Pink review – gymnastic spectacular from pop's great noncomformist

Principality Stadium, Cardiff
The star condenses the energy of an entire tour into a single show that’s a riot of circus athleticism and crowd-pleasing hits

Pink is hanging upside down from a towering, diamante-encrusted chandelier. As it swings, she snarls, winks and breaks into Get the Party Started, her tongue-in-cheek romp from 2001. To the delight of Cardiff’s roaring crowd – though perhaps not her insurance underwriter – the 39-year-old pop veteran scales every angle of the bejewelled contraption with the acrobatic execution of a Cirque de Soleil runaway, held aloft by just a light harness. Not your average start to a party, then.

Delightfully brash ... Pink.
Delightfully brash … Pink. Photograph: Polly Thomas/Rex/Shutterstock

But Pink is not your average pop star. Born Alecia Moore, the multimillion-album-selling artist and trained gymnast has spent two decades infiltrating the mainstream with her brand of delightfully brash pop-rock anthems (her 2017 album Beautiful Trauma was the third-biggest seller in the world that year). From the self-empowerment anthem Fuckin’ Perfect – played tonight sans expletives – to the club banger Raise Your Glass, her confessional songwriting has marked her out as an ambassador for misfits. She knows, too: “We’re all Pink on the inside,” chimes a mid-set transition clip.

Pink condenses a tour’s worth of energy, showmanship and stage production into one show, flexing her athleticism while singing live, on-key and with sublime verve. Bedecked in a tailcoat, she works as a wired-up ringmaster, commanding her backing dancers through the feverishly catchy Funhouse; hearts move to mouths as her muscular prowess is pushed to the limit throughout a gyroscopic Secrets. With this arsenal of palatable, crowd-pleasing hits, there was presumedly no need for a cover, but her powerful rendition of Bishop Briggs’ gothic, reverb-drenched River allows a rare unshowy routine that, for once, leaves the spotlight on Pink’s voice rather than on her physical capabilities.

The nursery rhyme-like stomp of So What heralds a high-flying aerial finale; strapped in by four bungee chords, Pink erratically slingshots her way across the stadium’s ticketed sections and dive bombs towards fans. As the hook-line fades out, she finally grounds herself on a structured perch and waves at her ecstatic fans, offering them a conspiratorial nod. And with that, pop’s greatest nonconformist soars back to Earth.

• Touring the UK until 30 June.


Sophie Williams

The GuardianTramp

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