The pop star’s dazzling set included trampoline stunts, aerial routines and marriage advice
“Happy birthday!” P!nk crouches at the edge of the stage to read a sign held aloft in small hands. “How old are you?” She leans in for the answer. “You’re 10? Double digits! Welcome to the world! You’re going to save it for us. Can’t wait!” Laughter from the crowd as she pauses to read the next section of the sign. “Is this really your first concert?” she asks. “What are you gonna do from here? You’re gonna have to go to the circus after this.”
She’s not wrong. In terms of live performances, P!nk’s Summer Carnival set at BST Hyde Park sets a pretty high bar. The singer appears quite literally levitating over the stage in opener ‘Get The Party Started’, tumbling on silks from the top of it down to the ground. There are further aerial tricks, trampoline stunts, even an 80s jazzercise routine. Perhaps the most impressive of these stunts is her ability to pull off the quickest quick changes known to man. Impressed murmurs of “How did she do that?” can be heard every time the singer disappears into the wings for a matter of seconds and returns in her next outfit.
@ticketmasteruk How does she do that upside down? 🤯 #pink #bsthydepark #pinkbst #turbulence #summercarnival ♬ original sound – Ticketmaster UK
It’s a cliché by now to describe P!nk as anything along the lines of ‘down to earth’ or ‘authentic’, but even with her bag of tricks so much of the set’s success does rest on her incredibly likeable stage presence. She has a nice word to say about every teddy bear and bouquet of flowers that gets handed to her onstage, of which there are many. She vamps through a slight technical hitch with humour and impressive calm. She misses a lyric in the middle of ‘Try’ to point into the crowd and gasp, “That is the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen!” She plays a game with her pianist where she has to guess which song of hers he’s playing – “I think I’ve guessed four out of ten so far,” she grins. If she gets it right, she gets a sweet. “Don’t Let Me Get Me,” she says, with a smile, and he hands her a bite-sized Snickers.
@ticketmasteruk What an evening! 🌴 #raiseyourglasspink #pinkbst #bsthydepark #pink ♬ original sound – Ticketmaster UK
In-between anthems – P!nk’s catalogue of crowd-pleasers is vast – we have soft moments of magic. There’s a beautiful close-harmony version of ‘Please Don’t Leave Me’, backing singers and instrumentalists standing around the singer like they’re all in a folk band. There’s a proposal during her stripped-back cover of ‘Make You Feel My Love’ (“Congratulations! The first twenty years are the hardest.”) Midway through ‘Cover Me In Sunshine’, P!nk brings out her daughter, Willow Sage, to sing the final couple of choruses. The twelve-year-old delivers her lines with a poise well beyond her years and receives a deafening response from the crowd.
The show’s most affirming moment comes in its third of four acts with ‘I Am Here’. “You all have permission to lose your last marble to this one,” P!nk tells the crowd, whilst removing her platform boots. She gives them to a fan in the front row before launching into the track. It feels a little like a secular Christian rock song, in the best and most unifying way. “I am here,” she sings, arms spread, along with the rest of Hyde Park. “Started from the bottom, now I’ve nothing to fear.” It rings true. This live show is about as fearless as they come.
Photo credit: Lorne Thomson / Getty