There is no doubt that P!nk's "Truth About Love" tour is the arena spectacle of the year. Friday night in Atlanta she played Philips Arena and proved that the spectacle wasn't about her music; it wasn't about her voice; it wasn't about her on-stage entourage; it wasn’t about P!nk's stage presence nor was it about her stage set. It was about the combination of all those things; but it became truly spectacular when she left the stage.
It wasn't about her music although the two-hour set included most of her current hits from the "Truth About Love" album and some of her older ones. The crowd were on their feet the entire evening. “Try” and her duet with Nate Reuss (Fun.'s lead singer was on video), “Just Give Me a Reason” were only bettered by “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” for pure entertainment value while "Are We All We Are" and "How Come You're Not Here" were much better live than on the album. P!nk even covered Chris Isaak's “Wicked Game.”
It wasn’t about her incredible voice whose range and emotion were showcased perfectly with a couple of slower songs, an acoustic version of "Who Knew" and then “Family Portrait” a poignant recollection of her own childhood spent in a divorcing household. On a more upbeat basis "F**kin Perfect" pretty much was!
It wasn’t about her on-stage entourage including a five piece band highlighted by Jason Chapman on piano and Justin Derrico on guitar; nor was it about the back-up singers, the dancers or the emcee.
It wasn’t about her stage presence despite the fact that her outfits, dancing, strutting, facial expressions and interaction with the crowd demanded everyone’s attention all the time.
It wasn’t the high-tech light or video screen backdrop that showed a variety of videos, photos, cartoons and even a neon pole dancer during “Slut Like You.”
The whole was greater than the sum of the parts and if that had been the extent of the show everyone would have had a great time but P!nk has become known for her on-stage and above stage gymnastics and theatrics and this show had those and then some. The evening played to those strengths with a variety of winches, pulleys, trapezes, and cages that elevated her above the stage and all while she was singing and not missing a note.
The show opened with P!nk emerging from under the stage being hoisted (at times upside down) singing "Raise Your Glass" while being bounced on a bungee cord about thirty feet above the stage by two of her dancers. Throughout the rest of the evening, she and her dancers/acrobats used various contraptions to raise themselves and each other over the stage.
But in the tradition of saving the best for last P!nk did! Coming back on stage for the encore she decided on two songs from her “Funhouse” album. “So What” started with P!nk being strapped into a hoist that can only be described as something similar to those television cameras that are suspended above sporting events that can track the entire length of the stadium to follow any particular play. Imagine one of those cameras with P!nk strapped inside.
And then imagine P!nk soaring, diving, swooping rotating through the entire length of Phillips Arena all the time singing “So What.” At times she was 60 feet above the floor, at other times she was able to reach down and almost touch the fans below. At one point she flew to the far end of the arena and acknowledged the fans furthest from the stage and highest up in the arena by almost being face to face with them. Brilliant!
P!nk finished the evening with a great version of “Glitter In the Air” by being elevated above the stage by long sheets of cloth. At one point during the song she was lowered out of view from where I was watching and re-emerged soaking wet to great dramatic effect. As she spun above the stage she showered by crowd with water that she had been immersed in. Pure theatre and truly spectacular!