All five levels of the sold-out Staples Center got a close look at Pink when she was singing her defiant chant “I am a rock star,” the hook from from her Hot 100 chart-topper “So What.”
Performed as her first encore in “The Truth About Love” tour, it is delivered while Pink swirls 50 feet above the arena floor, swinging from side to side and occasionally perching on pedestals located at the rear of the arena. On a night of aerial thrills, this one tops them all.
It's the final visual derring-do of this night, Feb. 16, a nearly two-hour rock 'n' roll-driven romp shaped loosely around the idea that Pink is a contestant on a romantic game show. A powerful extravaganza, it plays to all of Pink's strengths: Her multiple outfits emphasize her superb muscularity; the video imagery reinforces the sexual and romantic nature of her material; and her band of five musicians and two singers perform with a rock band intensity that engages the singer rather than simply backs her.
The third show in a 26-date North American tour, the pacing is already firm. “Raise Your Glass” is the opener and, not surprisingly, she enters with three male aerialists for some dazzling circus tricks. Once she comes to Earth, she's goes on a no-nonsense bender with “Walk of Shame," ”Just Like a Pill and “U + Ur Hand” before taking the musical intensity down a notch for a stretch with the ballad “Try” – presented as it was on the AMAs but with the domestic violence toned down -- a cover of Chris Isaak's “Wicked Game,” “Just Give Me a Reason” and “Are We All We Are.”
Truth, in Pink's world, is that love is physical, full of rage, elation, betrayal and adventure. “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” which closes the main set, provides a welcome chance to laugh and blow off steam to the night's bounciest beat. After two encores and goodbye waves to the crowd, Pink closes the show with a statement about love that has nothing to do with romance by showing a video of her and her daughter. It's curious initially, but ultimately serves as an intimate moment with a woman aiming to remind her audience she is not superwoman, but a working mother.
Raise Your Glass
Walk of Shame
Just Like a Pill
U + Ur Hand
Leave Me Alone
Just Give Me A Reason
Are We All We Are
How Come You're Not Here
Most Girls - There You Go - You Make Me Sick
Slut Like You
Blow Me One Last Kiss
Glitter in the Air
Opening act: The Hives