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In concert, Pink’s acrobatics nearly overshadow her voice

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Pink brought acrobatic stunts, a sense of humor, and one of the strongest voices in pop to Mandalay Bay on February 15.
Photo: Brian Jones/Las Vegas News Bureau

The Details

PINK
three stars
February 15, Mandalay Bay Events Center

She might have accidentally yelled out “Phoenix!” (the tour’s previous stop) at the beginning of her set, but Pink’s concert at the Mandalay Bay Events Center this past Friday was pure Vegas. The most elaborate set pieces drew heavily from the work of Cirque du Soleil, with the singer herself performing some impressive acrobatic feats. It was pretty striking to see Pink dangling from silks or flying across the arena in a harness or spinning above the stage in a metal ball, especially since she was able to pull off Cirque-style stunts without being a trained acrobat. But, as is often the case in large-scale pop concert spectacles, the showmanship came at the expense of the singing, and from Pink, who has one of the strongest voices in pop, that was a disappointment.

To her credit, Pink did make time for more low-key segments that allowed her to showcase her voice, including performing “Family Portrait” and “Who Knew” accompanied only by piano and acoustic guitar, respectively, while remaining completely stationary. On other songs, including a lilting cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” she successfully integrated stunts with musicianship, managing to sing beautifully while still participating in intricate choreography.

And she had a sense of humor about the whole thing, focusing so much on “the worst dancing I’ve ever seen in my life” during “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)” that she missed singing nearly the entire first verse, and joking, “I do this at home at parties, too—I change a lot,” after yet another costume change later in the show. Instead of bringing along a faceless DJ or a flavor-of-the-moment teen-popper promoted by her record label, Pink had gonzo Swedish garage-rock band The Hives opening the show, and they managed to win over most of the audience seemingly by sheer force of will (“Clap your hands or I’ll just stay here all night and Pink can’t play,” went a typical entreaty from frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist).

With its irritating ringmaster-style host, numerous video interludes and army of back-up dancers, the show felt a bit overstuffed, but when it focused on Pink’s voice and easy rapport with fans, all of the extraneous distractions easily melted away.

Set list:

“Raise Your Glass”

“Walk of Shame”

“Just Like a Pill”

“U + Ur Hand”

“Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)”

“Try”

“Wicked Game”

“Just Give Me a Reason”

“Are We All We Are”

“How Come You're Not Here”

“Sober”

“Family Portrait”

“Who Knew”

“F*ckin’ Perfect”

Medley: “Most Girls”/“There You Go”/“You Make Me Sick”

“Slut Like You”

“Blow Me (One Last Kiss)”

“So What”

“Glitter in the Air”

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