Perhaps the mark of a true artist is how well they can step outside of the studio. If the studio is the comfort zone for many musicians, then (1) singing live and (2) truly entertain their audience may be the bigger challenge. Having the personality and accurate vocals to successfully perform a concert or a tour takes incredible artistry and upmost musicianship. Pop’s “it” girl as of late P!nk definitely knows how to work the crowd and impresses with her distinct, gritty vocals. Because of her gifts, Pink: The Truth About Love Tour: Live From Melbourne ends up being quite a treat to partake of. Even though the cameras have captured the live experience secondhand, the overall excitement and ambience of the performance still feel quite authentic.
The Melbourne concert opens with an introduction provided by “Rubix Von Füchenhürtz”, perhaps better known as Jimmy Slonina. Ultimately, the actor’s job is to get the audience pumped up for the concert. He easily accomplishes this task, with his theatrics in play to the nth degree. Slonina pretends to be performing the opener while P!nk makes her appearance, ultimately hanging from a bungee cord held by three shirtless guys. What’s most amazing is she’s able to perform “Raise Your Glass” so well without the ‘visual’ effects inhibiting her performance.
The vibe changes for The Truth About Love’s “Walk of Shame”, in which P!nk is positioned on the stairs at the beginning, with the lyrics matching the visual (“One step, two step…”). P!nk’s vocal aggressiveness is appreciated, as the listener can tell that P!nk truly feels what she is singing. It’s quite a neat moment when Pink and her supporting cast go down a platform (elevator), once more dramatizing the lyrics of the song. On “Just Like A Pill” P!nk also gives her all, beginning by lying on the front of the stage to sing, before rising to her knees. By the chorus, she’s up and inciting the energy, working the audience. The energy is infectious, particularly when P!nk goes back and sings to the drummer. After the cut closes, P!nk asks the audience “How the hell are you?” and thanks them for their support.
“U + Ur Hand” would never require much extra dramatization to truly shine, but the choreography is solid here – stage girls, guys dressed in black pants with black unzipped hoodies. On “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)”, P!nk calls for the audiences worst dancers to dance in the audience. There is nothing flashy about the skit, but the intensity still remains. “Try” is more captivating, beginning with a theatrical skit in which Slonina is involved. This interlude allows for P!nk to properly prepare for the change of pace. P!nk is once more in her favorite place – the air – twirling around. Eventually, when P!nk decides to stay on the ground for a bit, her buff, shirtless suitor helps her down from her bungee cord and dances with her. At the end, P!nk’s suitor helps her get up and “Try”… imagine that!
“Wicked Game” is haunting, not only as a song itself, but also the visuals with the black and white and fog. It proves to be a smart decision to hear P!nk perform covers in addition to her own hits. Gargantuan hit “Just Give Me A Reason” proceeds in all its glory. The only think that would’ve made the former number one hit better is if Nate Ruess had been able to make the tour in person. Still, the video with Ruess performing his portion of the duet is highly effective. Prior to “Trouble”, Slonina makes his comedic return, this time dress as a fairy attached to a bungee cord. As with previous skits, Slonina provides the audience with comic relief. P!nk returns positioned at the microphone initially, before taking it off the stand to work the stage. Here, the pop singer invites the audience to sing on one of the last iterations of the refrain.
“Are We All We Are” and “How Come You’re Not Here” mark two consecutive cuts from The Truth About Love. Prior to the beginning of “Are We All We Are”, P!nk recognizes how awesome drummer Mark Schulman is. After he delivers a superb drum solo, P!nk begins the cut with her own small kit comprised of snare and bass drum. On “How Come You’re Not Here”, P!nk delivers a rocking rendition with cartoons behind her on the screens serving as additional visual entertainment/effects. Then P!nk presents a personal favorite from her Funhouse album, “Sober”. Once more suspended in air in a circular fixture, once more the visual goes alongside the lyrics (“Spinning ‘round…”) Excellent lighting and effects also enhance the circular spinning, not to mention P!nk’s top-notch performance of the Grammy-nominated single.
An erotic skit in “Chaos and Piss (Interlude)” follows, featuring interpretive dance by female dancers/acrobats. It precedes P!nk’s piano feature, “The Great Escape”. Vocally, P!nk sounds terrific. Her piano skills hold up as well, despite her nervousness. “The Great Escape” leads several more intimate moments, involving P!nk seated on a stool next to her guitarist. “Who Knew” starts things off by way of I Am Not Dead while “Time After Time” digs into Cyndi Lauper’s catalogue for inspiration. During “Time After Time”, the sepia lighting definitely catches the eye. On “F**kin’ Perfect”, P!nk sticks with guitar accompaniment, but gets the assist from backing vocalists and later bass and drums to round out the full arrangement. P!nk doesn’t drop the f-bombs, keeping things classy, particularly for the kids in the audience.
P!nk goes back extremely early in her career, performing an energetic medley of songs from Can’t Take Me Home. Of course, the unforgettable “You Make Me Sick” makes the cut, closing the thee-song medley. P!nk returns to The Truth About Love, with the spunky “Slut Like You”, perhaps the raunchiest number of the whole concert, and “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)”. After one last Jimmy Slonina skit (he gives a hilarious sermon), P!nk ends her concert with “So What”, a huge number one hit from Funhouse. And yes, you guessed it, P!nk is suspended and twirling in the air.
Overall, if you are a P!nk fan, …Live From Melbourne will definitely tickle your fancy. P!nk is arguably pop’s most consistent musician, always good for a huge hit and equally consistent albums. Here in a live setting, P!nk further solidifies why she’s one of the best in the game.
“Raise Your Glass”; “Walk of Shame”; “Try”; “Just Give Me A Reason”; “Sober”
P!nk • P!nk: The Truth About Love Tour: Live From Melbourne • RCA • US Release Date: January 21, 2014