Photo of P!NK by Erica Vining
w/ GROUPLOVE and DJ Kid Cut Up
“OH GOD, SHE ATE THE FAN FOOD, WHAT IS SHE THINKING?!”
Saturday night at KCF Yum! Center in Louisville, KY, I learned there are a few universally accepted rules of
fight club show business. Most notably: never eat the fan food.
P!NK has never been one to follow rules though, and rule-breaking women are my favorite.
Saturday night was one packed with excited energy as fans packed into Louisville to catch the blonde-haired queen of pop on her current Trustfall tour. You can trust that I was falling for the singer by the end of the night, with an impressive display of acrobatics, fan interaction, and genuine happiness to be there performing for her audience. Pyrotechnics were accented by flying bodies and fog blasts, making the night feel more like a Cirque De Soleil performance and less like a pop rock concert.
The night started with the alt-rock band GROUPLOVE, an eccentric mix of individuals based in California who have opened the entirety of the Trustfall tour thus far. Featuring Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi as co-vocalists, the set was high energy and a bit difficult to follow at times. Hooper took the stage first, clad in a pink tie-dyed body suit over pink and black tights with a red belt cinched over her waist. Vibrant body suits with odd belts appear to be a signature style for the red head, with peacock and leopard print onesies making an appearance in prior shows. Zucconi made his way from stage left to join Hooper’s side with hair that immediately reminded me of my favorite childhood antagonist, Helga Pataki. I adore individuality and found myself excited by the wardrobe choices, so I was a bit disappointed that the set fell flat for me. There was so much going on that I had difficulty finding a focal point—Hooper and Zucconi bounding down the runway to mount one another, the five remaining band members at the back of the stage offering backing instrumental, or the glorious outfits adorning the crowd. Too often I found myself choosing the latter and taking in the abundance of bedazzled pink clothes paired with sparkling boots and makeup to rival a Charlotte Tilbury campaign. GROUPLOVE had a relatively long set list, featuring “Tongue Tied” off their 2011 album Never Trust A Happy Song which found acclaim after being featured in an Apple advertisement. Although they are often referenced online as alternative rock, I found their music to fit more into the indie/pop genre with heavy electronic influences.
Between each set of the night, the crowd was treated to DJ Kid Cut Up. This is a newer tactic I saw earlier this year as well, with Jelly Roll filling time between sets with a comedian to keep the crowd engaged. DJ Kid Cut Up was a great addition, mixing songs that had all of the Gen Z concertgoers engaged while also making room for the Elder Emos and even working in a few for the older crowd in attendance. The dulcet sounds of Rob Thomas carried me down the stairs into the arena before seamlessly morphing into a pop song. “We Will Rock You” blared through the arena before P!NK took the stage, leaving everyone on their feet in eager anticipation.
Thanks to a photographer friend, I knew to look to the sky for P!NK’s daring entrance Saturday night. When I spotted the pair of red lips flanked by “TRUSTFALL” LEDs, I’ll admit my brain could not compute how she would come through them and make her way 50+ feet to the stage below without serious bodily harm. “Bodies” by Drowning Pool was loud in my head as the lights dimmed twenty minutes later than expected, and I watched someone shuffle to the end of a narrow runway above me. A video of P!NK began playing loudly on the screens with a beautiful line about the beauty in everyone with a command to get the party started. Nervous anticipation morphed to frantic photography as the glowing red lips parted and P!NK appeared above me, a roaring crowd drowning my anxieties at the singer teetering so high in the air. “Trustfall” is a fitting name for this tour, with P!NK plunging through the lips into a frenzy of flips and fireworks.
Singing into a microphone while standing on a stage is a difficult task. Singing into a headpiece while bouncing stories above the ground wearing a body hugging body suit is God tier. Somehow P!NK managed to maintain consistent vocals throughout the aerial performance, a true testament to her talent as a performer. “Raise Your Glass” followed with the crowd raising clear plastic cups in salute as inflatable flamingos made their way across the stage and P!NK took a gracefully adorable tumble. I honestly thought it was choreographed until the singer poked fun at herself between songs. The dancers looked like they were having the time of their life through this song, an actual party happening on stage.
P!NK slowed things down moving into the third song of the night, “Who Knew,” off her fourth studio album, I’m Not Dead. The lights morphed from vivid pinks and blues to a more intense red, with P!NK remaining in her stunning bejeweled pink and blue body suit and black studded leather jacket. Her outfit through the first three songs of the night reminded me of the iconic Taylor Swift “Lover” bodysuit, and whoever is designing these is absolutely incredible at their art. During “Who Knew,” the audience was treated to a contemporary dance where P!NK allowed her dancers to display their artistry while she took her place behind them, never fighting for the spotlight.
Coming off the sobering performance, P!NK lightened the mood and shocked staff as she accepted a chocolate frog from an audience member. While teasing about the fan’s Christmas plans, P!NK opened the confection and took a giant bite. My escort for the night stopped walking in shock, nearly causing a pileup on the stairs, as she made the exclamation that opened this review. Over the next five minutes, we stopped several more times as she watched with her jaw on the floor, repeating again and again “Don’t eat the fan food, oh no, we don’t eat the fan food.” It was hilarious to see her concern, which honestly was well placed. I watched closely the rest of the set, and unless she’s an incredible actress there were no magic mushrooms in the chocolate frog she gladly took from her adoring fan. I had a mental image the next few songs of P!NK, high on chocolate frog magic mushrooms, doing all of her acrobatics on the ground and thinking she were in the air. You’re welcome for that visual; I hope it makes you laugh as hard as I did.
The show was a spectacular demonstration of creativity, with talent evident in every individual that graced the stage as well as those behind the scenes. The sound was crisp without distortion, the outfit changes were seamless, and the lighting was perfectly timed with the performance. P!NK’s outfit changes rivaled those of Swift, who is well known for her many outfits through her set. She engaged the crowd between every song, making fans feel like it was an intimate show despite there being thousands in attendance. P!NK brought her child, Willow, out during “Cover Me In Sunshine,” allowing the crowd a glimpse into her life outside of music. A beautiful pink piano took center stage for several of the singers more intimate songs. “Just Give Me A Reason” brought collective “oh, oh” accompaniment from the crowd.
The theatrics continued, with “Trustfall” finding the dancers falling off stairs onto trampolines in unison before bouncing back to the stairs, creating an optical illusion. The singer introduced her dancers during “Never Gonna Not Dance Again” before closing the night with “So What” off her 2008 album Funhouse. During the song, she vaulted from the stage into the crowd in her harness, waving to fans in the upper sections and appearing to fly across the arena. The show was one of the best I’ve had the privilege to attend, and I’ll be raising my glass to it for weeks to come. | Erica Vining