Gallery & reviews: Pink gets the party started
A BROKEN bus may’ve meant Pink was late to the party, but when she exploded onto the stage in stunning style boy did it really get started.
With the blast of a cannon, a giant gift box suspended above the pumped up crowd burst open and she plunged to the stage like Batman; brimming with attitude.
The next hour-and-a-half was packed with hit after hit, including favourites such as Funhouse, I’m Not Dead, U + Ur Hand, a beautiful acoustic version of I Don’t Believe You and a beautifully naughty version of Bad Influence among others.
Visually stunning in all respects, the crowd went wild as she sang suspended upside down by silk ropes and later surfed the crowd while inside a giant plastic ball.
A fearless and funny performer, she happily headed down into the audience - who earlier had bombarded her with toys and frog underwear, she has a thing for frogs you see - hugging fans and signing various body parts.
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Her band, back-up singers and dancers were top class while Butch Walker and the Black Widows were the best of the support acts earlier in the day.
His subsequent vocal duel with the American rock goddess - him singing the Who classic My Generation, her the Green Day anthem Basketcase - was a pure joy. Almost bettered by their rocking cover of the Police’s Roxanne.
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Finishing as she started, she took to the wire again, zipping and spinning over the over the heads of the excited crowd to the strains of So What. A fantastic evening.
She promised a concert that Ipswich would never forget.
And Pink was true to her word when she lit up Portman Road with her dynamic and effervescent 90-minute set.
From the word go she had the 25,000 plus crowd in the palm of her hand as they swayed and clapped to her songs and eye-popping routines.
She’s just about halfway through her 34-date long European tour which started back in Cologne at the end of last month and ends in Kristiansand, Norway, on July 25.
And boy, how the show has got tighter and slicker since I saw her in Germany.
Although she was late on stage, after her tour bus lost a tyre, she got a real Ipswich welcome from those inside the stadium which was buzzing from the word go.
The noise and the atmosphere was electric and Pink must have gone away thinking it was a fantastic venue and a wonderful responsive audience who clapped, stamped and sang along to her pulsating rock songs and soulful ballads which were littered throughout the pulsating concert.
Just over a month ago she promised me that her awe-inspiring Funhouse Summer Carnival concert would be the “biggest show” Ipswich has ever seen.
And it was!
The 30-year-old singer and her band rolled out all her hit songs, which had the crowd swaying and singing along, including Please Don’t Leave Me, Sober, Pill, Try Too Hard, U & UR Hand and Leave Me Alone.
There was also a medley with singer/guitarist and her co-writer Butch Walker as they belted out The Who’s My Generation, Green Day’s Basket Case and Police’s anthem Roxanne. She also encased herself inside a giant zorb ball and was passed round the fans above their heads.
An acoustic set with guitarist Justin Derrico, bassist Eva Gardner and backing singers Jenny Douglas McRae and Stacy Campbell, which included the haunting I Don’t Believe You, helped to bring a mellow feel to the night before she got the crowd back into their jumping and swaying routines.
“I want to thank you all so much for coming out to play with me tonight,” she told the fans and called a section of the audience “cute”.
Her trademark aerial displays, which add so much more to her colourful show, took your breath away and her death-defying stunts left us open mouthed and in awe at her agility and sheer gutsiness.
But that’s what has helped Pink rise to the big star that she has become with an adoring following who made their journey to Ipswich last night from all over the east of England and further afield.
She announced herself on stage at the start of the show by swooping down on a zip wire from a box suspended by the jib of a crane and surrounded by an array of colourful balloons... all 100ft above her musicians.
At one point she pulled herself up two red drapes suspended from the ceiling of the stage and spun herself round while continuing to sing upside down.
Her amazing encore, So What, included her hovering on high above the audience Peter Pan-style strapped into a ring.
Earlier in the day the town was buzzing ahead of the thrilling musical extravaganza which also featured V V Brown and rock outfit Black Widows.
The centre of Ipswich was full of people and the railway station was a hive of activity.
It was a plus for the town with the income being generated and Portman Road is one of the best venues of its kind and has a unique atmosphere which reverberates round the ground. Sadly, these kind of events appear to be few and far between but we can only hope that organisers and stadium owners can find a way to bring more top names to Ipswich.
Going from last night’s comments from people leaving the ground you could hear them muttering about the superb entertainment and how much they’d love to see... and hear... so much more!
I want to thank you all so much for coming out to play with me tonight.