Pink w/ the Ting Tings – [Live]

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

I'm just going get this out of the way right now. Yes, I voluntarily went and saw Pink at the HP Pavilion, and yes, she was nothing short of absolutely fabulous. Now that that's off my chest, let's continue…

As I was sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic between San Francisco and San Jose while listening to the latest Marduk record, the inner metal-head in me was starting to wonder what I may have gotten myself into. As we all know by now my tastes in music can run on the "extreme" side, and if there is one thing Pink's music is not, it's extreme. Yet here I was on my way to photograph and review the show. And although I had read nothing but positive things about her recently completed Australian tour (which is what made me curious about checking out the show in the first place) a concert like this is usually miles off of my radar. But if there is one thing I've learned when it comes to live shows over the past 25 years, it's that having an open mind has allowed me to witness some pretty cool shows that I normally would not have touched, and I was hoping that tonight's show would be one of them.

Opening the show this evening were the Ting-Tings, the British duo whose song "That's Not My Name" has been pretty much inescapable for the last several months. And from the word go, vocalist/guitarist/effects pedal wielder-extraordinaire Katie White and drummer Jules De Martino had the packed arena on their feet and dancing with their catchy-yet-still-guitar-driven electro-pop. With her non-stop energy, Katie gave the band's songs a life of their own, and as she rotated from guitar to effects pedal to her signature single bass drum, the dance party vibe on the floor only intensified, especially during "Great DJ." The Ting-Tings were a definitely a great band to get the crowd excited for what was still to come.

From the moment Pink made her entrance from a box at the center of the catwalk and was transported to the stage via a harness 30 feet above the screaming crowd, I knew this was going a pretty spectacular show. And after hitting the stage with the curtain dropping to reveal a virtual cornucopia of musicians, dancers and colors, Pink launched into a 90 minute plus set that really didn't slow down for even a second. The stage was pretty amazing on its own, and with the drum kit inside a roller coaster car and funhouse mirrors as the back drop, I really felt like I was witnessing a carnival or circus.

As Pink ran through all of her hits, including "Who Knew," "Don't Let Me Get Me," "Please Don't Leave Me," "Just Like A Pill" and "U + Ur Hand," she was flanked by numerous dancers clad in harlequin prints, top hats and feather boas who—rather than take any attention away from her—only accentuated her, and quite nicely I might say. And although she announced to the crowd that she was injured, Pink was moving around the stage with energy to spare, and interacted with every dancer and band member up there with her while undergoing numerous costume changes. As if all this wasn't enough, Pink managed to belt out some pretty spot-on covers, including Zeppelin's "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" the Divinyls "I Touch Myself" (while laying on a couch with built-in hands that touched her in strategic areas) and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."

By the time the carnival/concert came to a close with "Get This Party Started," I have to admit that Pink had totally won me over, and I left the arena as a total fan. So let this reviewer/photographer's experience be a lesson to those of you who are a bit on the close-minded side when reviewing your live music options. Oh, and if you think reviewing and liking this show makes me any less "Metal" or any less "Punk Rock," just let me know, because my resume is available on request.



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