Everyone remembers their first concert. Whether, at a later age, you’re proud to share the artist’s name or not is a different question. My first concert was George Thorogood, though I’d rather claim my second, Pink Floyd. You only get your first concert experience once and it will undoubtedly, for better or worse, stick with you for the rest of your life.
The thought was never lost on me since becoming a parent. Having attended hundreds of concerts as a music editor, critic and fan, I’ve always wondered who my kids would say was their first concert. As much as it would follow them for years to come, it would also be pinned to me.
I’ve had plenty of favorite concerts and performers over the years, though many on the list of “top concerts ever” tend to change as some performance outshines another. When I think back over the past 15 years or so, it seems the only constant was P!nk. Any time I was asked about my favorite artists to see live, I always told people, “You have to see P!nk live at least once.”
When the opportunity arose to take my kids to the Nov. 12 performance by P!nk at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center, part of her ongoing Trustfall tour, the thought of it being their first concert was a no-brainer. My 8- and 10-year-old daughters like some of her music and her performances are always quite memorable. I knew they’d be excited while also realizing they had no idea what they were in for.
For nearly two hours on Sunday night, the 44-year-old singer didn’t disappoint. While her concerts are a spectacle for the eyes as much as the ears, there’s another quality that makes P!nk’s concerts so good: She’s relatable.
Calling P!nk down-to-earth might be an understatement. She discusses her love of candy, including Twizzlers, in between songs. She gives shout-outs to the brother of her guitarist who happens to be in the crowd. She smiles proudly while donning a frog hat that someone in the audience hands her. She’s as relaxed and at-home onstage as she is talented.
If you’re wondering how she is able to belt out songs like “So What” or “Get the Party Started” while flipping through the air in a harness, it’s not simple theatrics. It’s practice and a healthy dose of talent. (Check out her recent 60 Minutes interview, which showed her trainer standing on her stomach while P!nk belted out one of her hits.)
For all of the visual appeal of a P!nk concert — the trampolines, the aerial dances, the bungee jumping — there’s catchy pop tunes and an impressive voice to back them. A singer can’t be all style and no substance. Whether it was a mini acoustic set or P!nk singing solo at the piano, she wasn’t afraid to show her vocal range and consistently look like she was simply having a blast out there.
There was even a tender-hearted moment when her 12-year-old daughter, Willow, joined her on stage to sing “Cover Me In Sunshine.”
Throughout the show, I expected feedback from my kids — comments about the singer’s voice, or dancing, or aerial theatrics. I expected to write a review that was sprinkled with silly comments from my two girls and peppered with their reactions to various moments or thoughts on all of her costume changes. (They also made surprisingly few comments about how much profanity there was, helped by the fact P!nk now sings a clean version of “Fuckin’ Perfect.”)
On the way home, I heard about how much they enjoyed seeing Willow on stage, or how amazing it was that P!nk can flip and twist while singing, or how surprised they were to see so many band members and backup singers on stage.
Instead of prodding them for commentary throughout the show, I beamed with pride as I watched my little ones dance, sing, applaud or simply stand still with their mouths dropped wide open. Thanks to P!nk, they weren’t worried about saying anything because they were living in the moment, soaking in every note and creating memories that will last for their lifetimes.
Get the Party Started
Raise Your Glass
Just Like a Pill
What About Us
There You Go (snippet)
Make You Feel My Love
Just Give Me a Reason
Just Like Fire/Heartbreaker
Please Don’t Leave Me
Cover Me In Sunshine
Don’t Let Me Get Me
When I Get There
I Am Here
Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
Never Gonna Not Dance Again
Be sure to check out Queen City Nerve’s Soundwave, Charlotte’s most comprehensive live music listing, so you don’t miss out on any shows or concerts coming up. And hell, if you’re looking for something else to do, you can check out our events page as well, which runs the gamut of things to do in Charlotte. You don’t ever have to be bored again. You can check out more of Jeff’s pics and live reviews here.
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