Pink at Xcel Energy Center, 3/19/13

Categories: Last Night

To kick things back into physical action, the oldest Pink material of the night got meshed into a Can't Take Me Home medley. The 13-year-old songs seem miles away from the rock-fused empowerment jams she makes now, but even with its antiquated bling references, "Most Girls" still stands as a revolutionary moment that opened the gates for Rihanna, Gaga, and plenty others. And, it gave Pink a chance to showcase some more complex dance moves, including one through a male dancer's legs that nearly lifted her out of her pants.

Photos by Stacy Schwartz
The evening's lowlight was undoubtedly The Truth About Love track "Slut Like You" -- though it appears to be a song that fans and Pink feel quite strongly about. While the message of equal opportunity one-night-stands isn't an issue, the melody and its incessant, atonal "woohoo" refrain wasn't improved from its grating recording in the live setting -- even with a stripper pole dance routine in the middle. Though it might be a big hit in a country bar, it stuck out as a low-grade attempt in an otherwise strong batch of songwriting.

Fortunately, the finale was a grand recovery. "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" contains everything that Pink has come to stand for -- unmistakable pop hooks and her brand of uplifting crassness. Ditto that for "So What," which featured the grandest aerial attack of the entire night, and one of the most impressive visual displays a person can hope to see at a concert. Strapped into a rotating harness attached to wires that reached high into the Xcel, her gilded figure spent the song soaring through the open air into everyone's faces, and never once losing her composure.

The soft, sensual "Glitter in the Air" proved subdued in comparison, but only slightly so. In another high-hanging display, she and several dancers played the part of a spinning human chandelier. Towards the end, she got dunked into a pool of water, and sent water droplets everywhere. The effect combined all of the night's showcases of strength with all of its beauty, making separating the two aspects irrelevant.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: While it might not have been fuckin' perfect, this show rocked harder than recent stops by Madonna and Lady Gaga at the Xcel. That said, it wasn't due to the commonplace alt-country by the City & Colour, which was all the smoothness of Christopher Cross with little of the substance, in the opening slot.

The Crowd: Maybe 70-30 female. Many, of both genders, with pinkish hair.

Overheard: "They all must've been cheerleaders in college," regarding the rah-rah attitude of Pink's backup dancers.

Raise Your Glass
Walk of Shame
Just Like a Pill
U+Ur Hand
Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)
Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover)
Just Give Me a Reason
Are We All We Are
How Come You're Not Here
Family Portrait
Who Knew
Fuckin' Perfect
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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