by request: au hasard balthazar (robert bresson, 1966)
by request: goin' down the road (donald shebib, 1970)

music friday: pink

Next Monday we’ll see Pink (4th time for me, 2nd for Robin). As with her music, Pink’s stage shows have evolved over the years. The first time I saw her was in 2002, at the Warfield, which seats around 2,300. This was the first tour she headlined, in support of Missundaztood. I wrote at the time:

Last night, Pink sang the words you can read down below from "Just Like a Pill," while a gazillion screaming 14-year-old girls sang along at the tops of their lungs … I'm not 14 years old, I'm not a girl ... I'm a Lecturer at a prestigious university, my kids are both enough older than Pink that they weren't interested in attending the concert. But I started singing along, too, and got more than one tear in my eye as we all sang:

I'll think I'll get out of here
Where I can run just as fast as I can
To the middle of nowhere
To the middle of my frustrated fears

Here is “Just Like a Pill” from 2002:

In 2006, Pink opened her “I’m Not Dead” tour at the Fillmore in San Francisco, which holds about half as many people as the Warfield. It was a great chance to see Pink up close and personal:

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.

Here is “What’s Up” from 2006:

While Pink had always said she enjoyed the small venues, the time came when she moved to the arenas. In 2009, her stage show became as massive as the arena itself. The Fillmore was a distant memory, but the result was impressive:

When I saw Pink seven years ago, there were a lot of men my age, taking their daughters to the concert. In 2009, those daughters are grown up, and don’t need Daddy along any more. So there weren’t many Dads. There weren’t a lot of men, period … at least one men’s room was transformed into a women’s room for the night. A rough guess of the makeup of the crowd would be 90% female, with a sizable lesbian contingent. The cheering was very high-pitched, another sign that the gender split was pretty extreme. It was also very loud … almost Beatlemania-esque at times.

Bottom line? I don’t know that I’ve ever had more fun at a concert in my life.

Here is “Glitter in the Air”:


Now the new tour is upon us. Her most recent album, The Truth About Love, is arguably her best, and based on the evidence from the opening night, she’s got more acrobatics up her sleeve. Which will leave me with mouth wide open, I’m sure. Still, it’s nice to remember that Pink and her band can rock. This is “Slut Like You” (and it’s always nice to hear a pop star proudly call herself a feminist):