P!nk w/The Hives at Bridgestone Arena, 3/2/13


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A super-short but amped-up set from Sweden's The Hives kicked Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena off with a bang. Much of the damn-close-to-capacity crowd filled in the blanks throughout the place, and The Hives — impeccably dressed and devoted to rockening — cranked up the energy level considerably, allowing people to forget the consistent flurrying going on outside.

P!nk's The Truth About Love Tour starts like an avant-garde game show and ends near a church revival, masterfully demonstrating that pop spectacle can be liberating on a scale that boggles the mind. There'd been talk of the aerial elements of P!nk's shows going around, but seriously, a good 40 to 45 percent of the show involved the lady of the hour suspended above the stage or crowd, sometimes via bungee, sometimes with living macrame, and sometimes flying about like a superhero in remarkable outfits. The hits were appreciated, and the new album's material also went down very well, exciting the diverse (but skewing up a bit from the traditional teen audiences for pop/rock throwdowns of this caliber) crowd. P!nk can sing, and did so, live, even when flinging herself around the arena like a flying squirrel, though with a mid-set cover of "Wicked Game" and acoustic versions of "Who Knew" and "Perfect," she put any question as to her vocal ability to rest.

It was a majestic fusion of the residual childhood excitement of the circus mixed with the adult-age melancholy of bad hookups, thwarted connections, bad relationships and the Venn diagram intersection of sexy and lonely — the first popstravaganza since Madonna's Girlie Show to get that perfect balance of material, tone and presentation. Alecia "P!nk" Moore is personable, relatable and capable of winning over somewhere around 15,000 people. She didn't do "Please Don't Leave Me" or "Funhouse," but she did cop to getting arrested at a Blockbuster for trying to steal a copy of Showgirls in the mid-'90s, and that's all you can ask for from any pop star, really ...


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