After a record-breaking run in Australia, Pink imported her Funhouse tour to the States, bringing a show filled with razzle-dazzle, covers and stunts to Seattle’s Key Arena last night. Early on, she announced she had separated her shoulder, but was so excited about the performance she didn’t consider canceling, adding, “And the louder you cheer the less pain I feel!” Perhaps as a result, she stayed on terra firma during “Sober” (in contrast to her high-flying performance last Sunday on the VMAs), but still couldn’t resist being airborne on occasion.
The show began with a short film that showed Pink racing down the freeway on a motorcycle to her own version of “Highway to Hell.” A circus strong man strode down the catwalk that extended into the audience and turned a large crank, releasing a trapeze that hoisted Pink into the air, the feathered orange trim of her jacket trailing behind her. As she swanned around the arena overhead, the curtains disappeared, revealing a stage looking as if the amusement park rides from the Seattle Center grounds had been dropped on it, dripping with lights, clowns and showgirls cavorting among the musicians.
In a show where the pacing never flagged, there were costume changes galore. During “U & UR Hand,” everyone was clad in fetish gear, while for “So What” the dancers romped around in their underwear, whacking each other with pillows, and gradually stripping the hunky man Pink had earlier fondled during a steamy “Fingers.” By the end of “So What,” Pink’s would-be paramour was tied spread-eagled on a bed, Pink sitting on top of him as the lights faded to black. Later, kicking her way through the piles of feathers left on stage after the pillow fight, she cracked, “Jesus, there’s so many feathers, I feel like Santa!”
Pink was in a chatty mood between songs, explaining that her purse with phone and BlackBerry had been stolen (“That’s why I haven’t been Twittering today”), and laughing when she missed her vocal entrance on “Family Portrait” (“See what happens when you don’t lip-sync?”). A heartfelt “Dear Mr. President,” during which images of George W., poverty and war were flashed on the screens behind the stage (designed to look like funhouse mirrors), resulted in a standing ovation.
Acrobats twirled above the stage during “Sober,” as Pink, attired in a long black cape, paced on the stage’s upper level like the Phantom of the Opera. The spectacle was heightened on her cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” with Pink wearing a white yachting cap, yellow leather tailcoat, and a bodysuit/leotard with one leg in purple, the other in Harlequin-checked black and white. When Queen performed this number live, they always left the stage during the operatic sequence, feeling they couldn’t recreate on stage what they’d done in the studio; Pink’s troupe performed all the complicated harmonies with aplomb.
After a lively “Funhouse,” with Pink shrieking at her image in the funhouse mirrors rolled on stage, her version of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” brought the main set to an end (her cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” was another highlight).
But a proper closure came with the encore. “Get the Party Started” had two acrobats spinning overhead while wrapped in white scarves, a man swinging out over the audience, Pink jumping off the catwalk to shake hands with the crowd, and confetti falling from the ceiling. Then came the haunting “Glitter in the Air,” with Pink in a black cape she opened to reveal a body suit seemingly made out of thick string. As Pink sang while going down the catwalk, a sort of red cloth chandelier with acrobats hanging on it sailed above her; eventually she lay in a white swing underneath the chandelier and was hoisted into the air again, soaring in and out of the trap door she’d come out of at the beginning.
It was a spectacular conclusion to a show that was as much a theatrical production as it was a concert; the words “The End” fittingly displayed on the stage’s screens at the finish.
“Just Like A Pill”
“Don’t Let Me Get Me”
“I Touch Myself”
“Please Don’t Leave Me”
“U & Ur Hand”
“Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)”
“I Don’t Believe You”
“Dear Mr. President”
“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”
“Get the Party Started”
“Glitter In The Air”