Live Last Night: Pink

Pink

Never to break up with Pink! She’ll do an album about it (last year’s Funhouse), it’ll go platinum, and pretty soon she’ll be in the middle of 10,000 people at the Patriot Center, just like she was for two lusty hours last night, telling God and everyone how much she doesn’t miss you.

The 30-year-old starlet reportedly reconciled with her husband this year, which hasn’t stopped her from riding the success of her heartbreak album into arenas. As a meditation on love eroding, Funhouse it isn’t exactly Blood on the Tracks. But as fuel for a high-energy, high-ambition spectacle — part Cirque de Soleil, part Moulin Rouge, and part stool-settin’ guitar pull (and even that segment wasn’t bad at all) — it more than works.

In concert at least, the Artist Formerly Known as Alecia Moore is a more exciting pop mistress than Beyonce — her only worthy rival — for the same reason Daniel Craig is a more exciting 007 than Pierce Brosnan: She sweats. She swears. And the stunts seem more real. The spectacular spectacular’s trapeze-suspended derring-do offers a rush of physical jeopardy to match the emotional risks its star taking every night. Yes, it’s really her doing the singing, and the risk-taking.

If you caught her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards two weeks ago, you know she usually does her own aerial work, too. She was nursing an injured shoulder last night, so while her vocals soared on “Sober,” her feet remained Earthbound. (One of her dancers stood in on the trapeze.)

The show didn’t upstage the music. “Bohemian Rhasody” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” both fit the evening’s Alice in Wonderland vibe, even if the latter has been covered 947 times already. Led Zeppelin’s “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” smoked, though it seemed to leave Pink Nation more dazed and confused than enthralled.

But everyone agreed on the DiVinyls’ “I Touch Myself.” Reclining in lingerie on a scarlet daybed to exhale the 1991 hit, the star ran her own hands over her body. Then the couch sprouted additional hands to assist. It was as freaky as the show got, a perfect blend of sex and surrealism. While Pink’s costumes got even skimpier as the night progressed, the goal seemed less to titillate than to show off of her battle-ready physique.

Despite the evening’s one false note, the expired polemic “Dear Mr. President,” (its accompanying video made clear it’s about POTUS 43, not the new guy) we’ll go ahead and say it: Mission accomplished.

A version of this review appears on Post Rock.

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