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[Gig Review] P!NK @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Boondall (Brisbane), Australia - September 8, 2013


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Artist: P!NK (Alecia Beth Moore)

Show: The Truth About Love


Date: Sunday, September 8, 2013 (Side note - also P!NK's 34th birthday!)
: Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Boondall (Brisbane), Queensland, Australia


Support Act: Spiderbait


                                                                             Set List

                                                              1. Raise Your Glass                     6. Try                                                   11. How come You're Not Here                                 16. F**kin' Perfect
                                                              2. Walk of Shame                         7. Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover)   12. Sober                                                                  17. Most Girls/There You Go/You Make Me Sick

                                                              3. Just like a Pill                            8. Just Give Me a Reason                   13. The Great Escape*                                             18. Sl*t Like You

                                                              4. You and Your Hand                  9. Trouble                                            14. Who Knew**                                                       19. Blow Me (One Last Kiss)

                                                              5. Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)   10.Are We All We Are                           15. Time After Time (Cindy Lauper cover) ***            20. (Encore) So What


'special events' during set
* Piano Solo - 'New Skill'   ** Dedicated to baby Alecia   *** "Happy Birthday Pink!" flyers held up for Pink during this song.



Synopsis of overall gig experience
In short, the last of P!NK's 46 Australian shows in the Truth About Love Tour was simply incredible. True to the hype and expectations set up following previous tours (which I hadn't seen), this show was part concert, part theatre, part cirque du soleil-type acrobatics. Generally speaking, the entire thing was well scripted, cleverly choreographed and brilliantly executed. 

Tour mascot/host/emcee/ringmaster ''Rubix Von Fuchenhurtz' set the scene prior to P!NK taking the stage. Acting almost exactly like a pre-show clown, he got the audience in the mood and had everyone in stitches by roaming through the general seating area and employing a range of (sometimes shockingly inappropriate) audience-centered interactions (think provocative posing on the stairs/partitions, shimmying suggestively behind latecomers, licking bald men's heads...).  It sounds scary, but it really was fun(ny) to watch. The show then opened with Rubix center stage, performing a dramatised soliloquy about love (in its many different forms and fetishes), surrounded by various groups of scantily clad/provocatively dressed backup dancers. I won't go into detail, but let's just say that the intro script and accompanying actions weren't necessarily kept to the rating of PG13. As the title suggests, this tour was based on the premise of exploring the concept of and 'truth' about love - in typical P!NK style, though, the show was more about the saucy, wild and feisty than the flowers, sunshine and puppies mentioned in the first two lines of the narrative... 


Following the introduction, P!NK burst onto the stage in a bungee-like swing, bouncing and flipping and jumping around, generally building the audience's move from the get-go - with an energetic rendition of Raise Your Glass.  Her backup singers/dancers added their own upbeat vibe and were fun to watch whenever P!NK disappeared on the giant bungee jump into the blinding lights of up above. 


The course of the show saw several different wardrobe changes and acrobatic feats (both by P!NK and her entourage) and styles of singing. The set list was a balanced mix of old and new, and everything was cleverly, though not necessarily obviously, mastered to build the mood. All of the songs and dances related back to the central theme of love and how it’s ‘truth’ can be seen from different sides. The performances were energetic and empowering, sound and lighting were cleverly managed, and I have nothing but positive criticism for the way P!NK and her team managed to work seamlessly together into pulling off such a fantastic show.


It was also a pretty cool experience to have the show occur on P!NK's birthday. Someone printed thousands of flyers saying 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY P!NK! with instructions for them to be held up during 'Time After Time', we got to see her presented with a cheesecake and at the end thousands of balloons were released for her from nets in the ceiling. It definitely added a touch of 'special' to the feel of the event.



Rating of Performer(s)

Support Act - Spiderbait

Unfortunately, even though I'm a longstanding fan of several Spiderbait songs, and I was excited to hear that they would play this gig, I must admit that their opening performance was significantly less stellar than I had been anticipating. I don't know that I'd bother seeing them live again (even if they tour after their soon-to-be-released, self-titled newest album), and I probably wouldn't even recommend to anybody else that they do. The music was strong and played well, but I felt the sound adjustment was too loud and overwhelmed the vocals, spoiling the mood. Honestly though, at times it was probably better that the vocals were drowned out as the female lead (Janet English)'s voice and range fell well short of what I remember hearing on the CDs of my early teens. (Disappointing since her voice in contrast to the heavier music was one of the things that drew me into Spiderbait's songs in the first place). Having said that though,  Kram ( Mark Maher ) the drummer/male lead did work hard to put on a good show and get the audience responding/giving back. Maybe they were just having a bad night, I don't know. At the end of the day, based on my reaction to their performance, live is not where Spiderbait are at their best.


Main Act - P!NK

I can honestly say I have never been as inspired by an individual performer as I was by Alecia Moore during this show. Forget the fact that her voice was amazing, that she sang swinging and spinning and hanging upside down, that she danced well and did some pretty cool stunts/moves. Those things count, obviously, and were awesome to watch and hear live, but they were not what stole the show for me. What struck me was just how genuine she was in her interactions with the audience, and how enthusiastically she gave herself into her show, even though she was 'performing' it for the light knows how manieth time.


Maybe it's just me, but I'm a pretty intuitive/empathetic person, and often at live gigs involving 'big' stars, I end up feeling more than a little bit ripped off by the way the performers 'play' their audience - however well-intended and innocent their repeated comments/jokes/one-liners are meant to be (think "Thank-you 'city/town you're in'" or "I love this place 'insert city/town you're in'" or "Wow, what a great audience we have tonight!" - when really, it is not). 

Another thing I really hate is when the performers are obviously tired and over their tour and make no effort to overcome that for the duration of the show - I get that touring must be exhausting and that it'd probably get old performing the same thing a million times ... but there's a selfish part of me says that's the life they chose, these big stars, and when they're on tour it's their job to get out there and perform well for me - make me love them even more (OK, I may have been burnt by this with the last show I saw of Powderfinger, my biggest favourite band, before they disbanded - but that is another story/gig review, and I digress, sorry). 


Anyway. There was none of that with P!NK. Given how long she'd been on tour and how many Aussie show's she'd already performed, that chick must've been exhausted - and when you looked really closely at her image up on screen you could see it in her face - a slight heaviness of her skin, make-up-covered bags under her eyes... but none of that tiredness or fatigue showed in her performance, she gave it all she'd got! Her voice was even stronger and more varied than I had previously given it credit for (as evidenced in the fact that she could sing upside down, and in her rendition of slower songs like 'Time After Time' - which she performed fantastically). I was also impressed by the fact that she likes to challenge herself with a 'new skill' every tour, and try to perform it at each of her shows - this time it was playing the piano and apparently ours was the first show she managed to play straight through.  But the thing was, as a member in the audience, it didn't feel as if she was simply 'going through the motions', or even as if she was just 'performing'. P!NK talked between her songs about random things; she stopped her songs/sentences to thank people for the gifts they were throwing onto stage; she commented that she wished she could stop and sign everyone's stuff just because they wanted to, but that she had to keep on going with the show; it didn't matter if she lost her place somewhere in a song because she stopped a second to make a comment/acknowledge a fan/laugh at something happening in the audience/do some crazy stunt, she'd simply hum along for a second/count herself back in and keep going. It's hard to put into words accurately, but it was more real than any other large live gig I've ever been to. Pink 'performed' not by acting, but by simply by enhancing whatever was going on in the moment. If that makes sense? Whatever it was, she was amazing, and I can't recommend seeing her live anywhere near enough. I left that show on a high, thoroughly inspired to be more 'real' and to always 'get up and try' to the best of my ability in the things I want to put my mind to, no matter what else is going on in the background/peripheries. Despite the fact her songs are not exactly the sort of thing I listen to day-in, day-out (I like them, and the attitude they often have well enough, but let's face it, most of it's still mainstream pop) I also decided - on her performance alone - that I would go out and buy all of her albums, and that I will definitely, without question, be attending each of the tours she brings down under from now until forever in the future - and I'll even suggest that everyone else should go and do the same. 


'Rubix Von Fuchenhurtz' - http://www.jimmyslonina.com/index.html'>Jimmy Slonina  (I don't know why, but I can't get this link to work like the others, so here it is all by itself, the link to Jimmy Slonina's page:.http://www.jimmyslonina.com/index.html)

This man was also pretty darn good at his job! I'd never heard of him before, but he commanded stage presence and carried a big persona effectively enough to draw the audience in - regardless of whether he was being lewd, funny, emotional or serious. He was good enough that I bothered to look him up on the internet after seeing the show, and I'd probably go along/recommend attending something else he performs in if given half a chance! 


Support Crew (Dancers/Backup Singers/Musicians)

There were too many of these to take note of them individually, but collectively they all did a great job of supporting the main performance. The musicians/singers covered the background and the lapses of main vocals perfectly, and the dancers were great at, well, dancing - and pretty much every single one of them carried out their dramatic act well enough to seem more like they were performing part of a story of 'the truth about love' rather than just dancing to routine. They were a pleasure to watch, and the artfully bare skin and definitely sculpted muscles of the guys didn't hurt either ;). 


Rating of Venue

I'm not a huge fan of the Brisbane Entertainment Center, mainly because of the parking - or more specifically, because of the traffic jam that ensues after every single event. If you choose to go there and haven't been before, be warned! Be early! This time was no exception. Also, although it's convenient for me because I live on the northside of Brisbane myself, I don't really understand why this center was built out in the wetlands of Boondall, or why it's still the number one choice for all the big entertainment gigs that come to Brisbane. It doesn't make much sense to me - there's nothing of note/interest in the immediate area, it's definitely not classy, and it's a good 20 minutes away from the city/anything remotely 'important'. I must admit the sound is usually pretty good, and although it's not new and shiny, the seating is clean and comfortable enough. As a girl, the lines for the toilets are always inexplicably long, and it's often a rush to make it back to your seat without missing much if you leave between sets/during intermission. Like most big gigs food choice is limited, expensive and overpriced.

My seat for this gig was off to the side and around to the rear, so I didn't have a chance to view the main stage set up in its entirety, Luckily for us, the producers had also catered for the shape of stage, and P!NK was often over towards/facing the side where I sat and the videography for the show was absolutely superb. Filmed live from different angles and displayed onto several large screens around the sides and towards the back of stage (where audience members like me didn't have a clear, front-on seat), it was really well executed/produced and probably the biggest thumbs up I have for the venue on the night. You know the videography is good when you don't feel at all cheated of the main act when looking up to watch the screens! 


Despite my grumbles, all-in-all the venue is fine, and it was good to learn for future that seeing a show there is still good from the side!


Not sure if this is usually done in Gig Reviews, but here's a couple of pics from the night, for anyone who's interested...


1. Bungee singing   2. Coming over to our side of stage   3. Piano skills, 4. Happy Birthday signs   5. Cake!



10362137566_6b7868debb.jpg 10362320393_bce03858ec_z.jpg 10362125616_195e62133b.jpg


10362108795_60d69bd6eb.jpg 10362298553_0088fd0212.jpg

Edited by _Eb_
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Great job EB!  I love P!nk, she is probably my favorite female artist.  (In her genre that is)  I would love to see her live, she is so raw, intense and honest.  I love the grittiness of her voice.  I'm officially jealous.

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