GLENDALE, ARIZ. — Pop superstar Pink descended from the heavens—quite literally—as her Beautiful Trauma World Tour rolled into the Gila River Arena on Saturday. The three-time Grammy winner greeted fans while swinging from a massive chandelier, belting out the lyrics to hit single “Get the Party Started” as dancers gyrated on the stage some 20 feet below.
This wouldn’t be the last acrobatic feat of the evening. On the contrary, the two-hour set felt more like a Cirque du Soleil routine than a pop concert, with wild feats of athleticism and numerous costume changes. Lesser performers might employ these smoke and mirror techniques as a means of compensating for vocal shortcomings outside the studio. In Pink’s case, the true star of the evening wasn’t the props or the outfits, but her stunningly powerful voice, all the more impressive when accounting for the sheer physicality of the show.
Split into several acts, each with its own unique theme, the concert featured a healthy number of selections from Pink’s latest release, Beautiful Trauma. “Revenge” and “Secrets” were among the highlights, along with the title track, but she also made time for older material like “Who Knew” and “Raise Your Glass.” Pink also paid homage to some of her favorite tunes by other artists, slipping a verse from No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” into the middle of “Funhouse” and following up with a well-conceived cover of Nirvana’s seminal classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Pink also went out of her way to introduce every member of her stage team, from musicians to backup dancers. This simple gesture showcased how much Pink appreciates her success, even while some of her contemporaries might take their stardom for granted.
Despite being on the road for more than a year, Pink showed no signs of slowing down. She was all smiles for the duration of the show, stopping to shake hands, sign autographs and pose for selfies with fans near the stage. She pointed out audience members in elaborate outfits, including a middle-aged man in a dazzling pink tuxedo, and cracked jokes with her band, needling guitarist Justin Derrico about his extensive collection of instruments.
“He has a hundred guitars,” she confided. “And 96 of them sound exactly the same.”
Her energy never seemed to waver, even as she kicked off the encore by buckling into a harness and soaring around the arena on a zipline, urging fans to sing along with her on “So What.” The sheer delight on the faces of audience members in the upper levels, as they came within inches of the pop icon, was matched only by the ear-to-ear grin worn by Pink herself. Not only did she start the party, but it was clear that she intends to keep it going for a very long time.
Pop singer-songwriter Julia Michaels opened the show and will also make an appearance at Pink’s April 17 concert at the SAP Center in San Jose.