gig and by the end of her Australian leg she would have played 18 shows at this arena alone. The chanteuse bested her own record, having played 17 shows during her 2009 Funhouse tour! There is no doubt she is the reigning queen in Australia.
The opening number was only the first of a slew of jaw-dropping, Cirque du Soleil inspired aerial stunts, which in recent years have become P!nk’s trademark. If you have never watched her spellbinding ‘Glitter in the Air’ performance at the Grammy, search for it on YouTube, stat!
The ‘Try’ performance was a personal favourite. Before the performance, Rubix once again took centre stage, beginning a soliloquy about fetishes. He ended with “… who knows, you might even want to give it a… try.” Then, P!nk came spiralling out from under the stage and very soon she was several feet in the air again.
Once at the zenith, she belted out the pithy track with much gusto, all the while breaking into a plethora of graceful poses. At one point with only her ankles bound, she fell freely and swooped down to brush her dancers’ hands, which were jutting out from a gap of the stage.
During the penultimate verse, she was joined by Colt Pratte, her male dancer in the music video. They reprised the elaborate Apache dance, a routine which saw P!nk getting swung around by the nape of her neck. At one point she even propped her hunky dancer up using only the strength of her own body.
P!nk’s Many Talents
Tempering the fever pitch were the quieter moments, during which P!nk flaunted her vocal prowess one ballad at a time. The opening piano notes of ‘Just Give Me a Reason’ drew yet another round of cheers while screaming fans became rapt listeners during ‘Who Knew’ and sang in unison with P!nk. As a special treat, P!nk also sang Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time after Time’.
P!nk’s aptitude for dancing is one that only those who have seen her in concert are privy to. Throw her in a ring alongside the likes of Beyoncé and Usher and the consummate performer can definitely hold her own.
After a retrospective montage which documented her humble beginnings was screened, she launched into a medley of ‘There You Go’, ‘You Make Me Sick’ and ‘Most Girls’, three of her earliest R’n’B-flavoured hits. She had no qualms showing off perfectly choreographed and slick dance moves.
The evening’s loudest salvo of cheers came during the performance of ‘So What’. Strapped in a gyroscopic harness, P!nk ascended into the air for the last time. “We’re all going to start a fight!” she sang and suddenly she careened through the air, performing successive back flips while skyward! In all but a few seconds, she whizzed right to the back of the arena, giving fans seated at all corners a front row experience.
For the entire song, she continued to fly around the arena, flashing her million-dollar smile and waving to zealous fans. That was a fitting finale to an exceptional pop spectacle.
A Treasured Memory
As Boromir would say if he were living in this modern era, one does not simply go to just one P!nk show. So, I got a second ticket to see her on 20 August 2013. I had to stand in line in the biting cold, all alone in a foreign land. However, what ensued later made it all worthwhile.
I held this sign up as P!nk perambulated the stage right before the acoustic segment started. See, I knew this was my opening: the lights would come on and fans would lavish her with a myriad of gifts. She would then chat with the crowd right before she sang these three songs: ‘Who Knew’; ‘Time After Time’; and ‘Perfect’.
Three times I held my sign up and three times she missed it.
My hope was dwindling. I knew once she started singing ‘Perfect’ my chance was gone. And so right after ‘Time After Time’ I heaved my sign up again. And then it happened. Out of her mouth came the words “you grabbed my right thumb…” She could not read it in its entirety and so she ambled over to my section and continued reading.
When she was done, I could hear the entire arena burst into a paroxysm of laughter. I reached forward, held up my left thumb and she grabbed it. Mission succeeded. She said she loved my sign and that it reminded her of the witty signs that homeless people held up. She also gamely agreed to sign my ‘The Truth About Love’ CD!
She then returned to her stool but not before turning around to look me in the eye and say: “You’re awesome.”
P!nk.said.I’m.awesome. That is easily 2,000 hours of therapy right there.
If ten, twenty years down the road, you see me just smiling to myself for no apparent reason, it is because I’m playing the scene in my head where P!nk called me ‘awesome’.