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P!nk Brings It To The Q


March 29th, 2018

Triple threat trifecta P!nk brought her immense array of talents: Gymnastic, songwriting, and singing among other things, to Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena last night in a concert that left her fans a little dazed on an acute case of sensory overload.

The twenty-two song set started off with her anthem that literally saw the 38-year old performer bouncing off the Q's walls.  Strapped into a harness, the short-haired siren did back flips off a chandelier while belting out "Get The Party Started." What better way to get it going here on the shores of our fair lake, hmm?

Leading the sold-out crowd in a retrospective of her career, she then segued into the title track from her new album, Beautiful Trauma. After planting herself safely back on terra firma, she stayed grounded for the next several tunes, most notably 2006's "Who Knew."

At about mid-set she tore into a cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."  The crowd went nuts for her rendition of the Cobain classic, and then settled back down two tunes later for a soulful rendition of "Try," set
against a fairytale backdrop reminiscent of a bloated production of Into The Woods. And I mean that, of course, in a good way.

Hitting all the right, ahem, notes, P!nk's vocals projected both a message of equality and female empowerment.  With about a half dozen costume changes and set design reworks, there were video interstitials played to give the crowd something to watch while the stage was being reset.  One video had the songstress discuss her young daughter's interrogation of her mother's values. After responding to her daughter's queries about being "ugly" or "too masculine," she reinforced her grrrrrrl power mojo by telling her youngster that, yep, maybe she was a little tomboyish, but she could tell her naysayers that she's also selling out arenas all around the world.  It was heartfelt and posed a great question for all of us in this post-#METOO age. 

P!nk has always had a hell of a voice; were the Cirque Du Soleil acrobatics a hindrance to the concert?  I've always been a fan of stripped-down stages where a simple lighting scheme, a stool with a guitar, and a performer with a golden voice work best.  But, in a setting like this, the theatrics, the lighting scheme (which, frankly, almost put a KISS show to shame) and the sheer immense scope of this production wowed even the most cynical concertgoers.  This was spectacle in the same vein as Ben Hur's chariot race or the burning of Atlanta in Gone With The Wind. Her large company of dancers,  the costume changes, and Salvador Dali-esque sets were integral to the success of such a a large undertaking; this twenty-plus truck tour must have taken hours and hours to load in and set up for the evening's performance.

Now, if her singing and dancing weren't up to snuff it would all just be a smokescreen to cover her inadequacies, right?  But there was no man behind the curtain; she's the real deal: A trifecta of breathless energy wrapped up into a ball of energy barely bigger than five feet tall.  And she kept it up for two hours.

Oh yeah, during the encore she flew again.  With pinpoint, computer-guided accuracy, she flew all throughout the Q, landing on tiny platforms up near the nosebleeds, and then balanced on her right hand, perfecting a one-handed handstand.  Then, after the smoke settled and the heartbeats returned to normal, she finished out the night with a quiet, introspective version of "Glitter In The Air."  Her voice never faltered or cracked, and this was after ten minutes of aeronautics that would put your average astronaut into a tizzy.

Is there anything she can't do?

Photos and Review by Brian M. Lumley

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