Performing on a stage that resembled a clash between a Vegas show and Broadway musical, Pink literally flew into the United Center in Chicago on March 9. Her 2013 "Truth About Love" tour involved bright lights, plenty of color, and choreography that could have been staged by Cirque du Soleil.
The Hives [review] dealt a heavy dose of garage rock to the assembling crowd, opening the show at 8:15 p.m. Their old-school, stripped-down music delivered in formal attire was a stark contrast to Pink's over-the-top stage show and pop rock dance beats. The Hives definitely made an impression, with frontman Pelle Almqvist working his enthusiastic magic to spread the gospel of their trade while earning the respect of many new fans. His constant quips made for a fun evening, best summed up when he said, "I know that as much fun as it's been for me, it's been at least that much fun for you."
A lengthy 45-minute set change was worth the wait, though a flamboyant emcee kept the mood light by toying with the crowd via teasing and various pranks. Eventually he appeared in front of a large curtain on stage to introduce "The Truth About Love" game show and began searching the crowd for a contestant. The camera stopped on Pink amongst the crowd, obviously taped for the show, but enough for fans to spin their heads looking for the night's star. After a brief video of Pink lamenting on her love life to a bartender, the show began.
Describing Pink's stage show as extravagant would be an understatement. It consisted of several tiers with a large heart-shaped video screen as the focal point. A large catwalk that led to a heart-shaped island was surrounded by general admission fans near the stage. Three shirtless male dancers hanging from a suspended apparatus hoisted her into the air via a bungee attachment. She sang opening number, "Raise Your Glass," as she spun, bounced and twirled from the rafters.
Pink displayed her toned body throughout the evening, changing outfits several times but always revealing her buffed midsection. Her acrobatics were as impressive as the stage ensemble, but fans came for her music and voice. Despite her constant complex movements, her voice suffered little from the added stress of keeping time with the choreography. However, when she did settle down for the piano-backed "Trouble" her voice was simply brilliant. As was "Just Give Me a Reason," a duet featuring Nate Ruess of fun., was performed with Ruess singing behind Pink on the video screen. Pink stood on a balcony in front of the screen and the visual pairing worked as well as their vocal harmonies.
Though all of the songs were themed around love, lust or family, no two songs were performed in similar fashion. Whether she was suspended on ropes during "Try" in a stunning display of strength and beauty, or performing the haunting "Family Portrait" as a plea to her father while vintage family photos were cast upon the screen, Pink tied every aspect of the visual performance to a given song. "Sober" was performed while suspended above the stage in a giant spinning egg, with a concentric center that rotated freely from a spherical outer shell.
The emcee was utilized throughout the show for both comedic and shock value, while also allowing Pink a quick breather or costume change. Dance numbers and guitar highlights that utilized Justin Derrico's talents were also interspersed to create flow and seamless transitions.
Despite the size of the United Center, Pink appeared to be very connected to her fans. She frequently received stuffed animal gifts and spoke directly to her audience, while also speaking freely about her daughter, "I'll always remember March 9 in Chicago because she told me 'I love you' for the first time." A similar mood was felt amongst her entourage, where she joked with various members of the band projecting the imagery of a family bond.
As if the show could go no higher, she finished with an encore of "So What" that had her drifting across the United Center, with various stops along the upper section of the venue. She completed the night with "Glitter in the Air" to cap a stunning night with the visual spectacle of Pink spinning elegantly above the crowd.
Raise Your Glass
Walk of Shame
Just Like a Pill
U + Ur Hand
Leave me alone
Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover)
Just Give Me a Reason
Are We All We Are
How Come You're Not Here
Most Girls / There You Go / You Make Me Sick
Slut Like You
Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
Glitter in the Air