Thursday, March 22, 2018

Pink's "Beautiful Trauma" Concert was Absolutely Outstanding (Toronto Review)

She was outstanding. Fantastic. And even that is an understatement. Last night's stop of Grammy-award-winning recording artist Pink's "Beautiful Trauma" tour was simply amazing.

We all know Pink can sing her ass off. Her vocals have been strong since day one. And day one was a looooong time ago, because most of us were first introduced to Pink around 2000 when she won her first Grammy for "Lady Marmalade" with Lil' Kim and Christina Aguilera...around those times. From 2001 and hits like "Just Like a Pill" from her "Missundaztood" album.

The greatest thing is to hear her sing live, and I can't believe it took me over 15 years to finally take part in her live experience.

And an experience it was! Right from the beginning, when she emerged upside-down from a hanging chandelier singing "Get the Party Started" it was a high-energy production. It was great to see how much she has developed as an artist. I remember Pink back in the day as a hip hop/R&B-style vocalist. She was fun and talented...but it was hard to predict that she would become this powerhouse!! "Get the Party Started" had an awesome remix featuring Redman, to the backdrop of the Eurythmics back then, and that was all I needed to hear to know she was dope.

From that funky young and vibrant dancing chick, Pink has evolved into this dynamic, acrobatic, bad ass vocal legend. Without missing a beat. Her dancing: still great. Her voice: still strong. Her performance: ridiculously impressive.

Born Alecia Moore in Pennsylvania 38 years ago, she received the nickname Pink around the age of 14, and has been known as that cool around-the-way-girl ever since then. Originally a part of an R&B group named choice in the mid-90s (courtesy of the powerful force that is LaFace), she ended up venturing out on her own and was off to a phenomenal start with her first album in 2000.

Not all of her albums were chart toppers, but she has celebrated many chart-topping hits over the years. "Fu*kin Perfect" and "Raise Your Glass" in 2010...and "One Last Kiss," "Try," and "Just Give Me A Reason" in 2012 from her "The Truth About Love" album to name a few.

The two nights Pink performed at the Air Canada Centre this week (March 20 & 21) were based on her latest album, 2017's "Beautiful Trauma." The set list contained a mix of all her beloved hits, and a sprinkling of new favourites-to-come from the new album. "Beautiful Trauma" debuted on the Billboard charts at #1, and "What About Us" continues to resonate on the airwaves.

She is a natural. A natural performer, an excellent songwriter, and I think this is the first time I really truly sat in awe of this woman. The concert's interludes were entertaining. Sometimes dancing, sometimes extended vocals from the band and backup singers...and even messaging via video as we waited for a costume change and song transition.

It reminded me that in her own humble way, Pink has been a symbol of strength, and fearlessness, confidence, and feminism for nearly two decades now. She has always been cool! Always spoken her mind, and lived authentically. She did hip hop when she felt like it, transitioned into ballads when the mood emerged, and could rock out with the best of them. Naturally.

I realized that her music is fluid, and transcends genre-classification. It is GOOD music, end of story. It's electrifying, and it's positive, and it feels good, and it sounds amazing. Her vocals have NEVER failed as an artist. If anything...they have improved over time. There are too many artists to name in the music industry who are only a distance shadow of their former selves, vocally. Pink has stepped into her career and her vocals have met her right there. This is impressive, as we know. Not everyone has it...but this lady. She has it: progressive longevity.

Her messaging centred around celebration of self, and confidence of self, and she spoke about her children Willow Sage and Jameson Moon, and had a couple of anecdotes about her husband, motorcross racer Carey Hart. She interacted with fans, and made us laugh. She reminded the audience about self-love, and shared her own personal journey and struggles with us. A role model with an edge, I think she represents everything that is great about womanhood. Her strength is palpable.

Throughout her career, Pink has sold 40 million albums, and over 50 million singles. She's won 3 Grammy awards, along with many other accolades. Self-described as a "tomboy/hippie/gangster," I believe there is a unique quality in this lady that speaks to music lovers of all preferences...because she can SANG, and because you can genuinely feel that she is being authentic to her self, her journey, and her own love and appreciation for various types of music.

And if the music appreciation wasn't enough...the acrobatics were out of this world. Jaw dropping. Literally. At the end of the night, after she had already performed a few stunts (i.e. singing on top of a floating bed, air-fighting an inflated Eminem figure, and spinning in a sensual duo during a ballad)...she catapulted from one side of the Air Canada Centre to the next, like nobody's business. Flipping, turning, twisting, and soaring...and still you couldn't even hear her pause to take a breath. Amazing!

She'll continue on to Montreal this Friday night (March 23), and won't return to Canada until later on the tour, May 12 in Vancouver, while she's on the west coast.

The tour started on the first of March, and will continue until the end of May in North America. Toronto is one of the few cities on the roster that was fortunate to have two shows. After a month's break, the tour will continue from July to September in Australia and New Zealand where Pink will perform multiple shows at various venues across the continent. I don't know much about the Australian Pink fanbase, but based on the numerous shows at each venue (in some cases for the entire week), the love for Pink must be beyond real, down under.

I have nothing but the utmost respect and love for this artist, and am so glad I organized myself enough to be there to witness her live performance this time around. Rest assured, I won't miss any more of them. I was thoroughly inspired by her strength and talent.



Written by Stacey Marie Robinson for Kya Publishing's "Urban Toronto Tales" blog.

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