pink is tonight
good things

pink, and goodbye to the greatest

This was going to be a quick review of tonight's Pink concert before I went to bed, but then I saw this news:

After eleven years as a band, Sleater-Kinney have decided to go on indefinite hiatus. The upcoming summer shows will be our last. As of now, there are no plans for future tours or recordings.

We feel lucky to have had the support of many wonderful people over the years. We want to thank everyone who has worked with us, written kind words about us, performed with us, and inspired us.

But mostly we want to extend our gratitude to our amazing fans. You have been a part of our story from the beginning. We could not have made our music without your enthusiasm, passion, and loyalty. It is you who have made the entire journey worthwhile.

With love and thanks,
Sleater-Kinney

It's funny, as we were driving home from the concert, I said that one thing I'd wondered is what would Sleater-Kinney make of Pink. Pink is reaching a much younger audience than S-K at this point ... I don't know what that means, exactly, except that when Pink sings "Dear Mr. President," more people are listening than are listening to The Woods.

Well, to come home to the news about my favorite band takes some of the luster off of the fine show I saw tonight. Pink at the Fillmore ... seems kinda odd, doesn't it? As we entered the old auditorium, the ushers were giving out basic information. I stopped and asked one if there were a lot of first-timers tonight, and he smiled and said yes, it seemed that way.

Pink fit right in at the Fillmore, of course, no matter how weird it sounds on paper. Her hip-hop days are completely in her past now ... this was a rock show. (The same was true when we first saw her, almost four years ago to the day, but she was still playing some of her earlier hits so the move to rock wasn't quite as obvious.) She only sang one song from her first album, which was the closest thing she ever did to hip-hop, focusing mostly on the new album (from which she sang most of the songs) and her biggest hit, M!ssundaztood (she only did one song from her "flop," Try This). The band was solid enough, but especially given Pink's love of power ballads, at times it felt like we were watching Journey if they'd replaced Steve Perry with a 21st century mutant offspring of Janis Joplin and Cyndi Lauper.

Pink herself was very winning, showing off her vocal chops, kidding with the audience, promoting gay rights and dissing George Bush, and just having a good time. Her audience was completely in love with her ... there were a lot of young girls there, young women as well, as is appropriate, and it was their show, they knew every song and sang every lyric. They even knew every word to 4 Non Blonde's "What's Up," which Pink claims as her own. No matter how corny the song, or Pink's delivery of the same, it's quite a moment when all those youngsters throw the peace sign in the air and sing "hey hey hey hey, what's going on?" In fact, it's this element of pop community that I like best about Pink concerts, it would seem, since I wrote about a singalong in my blog post about that earlier show four years ago.

What's odd is that Pink hooked up with Linda Perry for M!ssundaztood, and Perry wrote a lot of the songs for that album, when in fact Linda Perry had written the ultimate Pink song eight years before the two even met. So now Pink sings that song as if she's known it all her life, and based on the voices in the Fillmore who sang every word, her audience has known it all their lives as well, and it's a great pop moment that reflects the optimism of the young just as other Pink songs reflect their sadness. The song indeed no longer belongs to Linda Perry, it belongs to Pink and the fans who know and sing all the words:

And I try, oh my god do I try
I try all the time, in this institution
And I pray, oh my god do I pray
I pray every single day
For a revolution
And so I cry sometimes
When I'm lying in bed
Just to get it all out
What's in my head
And I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream at the top of my lungs
What's going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what's going on?
Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination

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