September 24, 2023, San Antonio, Texas
by Andrew Calvio
Pink captivated hearts of all fans young and old at the Alamodome on Monday night in San Antonio. The Summer Carnival Tour has stretched across the globe bringing acrobatics and a night full of singalongs to every city in its path. The energy was high as the stadium filled in with a sea of pink and glittery outfits in support of the night’s main attraction. Pink was in the building and the air was buzzing. KidCutUp kept the ambiance in between sets throwing down tracks that made the crowd dance and sing to popular hits from all genres.
Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi are the voices that make Grouplove’s melodic harmonies. Their intense chemistry helps make the lyrics fit seamlessly into the music. The husband and wife team understand each other and use their emotions to complement one another in order to deliver a heartfelt set. Their time was short but sweet. They gave the crowd what was needed to begin the fun filled night making sure to include the favorites “Tongue Tied” and “Ways to Go”.
Brandi Carlile followed after a brief break to change the stage over. It’s hard to deny the power that her voice holds. With the ability to transform from soft and gentle to in-your face fierceness, Carlile held the attention of the room for the entirety of her set. As she played out her top hit “The Story,” her raspy growl emphasized the emotions portrayed in the lyrics. It was a great performance of a great song. Another highlight of her set was an acoustic version of “The Eye.” It was an opportunity to showcase the amazing harmonies of her guitarist and bassist, twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth. The way the three musicians melded their voices into one beautiful tone made my ears happy. Allowing for a little self indulgence, Carlile finished the night with an energetic cover of Queen’s “We Are The Champions.” The Alamodome was lit up with cell phones as the anthem came to a close. A great set from Brandi Carlile and her band of talented musicians.
Our first look at Pink came as she appeared at the top of the stage stepping out of a giant pair of lips. Appropriately, she started the set with “Get The Party Started”. She jumped into the air tethered by a harness that allowed her to flip and spin as she descended to the stage. It was probably the best stage entry that I have ever seen. Keeping the energy flowing, she rolled right into “Raise Your Glass” which turned the whole stadium into a giant party as everyone sang along. The stage came to life with vibrant neon outfits and giant pink flamingos that a couple of dancers were riding around on. The dancing continued for four more songs culminating with a sped-up remix of “What About Us”.
Act II started with a very cool interpretive dance to the sound of a heartbeat with a bit of spoken word that set the pace for this block of the show. Pink came out to once again perform some aerial maneuvers as she sang “Turbulence.” After the song ended, a fancy wardrobe change took place where a dress slowly descended from the rafters and Pink stood in the exact place where it slipped right onto her. That was neat. Here she took on a couple of cover songs. As she sat at the piano, she played and sang “Make You Feel My Love” saying that she really fell in love with Adele’s version. However, the highlight of this act was when she paid tribute to Sinead O Connor and invited Brandi Carlile out to sing “Nothing Compares 2 U”. The harmonies these two put together were enough to bring a tear to the eye. All the emotions were felt and they were real. What an amazing display of talent to witness.
Act III began with Pink and her backup singers standing alone with her guitarist Justin Derrico playing an acoustic version of “Please Don’t Leave Me”. This toned down version allowed for another display of vocal wizardry as the three singers harmonized in perfect unity with the frontwoman. The next song up was super special as Pink and Willow Sage Hart came out to sing “Cover Me In Sunshine”. A really cute moment to see mother and daughter bonding onstage over music. When the song ended Pink moved to the front of the catwalk with Derrico to play an emotional song written for her dad. Unfortunately, as she was leading in and talking about the memories, the moment was interrupted by a knucklehead who thought this was the right time to protest circumcision. Being the professional she is she let the heckler carry on and said “You spent all that money to come here and do that? I could buy a Birkin bag with that type of money.” Security then swooped in and escorted the protester out.
Act IV was the final block of songs before the encore. The new single “Trustfall” was played here as an impressively well choreographed trampoline dance happened towards the back of the stage. Four male dancers took turns flipping and bouncing around in time with music as the beats went on. It was one of those moments that looked like what we felt as children in the backyard, only they were actually doing all the crazy stunts that we only dreamed of. It was really cool. The last couple of songs were drawn out versions of “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” and “Never Gonna Not Dance Again,” where each member of the band and dance crew were introduced.
The encore was amazing! This is where she flies! A harness was lowered to the stage and as Pink was stepping in, she pointed to the back of the stadium and said “I’m coming to see you back there!” As the music to “So What” started, she slowly raised into the air and sang the first verse. When the chorus kicked in, she took off flying from one end of the venue to the other. I had the chance of seeing this once before at ACL festival (outdoor in Zilker Park in Austin), but being in the Alamodome to take it all in was different. She was suspended so much higher and actually did go all the way back to the upper deck at the rear of the stadium. There was not a bad seat in the house during this song, everyone loved it! When the song ended, the lights came on and energy in the building was at a peak. Some fans stood in silence while others excitedly spoke about how close they got to her. Overall a solid production and the sound was superb. New memories were created and locked away for safekeeping.There is no question about it, Pink is a superstar!