music review

At the Garden, Pink dares to be great

Pink in concert with her dancers in Minnesota in February.
Pink in concert with her dancers in Minnesota in February. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Pity the poor choreographer who worked hard on the stage moves for “Get the Party Started,” which opened Pink’s Monday performance at TD Garden (the first of two sold-out nights), because nobody was looking at the dancers. Not when the singer herself, clad in a silver sequined bodysuit that turned her into a human mirror ball, was already swinging from a chandelier as the stage curtain dropped. She proceeded to sing her antsy arrival jam as she dangled upside down, bounced to the floor and was slingshotted back up.

None of this is new, of course. But the fact remains that no other pop star is even attempting this sort of thing, so to watch Pink do it and keep singing remains as astonishing as when she first added literal acrobatics without a harness or net to her arsenal years ago. Which is what so many of her songs are about, in fact: celebrating who you are, even if (especially if) who you are makes you unlike anybody else.


That’s also what kept the concert from being all spectacle with no heart. “Beautiful Trauma” came early, its music all sparkles, yearning and empathy, and the latter poured out of Pink throughout the show. She could be wounded and open in the ache of “Who Knew” and the hurt and questioning of “For Now,” but she could also fit a wide embrace into more celebratory material like “Raise Your Glass.”

She wasn’t afraid to go for the jugular, however. The sharply low-key strut of “Revenge” had teeth (as well as a massive inflatable Eminem puppet rapping as the singer flew around it), while “Just Like a Pill” was hard-charging and buoyant, and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” successfully packed the roaring thunder of Nirvana (Kurt Cobain would have loved Pink). And she mashed up her own “Funhouse” with No Doubt’s “Just a Girl,” a song that makes far more sense coming from her than it ever did from a sporty kewpie doll like Gwen Stefani.


Pink pulled out all the stops for her penultimate number, a Cirque du “So What” — where a rotating harness sent her careening overhead to the farthest reaches of the Garden while periodically landing her precisely atop her exact marks on cue — all while she owned her failures and forcefully declared her rock stardom. But she closed with the magic breathlessness of “Glitter in the Air,” just the singer in baggy jeans and a casual white top doing nothing but standing center stage and singing her heart out.

Opening act Bleachers declared “We’re Bleachers, we’re from New Jersey,” but they hardly need to have bothered. The band’s sax-infused mega-anthems signified Bruce Springsteen minus the shading, all pumping fists exploding with joy.


With Bleachers and KidCutUp

At: TD Garden, Monday

Marc Hirsh can be reached at officialmarc@gmail.com or on Twitter @spacecitymarc.