Some artists save their show-stopping concert tricks for the middle or the end of a show, when everyone’s all warmed up and full of anticipation.
At her show at Intrust Bank Arena on Saturday night, the Grammy-winning artist made an entrance and then some. The giant pink curtain in front of the stage dropped, and there she was, wearing a shimmering silver bodysuit and attached to a glittery, swinging chandelier suspended above the stage. As she sang the opening song – “Get This Party Started” – she climbed and rode the chandelier and flipped and twirled around and around on bungee cords.
Pink, 38, performed in front of a sold-out crowd of 12,500 people, and it was a crowd so full of females, Intrust Bank Arena used Velcro signage to turn half the men’s restrooms into ladies’ rooms for the night.
The show was less like a concert and more like a stage production. Every song had its own gimmick, from moving set pieces to smoke to fireworks to dancers popping up from below stage. It never let up, and during the 22-song set, Pink made at least 10 costume changes.
The show was intricate and complicated, and Wichita is only the second stop on Pink’s just-launched “Beautiful Trauma” tour. It opened Thursday in Phoenix.
Among the show-stopping moments:
▪ During “Secrets," Pink performed a circus-type acrobatics routine suspended above the stage from bungees with a male partner.
▪ As she sang “Revenge,” a song she recorded with a guest spot from rap star Eminem, a blow-up puppet as tall as the arena’s second level appeared on stage. As Pink sang, she was reattached to her bungee and ascended high enough to kick the puppet comically in the nose. “Thanks, Marshall,” she said to the puppet as it deflated at the end of the song.
▪ Even her slow songs were a production. On “Try,” the stage was transformed into a spooky forest, and dancers carrying candelabras twirled and danced about the multilevel stage. Pink appeared draped in a red cape, which she dropped to reveal a short black dress, and she performed a theatrical dance with a partner who was wearing a Gothic mask and horns. And during “Just Give Me a Reason,” Pink floated above the crowd on a giant canopy bed as her backup dancers twirled behind her attached to suspended set pieces made to look like lamps.
Later in the show, she remarked on the number of “littles” in the crowd, and even stopped to sign an autograph for one who was close to the stage.
She talked about her 6-year-old daughter, Willow, telling the audience that she just got a new tour bus and that her daughter, excited about it, said, “Mama, do I have to watch your show tonight?”
Though the concert was a fine example of a modern pop show, complete with backup singers, a violinist and 10 backup dancers – the show also included its rocking moments, including a guitar-heavy cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which had the singer banging her head and writhing on the ground like a proper rock star.
Her voice was clear, strong and always in tune, and sometimes, it was hard to imagine how she kept it up while swinging and hanging upside down.
The encore of the show was a surreal performance of “So What” that had Pink in a harness, flying all around the arena and hovering above or flying toward nearly every fan in the building. Those seated in the very back screamed as the singer flew right up to them, then she’d flip and twist over the heads of those on the floor. At one point, she was raised nearly to the arena’s roof and floated with all the spotlights pointed at just her.