Feeling the love at Pink’s final tour stop in Vegas

Pink performs bungee acrobatics during “The Truth About Love Tour” stop at MGM Grand Garden Arena Friday, Jan. 31, 2014.
Photo: L.E. Baskow

Four stars

Pink MGM Grand Garden Arena, January 31

“We all love. We all want love. But not everybody knows the truth about love,” Pink’s ringmaster Rubix Von Füchenhürtz purred. He had just finished a curtain-warming romp through the audience, hijacking drinks, snapping selfies, riding one man and tonguing another’s bald head. Even with Rubix as a diapered angel nibbling on his own belly-button lint, the show did feel like love flashing before our eyes.

Pink is the reason. Pink, and her eye-attacking aerial stunts, circus-on-acid stage and troupe of musicians and dancers leaving it all on the floor for the final performance of the Truth About Love tour. Love was everywhere in the music—smoldering and furious, wounded and tender. More than 60 cities got a taste. Vegas got the climax.

Pink at MGM Grand Garden Arena

The night could almost be split into acts: acrobatic, acoustic and arena-show classic, with group-dance numbers blanketing the multi-level set. Bursting through the floor on bungee cords, Pink opened with “Raise Your Glass,” doing Cirque-worthy moves in a shower of red sparks. “Walk of Shame,” “Just Like a Pill” and a crotch-grab-laden “U + Ur Hand” kept it feisty until Pink challenged the bad dancers in the crowd to let it rip during “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely).” She even threw down the running man.

Rubix shifted the tone with a slam poem about love and lust, puppies and nipple clamps. Pink once again performed in the air, but her voice was the most riveting element of “Try,” powerful and cracking with emotion. As she covered Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” a trio of male dancers manipulated her body like she was paralyzed, the big screens full of dream-like tracers.

Despite the spectacle of songs like “Sober”—where she contorted inside and around wildly spinning metal orbs—and “So What”—where she flew like Superman—Pink hit hardest in the stripped-down moments. Backed only by guitarist Justin Derrico, she delivered “Who Knew” with such roughed-up sweetness before tearing into a censored version of love anthem “F*ckin' Perfect” with 2-year-old daughter Willow in her arms. She joked with pianist Jason Chapman about messing up on the keys and then forgot the words to “The Great Escape,” chuckling.

Pink communed with fans throughout the night, reading posters, giving autographs and hugs and celebrating random gifts (even a bag of chips). She played drums at one point and tossed a stick to a little girl, who held it high like it was made of gold. After a mashup of old-school hits from her first record, she confessed, “Every time I hit that high note I feel like I break a rib.” Like the best relationships, this one started with fireworks and ended with the kind of intimacy where the tiny flaws make you love someone even more.

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