Show Review: Pink, The Hives at HP Pavilion, 2/18/13

by Dakin Hardwick on February 21, 2013

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I wasn’t expecting to review this show. I went to see Pink because a good friend of mine is a fan of the support on this tour: The Hives. I thought we’d enjoy The Hives and then go home after a few Pink songs, just because we paid the money. Instead, we ended up entranced for nearly two straight hours, watching one of the greatest performers I have ever seen!

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Sweden’s rock & roll saviors The Hives opened the show with 35 minutes of pure, theatrical rock & roll. The set list was exactly as expected: 50% greatest hits, 50% high quality new material. They also managed to show that they really need to put on their own arena-sized spectacle. Lead singer, Pelle Almqvist, is one of the most charismatic and spastic front people in all of rock. He wouldn’t stop moving at any moment (which made for a lot of difficulty shooting him), and took any chance he could to win over the crowd with his great sense of Swedish sarcasm. He asked if being in San Jose meant that we were actually inside the internet, which lead to a resounding “YES” from the crowd. He kept asking for the ladies and gentleman to alternate in their cheering. (The woman were, expectedly,much louder than the men) He walked through the rafters, cohercing the poutiest audience members into dancing. All five members seemed to be having the time of their lives, and played their hearts out. The entirety of he GA dancefloor was dancing up a storm by the end of the set, and once they closed with “Tick Tick Tick Boom,” I could say that the majority of the crowd was converted to the glory of our finest Swedish garage rockers.

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Setlist

Come On!

Take Back The Toys

Main Offender

Walk Idiot Walk

Hate To Say I Told You So

Won’t Be Long

Go Right Ahead

Tick Tick Boom

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Pink didn’t waste anytime getting her show going. After a brief intro from a man they professed to be hosting a game show called “The Truth About Love,” a schtick that was abandoned rather quickly, we saw Pink suspended upside down and supported by three dancers at the roof of the stage. She proceeded to sing “Raise Your Glass” while being tossed through the air by these three men, all without missing a beat or a bad note. (She was supported by two back up singers, however, her vocals were just slightly imperfect enough for me to believe that the majority of the vocals were done live) It was an intense opening number. So big that I had a hard time believing that she was going to top it. However, this was just the warm up.

The next two hours evolved into the absolute biggest spectacle I have ever seen in an arena. Pink managed to walk the perfect balance of musicianship, athleticism, showmanship and humanity. She was warm, engaging, and very, very genuine with the crowd. The hit laden set list was brilliantly arranged so that you were never for than two songs away from a monsterous single. And each song the staging into a whole new direction, Highlights included a faithful reading of Chris Issak’s “Wicked Game” as Pink was carried around the stage by muscled gentlemen. She performed “Sober” on top of an oval cage suspended in midair above the arena – WITHOUT A HARNESS! We also enjoyed stunning acoustic versions of “Family Portrait” and “Who Knew,” and, quite unexpectedly, we enjoyed a medley of tracks from her bubblegum pop oriented debut record, Can’t Take Me Home, in the classic, early 00’s style: unision dance moves with flashy colors.

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The encore was also so huge that it borderlined ridiculous. “So What” was performed Peter Pan – style with Pink in a harness, flying around the arena, insuring that every single person in the place got to experience being 20 feet away from the performer. The closer was the ballad “Glitter In The Air,” which was also an aerial piece. She sang the while cradled in a brown “bag” that was suspended in the air. Instead of a huge close to the show, they simply dipped her in a pool of water before finishing the final verse. It was a genius close to a wonderfully well crafted show. I never thought I’d say this, but everyone needs to see this show.

Select Photos By Michelle Viray

Setlist:

Raise Your Glass
Walk of Shame
Just Like a Pill
U + Ur Hand
Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)
Try
Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover)
Just Give Me a Reason
Trouble
Are We All We Are
How Come You’re Not Here
Sober
Family Portrait (Acoustic)
Who Knew (Acoustic)
Fuckin’ Perfect
Most Girls / There You Go / You Make Me Sick
Slut Like You
Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
—-
So What
Glitter in the Air

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