Defying Gravity: Vignettes on P!nk’s Pop Spectacle

Vortex Music Magazine

With every seat sold, P!nk brought her Beautiful Trauma World Tour to Portland’s Moda Center arena last Tuesday night, offering an unmatched pop performance that combined everything from pyrotechnics to aerial acrobatics in grand fashion.

P!nk at the Moda Center on May 15, 2018. Click here for more shots by John Alcala.P!nk at the Moda Center on May 15, 2018. Click here for more shots by John Alcala.It’s difficult to find the words to capture all the elements of P!nk’s magnificent tour in one fell swoop. In lieu of this, the following focuses on some highlights from the show...

Get the Party Started

As the lights dimmed, a spotlight fell onto the curtain. A hush came over the arena as a man in a suit stepped into the light. From his pocket, he produced a cheap recorder, the kind that elementary school kids learn to play. He then began the show with an excruciatingly out-of-tune rendition of the 20th Century Fox theme. With a humorous throw off the scent, the curtain dropped and behind it was revealed a cirque du P!nk. Acrobats swung from trapezes and climbed lampposts, all while the pop sensation swung from a chandelier, singing her 2001 hit.


A few songs later, the shock and awe of the night hadn’t settled for anyone. Certainly not when a large inflatable puppet version of Eminem emerged. Controlled by two dancers below, the not-so-slim Shady dropped Em’s verse off P!nk’s more recent album cut, “Revenge,” walking toward the end of stage and towering above the crowd. As his verse ended and P!nk entered back into the song, her high-flying abilities were once again unmasked. Hooked to a harness disappearing up into the beams of the stage, she soared into the air, kicking down the puppet with Kung-fu style. More chaos ensued when other dancers dressed as the rapper ran at P!nk, who then fought them off superhero style, sending them flying across the stage.

P!nk at the Moda Center on May 15, 2018. Click here for more shots by John Alcala.P!nk at the Moda Center on May 15, 2018. Click here for more shots by John Alcala.Secrets

Arguably one of the most acrobatic bits of the night, P!nk demonstrated her skills with a duo aerial silk performance. With no harnesses or safety net below, the pop star stunned the crowd with a flawless mid-air performance, all while delivering unwavering vocals on one of the highlight tracks of her latest album.

Just Give Me a Reason

Recreating the song’s music video, P!nk laid upon a bed, which then began to rise off the stage and float above the crowd. Accompanying her own vocals as she rode the clouds overhead was a black and white Nate Ruess on an antique TV, delivering his part of the iconic duet.

Just Like Fire

While aerial acrobatics and graceful dances ruled most of the night, P!nk found the right time for some more explosive numbers. The Grammy-nominated offering from the Alice Through the Looking Glass soundtrack gave the perfect opportunity for pyrotechnics. Flames rose to magnificent heights on the stage, sending a powerful burst of hot air through the arena.

P!nk at the Moda Center on May 15, 2018. Click here for more shots by John Alcala.P!nk at the Moda Center on May 15, 2018. Click here for more shots by John Alcala.What About Us

The most emotional moment of the night went to “What About Us,” the lead single from P!nk’s Beautiful Trauma. Nominated for the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance, P!nk began the beautiful rendition with a short film, detailing her own upbringing and rise to fame, and all the good that came from it. As she went into the touching melody, more than a few tears were shed throughout the arena.

So What

The grand finale of the night, and what a finale it was. With a sold-out arena to helm, many artists find it difficult to bring the show to those in the cheaper seats. P!nk took this challenge on in a grand fashion. Once again harnessed up for an aerial stunt, at the first chorus, P!nk leapt from the stage, somersaulting through the air above the crowd on the floor, and flying up like Peter Pan to the very back of the nosebleeds. All while delivering flawless vocals, the pop star defied gravity as she soared to every corner of the massive venue, sweeping low above the floor and slicing up through the air to give every member of the crowd a front row seat to her high-flying spectacle.

With every element so meticulously planned and executed, combining eye-popping visuals with unmatched vocal performance, P!nk set a new bar for arena pop shows. At the end of the night, looking back at the massive stage, confetti lying on the ground, and the stunned grins of everyone who were there to witness it, one thing was unequivocally clear in my mind: P!nk’s Beautiful Trauma Tour was the best pop show I’ve ever seen. Period.

Missed P!nk's show this year? The Beautiful Trauma World Tour returns to Portland April 8, 2019.

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