Concert Reviews

Concert Review: P!nk Shares Her Beautiful Trauma With Auckland

Reuben Raj
Secrets

Alecia Beth Moore or better known as P!nk kicked off her first of six shows at the Auckland’s Spark Arena last night. It will be incredibly hard not to give away any spoilers to P!nk’s remarkable Beautiful Trauma show so I shall venture to share just a few key highlights, hoping to entice everyone to go see the show and enjoy the immersive experience for themselves.

The Rubens opened the night with a string of their popular hits including Million Man and Never Ever. The band sounded good on stage albeit somewhat dwarfed by the enormous pink coloured curtain behind them. NZ singer Sahara Skye came on stage to sing a duet with Rubens frontman, Sam Margin. After The Rubens, DJ Kidcutup played a massively entertaining mashup of old and new club hits that featured hair metal hits and singalongs to popular NZ hits by Crowded House, Lorde and more.

During this leg of the world tour, P!nk’s band whom she described as “her family, the love of her life” included Eva Gardner (bass) Jason Chapman (keyboard), Justin Derrico (guitars), Jessy Greene (violin, cello) and ‘birthday boy’ Mark Schulman (drums).

... step up and be a part of a solution not the problem because in order to survive, we all need this beautiful trauma called love.

Unlike normal concert reviews, I chose to share a few thoughts about the overall experience at the start of this article for those who may want to avoid as many spoilers as possible. In short, I felt that P!nk’s concert was an emotional one. The breathtaking aerial performances, incredible choreography, sensational visuals and more enhance the overall experience but at the heart of it all, P!nk’s powerful lyrics and her passion for love of oneself and positive change is an emotion much needed in the chaos today and sought after by so many. P!nk inspires the need to step up and be a part of a solution not the problem because in order to survive, we all need this beautiful trauma called love.

From here on, keep reading if you want to know a bit more detail about the show (once again, with minimal spoilers!)

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Photo credit: Garry Brandon

After a comical cinematic-like introduction, the show starts off with P!nk up in a glittery chandelier atop the stage to Get The Party Started followed by the title track of the tour, Beautiful Trauma. There was hardly time to catch one’s breath before P!nk launched into Just Like A Pill while gliding across one section of the runway that had an automated thread mill.

After a string of thank-yous to the audience, P!nk kept the pace up with Who Knew which featured her incredibly talented dancers popping up from secret hatches and trap doors on and around the runway. A massive screen introduced Revenge Land, “a place that celebrates the beautiful trauma that is love” with a clay animated comedy film using plasticine characters which set the stage perfectly for one of P!nk’s recent hits, Revenge.

The ‘rocking’ part of the show started with Funhouse which included a cover of No Doubt’s Just A Girl after P!nk’s shout out to Gwen Stefani. Given permission to “lose your mind”, the audience was treated to P!nk’s salute to Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit with a brilliant blend of live footage and video clips of the Seattle grunge band on screen.

P!nk’s pleading vocals and melodies created such an inclusive and unified atmosphere.

I felt the ‘heart’ of the show started from here on with Secrets subtly opening old scars and war wounds with P!nk once again suspended up in the air without any safety nets, just elastic ropes for her and partner. After the stage was transformed into a medieval forest with mythical creatures gliding across the runways, P!nk’s delivery of her song Try was impeccable and struck hard. Nay a dry eye in the audience around me when many sang the lyrics in a loud, proud and defiant manner. Just Give Me A Reason followed next with Nate Ruess from Fun. singing his part on a vintage TV.

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Photo credit: Garry Brandon

I’m Not Dead signalled the return of some mean guitar riffs from Derrico, followed by Just Like Fire where P!nk’s vocals remained on point just like the message she sent in a short clip about her views on feminism, global warming, banned love and more. Another highlight of the show was the rendition of What About Us where P!nk’s pleading vocals and melodies created such an inclusive and unified atmosphere. A woman with crutches seated in front of me even stood up to sing and dance to this powerful anthem of love. For Now was a fitting song to nicely sum up the raw emotions felt up to this point into a decisive need for action.

P!nk and her band moved to the edge of the runway closer to the audience to sing the next few songs including an impromptu birthday ‘round’ from the audience for drummer, Mark Schulman. It was time for the ‘sad song’ Barbies followed by the high energy I Am Here. Derrico strummed the first chord for P!nk to deliver a moving version of Fuckin’ Perfect where live footage of different audience members were shown on the big screen. P!nk proceeded to Raise Your Glass for all the androgynous artists who lived their truth and for her baby girl “to help other people see more kinds of beauty”. Blow Me (One Last Kiss) was the last song of the night.

We are all P!nk on the inside...

P!nk returned with a dramatic and jaw dropping encore of So What and the soothing Glitter In The Air. After her final farewell, P!nk headed backstage to her daughter who rushed into her arms.

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Photo credit: Garry Brandon

Unlike many of the pop artists she started out with, P!nk has stood the test of time and earns her rightful place as one of the greatest female performers and songwriters of the current pop landscape. It is easy to imagine how P!nk can comfortably walk in the shoes of great artists like Nina Simone, and maybe even the recently departed Aretha Franklin, as she continues to change the world into a better place with her influential and evocative music.

Like it or not, we are all P!nk on the inside. So what are you going to do about the beautiful trauma that is love?

Limited tickets still available to see P!nk perform in Auckland by clicking here for shows on Sep 5, 7, 8, 10th and 11th.

 

 

Written By: Reuben Raj Reuben is a film and digital photographer who is driven by music in his head. Often seen lurking behind a camera inside the pit of a concert or wandering the streets of China with a blond, Reuben harbours intimate feelings for vinyl records and his Hasselblad SW/C from 1965. He is also the founder of Radio 13.