With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, there could be no more opportune time to explore the truth about love. And the truth-seekers filing into the Honda Center on January 29 for P!nk’s The Truth About Love Tour, are definitely in for some honesty.
The colorfully named artist is as notorious for her aerial acrobatics as she is for her distinctive voice, and unlike the pop princesses she shares ranks with, P!nk never sacrifices one for the other. The truth about love is different for everybody, but the way we love says an awful lot about the way we live. I know nothing about the way P!nk loves, but I’d imagine she does it the same way she does everything else: with full-throttle energy and relentless passion. The truth about P!nk is she is a natural, with the ability to sing and dance and look good doing it.
After a brief clip of her CoverGirl campaign (which sponsors the tour) and an introduction by the evening's emcee, Rubix Von Füchenhürtz, a bleached faux-hawked P!nk is on stage and in the air via bungee cord for “Raise Your Glass.”
She bounces up and down and belts the party anthem, but she also laughs that squeaky laugh and grins like she hasn’t done this same routine nightly since the tour began in February of last year. For “Walk of Shame,” she utilizes a fleet of highly skilled male and female dancers that make the show a performance and not a spectacle. They work through “U + Ur Hand” and “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)” like a classic musical street gang, straight out of West Side Story. Her athleticism is also made most apparent here, as she dances beside them. The bare-foot beauty moves just as fluidly and with as much force as her male counter parts, something she demonstrates when she lifts and balances one of the male dancers on her knee. There is also a beautifully choreographed dance to her cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” that utilizes both her strength and grace.
P!nk has a large catalogue of hits to pull from, and a mix of favorites and obscurities are proficiently tapped for this show. “Just Give Me a Reason,” her duet with fun.’s Nate Ruess and currently in heavy rotation on pop radio, is performed (with a pre-recorded video of Ruess) followed by the not-quite-as-huge but equally catchy “Trouble.” Toward the end of the show, she provides long dedicated fans with a medley that covers the R&B hits she began with “"Most Girls"/"There You Go"/"You Make Me Sick." She rises up above the stage, sans safety net, clinging to a spinning metal cage for “Sober.” Dancers also amble haphazardly around the orb as it spins, until they are assembled in a stunning visual display, three male dancers hanging on by one arm and nothing else.
Because the show is so physically demanding there are noticeably long periods of pause between songs where time is filled by two female dancers performing a sexually charged tryst or the annoying Rubix returning to stall while P!nk is deservedly catching her breath. While the feat of singing and dancing is by no means unappreciated here, it does put somewhat of a limit what we can truly hear of her voice. When she (nervously) takes to the piano to try to perform a song she has learned to play specifically for this tour, or settles on a stool across from her guitar player for some acoustic numbers, we can really get a dose of the voice that is wrought with soul and peppered with crackle.
By the time she encores with “So What” she has unquestionably covered all her bases. She spins off into the audience suspended like a beautiful, butch Tinkerbell. She takes to the rafters and floats above each fan with a benevolent smile.
We’ve seen her dance. We’ve seen her sing. She has given a demonstration of how she lives. P!nk holds nothing back when she performs, which should inspire us to hold nothing back when we love. And that’s the truth.