We don’t talk enough about Pink’s live performances. By that I mean I was in no way prepared for the level of athletic, visual and vocal artistry — not to mention downright infectious charm — that Pink and her team of musicians and dancers brought to Circuit of the Americas’ Germania Insurance Super Stage on Saturday during Formula One weekend.
From the start, Pink wowed: She opened the set with "Get the Party Started," which she performed while diving from and climbing along an enormous custom pink chandelier that hung high up on the stage. We’re talking Cirque du Soleil-level acrobatics as she weaved in and out of the giant metal spires far above the crowd.
And to make things even more exciting, despite the necessity of a headset mic (a piece of technology that has quickly become one of my biggest enemies because it just doesn’t … work that well … ever), Pink’s strong and very-much-live vocals came through! Not always — when she was midsomersault, her voice faded (because she is a human), but that just further proved she was singing, fully truly delivering, right there, right then.
PHOTOS: Pink at Circuit of the Americas
From there, the artist danced and belted and smiled (so much smiling! Pink is loving her life and it’s invigorating to watch) through a series of her many hits, including "Just Like a Pill," "Secrets" and "Who Knew." Her body was strong, her voice was strong, her personality was strong, all in the very best ways. Pink is surprisingly real-life funny: At one point she warmly quipped that her guitarist looked like "a really good chef" in his outfit, and she was brought nearly to tears when a fan gave her multiple bags of Cheetos: "Some people like diamonds," she said. "I like Cheetos. … I feel seen."
And the costume changes, and the dancing! Every person who worked to put together Pink’s tour (which after two and a half years finally concluded with this performance) has gone above and beyond, from delightfully gory lowbrow claymation to pyrotechnics to lush bejeweled haunted forests to, again, incredible suspension acrobatics. Even the videographers brought real cinematic artistry as they translated the live performance to the Jumbotrons. (The thing that really made the whole experience, though, was how gracious and admiring Pink was of every one of her band, dance team and crew members. They each got big, exciting named introductions, and it was abundantly clear everyone involved with the production really loved their work and colleagues.)
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But amid the delightful spectacle, some of Pink’s best moments happened when she let her voice and beliefs shine. As the night went on, Pink’s show moved more and more toward the explicitly inspirational and encouraging: Twice the artist used her costume change interludes to play videos expressing support for a number of human rights issues, including gay marriage, gun control, Black Lives Matter, abortion rights and the #MeToo movement. And she delivered raw and powerful performances of "What About Us," the heartbreaking "Just Give Me a Reason" and "Perfect," the latter coming with a moving story about a time her daughter felt self-conscious about her appearance.
Toward the end of the evening, Pink performed moving, stripped-down vocals for the folksy "Walk Me Home," and her team made sure to "take it to church" for a raucous rendition of the blue-grass and gospel-inspired track "I Am Here."
As the absolutely electrifying cherry on top of a spectacular set, Pink, decked in a glittery jumpsuit, strapped into a contraption that allowed her to fly like Peter Pan across an enormous swath of the F1 audience — all the way into the grassy fields — as she performed the celebratory "So What." Let me tell you, watching a sparkly world-famous pop star do somersaults 30 feet in the air above your head while belting, "So what, I’m still a rock star," is pretty magnificent.