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Concert of the Year? Pink gets a gold star for dazzling show: She sings, she soars, she sparkles!

Concert of the Year? Pink gets a gold star for dazzling show: She sings, she soars, she sparkles!

Pink concert, February 2013
Pink soared above the audience. Photo by Alison Finlay
Pink concert, February 2013
Let's get this party started! Photo by Alison Finlay
Pink concert, February 2013, killer abs
How about those killer abs? Photo by Jane Howze
 Pink concert, February 2013
How Pink can sing while upside down remains a mystery. Photo by Alison Finlay
Pink concert, February 2013
Pink's "Truth About Love" tour started like a game show. Photo by Alison Finlay
Pink concert, February 2013
Pink in a more pensive mood. Photo by Alison Finlay
Pink loves her fans and her fans love her
Pink greets some fans. Photo by Jane Howze
Pink concert, February 2013
Pink concert, February 2013
Pink concert, February 2013, killer abs
 Pink concert, February 2013
Pink concert, February 2013
Pink concert, February 2013
Pink loves her fans and her fans love her

Pink, whose Truth About Love Tour kicked off its U.S. leg in Phoenix last week, with 99 total shows planned worldwide, touched down in Houston’s Toyota Center on Thursday for a sold-out performance. Even those not familiar with Pink through her 2009 Funhouse tour will remember her breathtaking, unforgettable acrobatic performance of “Glitter in the Air” at the 2010 Grammys.

One mark of a good concert is that you may not know every song in the program when you enter, but you walk out wondering how fast you can get home and start downloading. Pink delivered that and more.   

 How Pink can sing while hanging upside down suspended by three male dancers is a mystery.    

The first thing I noticed was the age of the crowd. After going to a Justin Bieber concert last year, where the average age seemed to be about 12, and a Paul McCartney concert that was geared to the baby boomer generation, the Pink fan is harder to peg and includes a slightly older crowd, though clearly not one that had to be coaxed out of their seats. Yep Yanni fans, that would be you. 

The Hives, a Swedish garage band, opened for Pink with a short, highly energetic set which, unlike many opening acts, brought enthusiastic applause. 

Game show start 

Pink’s concert starts as a TV game show, with a slightly annoying emcee scanning the crowd for someone to compete on "The Truth About Love." Surprise!  Pink is selected as the contestant and then makes her entrance by being shot into the air on bungee cords as she opens with “Raise Your Glass.”

It is a dramatic and stunning number, and how Pink can sing while hanging upside down suspended by three male dancers is a mystery.   

The 21-song setlist uses vignettes about one night stands, rejection, parties and regret as a way to introduce songs from her sixth Grammy nominated album, Truth About Love.

 I have always said that Chris Martin, frontman of Coldplay is the hardest working entertainer around, but I’m reconsidering, and now I’m giving Pink the nod.  

 Pink quickly moved into some of chart topping hits and fan favorites including  "Walk of Shame," "Just Like a Pill,”  "F***in' Perfect," "So What," “Family Portrait” and her latest singles, “Try” and "Just Give Me A Reason," featuring Nate Ruess. 

I have always said that Chris Martin, frontman of Coldplay is the hardest working entertainer around, but I’m reconsidering, and now I’m giving Pink the nod. A Pink concert is a little like a Cirque du Soleil performance. There is so much happening on stage—the songs, the dancing and of course the acrobatics—it is a feast for the senses. Sometimes there were so many dancers on the stage that I had trouble finding Pink. 

The stage set was an elaborate production with five screens, one of which was in the shape of a heart, along with dramatic staircases, a wildly talented five piece band, two back-up singers and a high octane crew of dancers.

Pink made numerous costume changes, many of which showed off her phenomenally toned body. I was particularly drawn to her footwear choices. For some numbers she performed barefoot, but she also sported boots, high high heels and sneakers. 

Best for last

Pink’s voice sounded strong, especially considering that most of the numbers included strenuous dancing or physically demanding acrobatics. And if she used back-up vocals no one seemed to care.

During one of the few pauses, Pink asked the audience how many people had been to a prior concert of hers. The audience erupted in cheers. Pink acknowledged the fans by reaching out to grasp hands of those near the stage during several numbers and chatted with fans, saying that her daughter was in the audience and appearing to wave to her saying, “She is a better dancer than I.”

 With Madonna’s last concert tour playing to mixed reviews and Lady Gaga cancelling her 2013 tour, Pink may prove to be the concert of the year.  

Pink saved the best for last. Dressed in a gold bodysuit and strapped into a harness, she flew over the crowd several times, singing “So What,” taking brief stops on perches set up on each side of the arena. She got so close that some in the audience said they could see the detail on her costume.

It was so spectacular and mind-blowing that there was not one person in the crowd who was not trying to capture the moment on their camera. But Pink was not done. Reprising her famed Grammy performance, "Glitter in the Air," she was again in the air for a hauntingly beautiful performance that had her spinning gracefully as she sang.

With Madonna’s last concert tour playing to mixed reviews and Lady Gaga cancelling her 2013 tour, Pink may prove to be the concert of the year. Based on the reactions of fans at the Toyota Center Thursday night, Pink gets a gold star.