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Concert Reviews:
High-flying P!nk dazzles at The Palace

For Journal Register Newspapers

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013

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AUBURN HILLS -- Somewhere out there is an insurance agent who was able to retire on the commission from the policy P!nk probably had to take out for her The Truth About Love Tour, which played Tuesday night, March 5, to a near sell-out crowd at The Palace.

The singer and pop provocateur filled the nearly two-hour sound-and-sight circus with more stunts than a gymnastics meet and spent more time in the air than the Flying Wallendas. It was over-the-top but with a self-effacing grin, a captivating exposition of genuine physical daring that launches P!nk to the top of the pantheon of similarly spectacle-minded peers such as Britney, Gaga, Rihanna and even Madonna -- but, importantly, without the self-seriousness that tends to pervade their shows.

P!nk's fans didn't have to wait long for the show to kick into gear, either. Following a raw and rabble-rousing 45 minutes by Swedish garage rockers The Hives and a ponderous, theme-setting opening by a greasy game show MC, P!nk kicked things off suspended above the stage on a trapeze with her three male dancers as her seven-piece band cranked out "Raise Your Glass" below, with pyrotechnic blasts accented the performance. She was back in the air for the torchy ballad "Try," while "Sober" was a show-stopper that found her and the dancers cavorting around and even outside of an airborne, circular cage.

But even that was blown away by the encore rendition of "So What," during which P!nk flew around the arena in a harness that took her to the very top of the building and stopped briefly at a couple of steel girders near the back of the Palace floor, where she did one-armed pushups just to show how tough really is -- as if there was any doubt by that point. That rendered the show-closing "Glitter in the Air," a re-enactment of her 2010 Grammy Awards performance, nearly anti-climatic but still impressive.

The show worked when P!nk had her feet on terra firma, too. With a dozen screens -- one shaped like a heart -- offering an array of visual enhancements, P!nk worked her way through nine costume changes and extensively choreographed dance routines for "Walk of Shame," "Slut Like You" and "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)," as well as a balletic rendering of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" and a buoyant medley of the early career favorites "Most Girls," "There You Go" and "You Make Me Sick." P!nk and company embraced "terrible" dancing during "Leave Me Alone I'm Lonely" -- complete with Dork-O-Meters on the video screens -- while fun.'s Nate Ruess performed his duet on "Just Give Me a Reason" via video, and the show slowed down only for a three-song unplugged set of "Family Portrait," "Who Knew" and "...Perfect."

The fun factor was ultimately as big as the show itself, which despite its dazzling trappings managed to feel as down to earth and connected as you can get in a massive sports arena, with P!nk pressing plenty of flesh on all sides. There may not have been any real revelations about love, but it was certainly a reminder of how potent, and fearless, P!nk can be on a stage.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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