Advertisement
  1. Music

Review: Pink's high-flying stunts thrill, inspire a sold-out Amalie Arena in Tampa

Pink performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on March 3, 2019. (Jay Cridlin | Times)
Published Mar. 4

Pink turns 40 in September. Hope you contemplated that Sunday as you watched her toss and twirl about Tampa like a flying squirrel, flexing on more than 17,000 fans with feats of derring-do lesser pop stars can barely dream up, much less insure in real life.

But that's Alecia Moore for you, 39 years and a day past giving a frick. With Vegas-plus production behind her, Pink turned a sold-out Amalie Arena into a playground with a capacity of one, thrilling fans with her aerobatics, her voice and her catalog of pop hits that's going on a 20 years strong.

"I'm about to turn 40!" Pink, like the rest of us, had to marvel. "That's crazy! I just feel like a 17-year-old boy!"

She sure crashes parties like one. When the hot-pink curtain dropped Sunday, there was Pink clinging to a swinging chandelier, high above the arena floor, snarling -- what else? -- Get the Party Started. It was a hard entrance to top, but that didn't stop her from trying – and actually succeeding on Secrets, where she wrapped her legs around a fellow dancer and dangled high above the floor without a wire, held improbably aloft by a hand or a foot or maybe a pact with Beezlebub himself.

Many songs crammed a tour's worth of production commitment into just one or two songs -- confectionery choreography that nodded to Busby Berkeley on Beautiful Trauma, woodsy mise en scene that felt like Andrew Lloyd Webber tackling Twilight on Try, snorts and spouts of flame on Just Like Fire.

Sometimes her endearing youthfulness shimmied through, as when a giant blow-up simulacrum of Eminem floated out, Stay-Puft style, to rap along on Revenge, only to see a wired-up Pink leap up and split-kick him in the chops. And when her band shrunk to fit on the tip off her heart-shaped catwalk, Pink let her voice, finally, outshine her tour's production, wailing like a gospel queen on I Am Here.

And other times, the drama rose up like a crushed-velvet dragon in the mist. Try saw Pink rolling around a dry-iced stage and flipping her legs into the air atop the backs of a trio of dancers. That rolled into Just Give Me a Reason, which saw Pink floating heavenward on a four-poster bed. And from there, she stomp-started a performance of her newest single -- and first from forthcoming album Hurts 2B Human -- the vaguely Celtic battle cry Walk Me Home.

It was here -- not up twirling in the rafters -- where the Pink the world reveres today came out in force. Here was where she played a montage of news clips and headlines and interviews where she talked about it all: Feminism, self-worth, empowerment, voting rights, climate change, LGBTQ love, #MeToo. Different seats and sections cheered at different moments, but most everyone cheered at something.

And then she came back out swinging in all white, belting What About Us at the epicenter of a mini-nation of dancers. She stuck to the spotlight for the searing For Now. She dropped a clip of her famous 2017 MTV Video Music Awards speech, the one where she encouraged her young daughter -- who later made a cute, quick-hug cameo -- not to change to fit someone else's idea of beauty. And she sent the crowd pumping their fists into the night with Raise Your Glass and Blow Me (One Last Kiss).

And then, in the encore, So What brought her most death-defying act yet. Anchored by four wires spanning the arena, she took off like a rocket, floating and spinning throughout the building, at times nearly 300-level high, at others just feet above fans' heads, causing them to jump when she swung just a little too low.

She looked like Peter Pan, which is fitting. Just like the boy who wouldn't grow up, Pink also seems ageless out there. September's starting to seem so far away.

Contact Jay Cridlin at cridlin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Buddy Guy charms the crowd in between songs at A Taste of Pinellas in 2011.
    Catch up on today’s Tampa Bay concert announcements.
  2. Oscar-winning pop star Sam Smith, who is non-binary, announced Friday that they now use "they/them" as their third-person pronouns. On social media, they said that "after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am ..." JOEL C RYAN  |  Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP
    The singer now uses they/them pronouns. It shouldn’t be hard for reporters to recognize — and explain — gender non-binary terms. | Ashley Dye
  3. A composite image of Cars frontman Ric Ocasek, photographed by the David Richard of the Associated Press in 2018; and Eddie Money, photographed in 2004 by Jessica Reilly of the Telegraph Herald. Money died on Sept. 13, 2019; Ocasek died on Sept. 15, 2019. Associated Press
    The Cars frontman and ‘Take Me Home Tonight’ singer voiced a generation in distinct ways.
  4. 'Love and Hip Hop' star K. Michelle will perform at 95.7 Beats By the Bay on Nov. 2, 2019 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. VH1
    Dru Hill, Lloyd, Amerie and more are also coming to Vinoy Park.
  5. FILE - In this April 14, 2018, file photo, Ric Ocasek, from the Cars, performs during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony in Cleveland. Ocasek, famed frontman for The Cars rock band, has been found dead in a New York City apartment. The New York City police department said officers responding to a 911 call found the 75-year-old Ocasek on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. DAVID RICHARD  |  AP
    The New York Police Department said that officers found the 75-year-old Ocasek at about 4 p.m. after responding to a 911 call.
  6. In this Aug. 6, 2004 file photo,  Eddie Money performs during Grandstand Under the Stars at the Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, Iowa. Family members have said Eddie Money has died on Friday. (Jessica Reilly/Telegraph Herald via AP, File) JESSICA REILLY  |  AP
    The rock star recently announced he had stage 4 esophageal cancer.
  7. Singer Greg Graffin, third from right, and Bad Religion will play Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Sept. 18. Alice Baxley
    Interview with singer Greg Graffin of legendary punk band Bad Religion, who are playing Jannus Live on 9/18/19.
  8. Green Day performs at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa in 2017. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Catch up on today’s Tampa Bay concert announcements.
  9. Carly Pearce will perform at the 99.5 QYK Guitar Pull on Nov. 17 at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater. HARPER SMITH  |  Big Machine Label Group
    Chase Rice, Jordan Davis and Hardy round out the bill.
  10. Chris Young will play the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Friday. Courtesy of John Shearer
    Plus, Bad Religion, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, PUP and Dominic Fike.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement