Pink, US Airways Center, 2/13/13 (VIDEO)

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Pink @ US Airways Center|1/23/13

Oh, what fun it is to be the opening city for a two-month-long tour. Pink got to work out the kinks of her The Truth About Love Tour when she played in Phoenix last night to kick-off her love-themed show. "I'm so glad we got that mistake out of the way," the singer born as Alecia Moore announced, after her opening acrobatic act had some minor mishaps.

See Also:
-Pink at U.S. Airways Center, 2/13/13 (Slideshow)

To the audience, it seemed like her mic wasn't working properly -- the backing track took over show opener "Raise Your Glass." It was bizarre that the audience could barely hear her sing one of her biggest hits for the show opener, which set the overall tone of the night: the vibe on-stage seemed tentative, as if we were watching the crew's last rehearsal before the real thing.

Later on in the set, she stopped during a song to completely start it over, and one of the guitarist's playing was silenced during what was supposed to be his solo. For someone selling tickets for almost $100 for her show, you'd think that Pink would pack a lot into the production value of her set. Sure, there were stunts that had Pink sailing through the air without even a cable to use as support, but beyond the gymnastics sprinkled throughout the show, the rest of the action was left to the singing and dancing. Sure, most of the show had a fun feel to it, but Pink's concert didn't have nearly the grandeur that Lady Gaga brought just a few weeks ago to the same venue. Not that Pink needed to be as flashy as a show like that, but everything -- the set, the costumes and Pink's energy -- seemed lackluster in comparison.

One of Pink's biggest strengths, beyond her confidence and individuality, is her vocals. She really has amazing vocal chops, and no trouble hitting soaring high notes with ease. Her vocal strength makes for roaring, powerful choruses tinged with genuine emotion. For most of the first half of her concert, it was really disappointing that Pink didn't sing with as much gusto as you might expect in a live setting -- she often seemed to be focused more on her choreography and letting her backup singers and audience members take control on songs.

During an acoustic set where she performed hits such as "Who Knew" and "Perfect," though, Pink didn't have much to cover up any vocal imperfections while she sang -- and she didn't need anything. Pink's voice seemed in tip-top shape -- I just wish we had heard more of it throughout her concert. The best moment of the night, besides the epic encore of "So What" where
she flew throughout the entire arena, was when Pink sang "Just Give Me a
Reason" with a virtual Nate Ruess, frontman for fun. and former Valley
singer for The Format.

Most of the audience members probably didn't even know Ruess is from Phoenix, but it was dang amazing to see his face singing on a screen up in US Airways Center after such a long musical journey.

Despite stand-out moments like these, a jarringly annoying thing about the nearly two-hour show was the "host," Jimmy, who led the audience through pre-concert games and mid-show entertainment. Jimmy's presence was distracting and unfunny -- his antics probably just made people miffed Pink wasn't onstage. For a show with such high ticket prices, you'd think there'd be more engaging entertainment. Pink's lackey seemed more like filler than anything meaningful.

Still, judging from the cheers of the sold-out audience, it seemed like the crowd enjoyed the show, no matter how meh it may have seemed to those who weren't crazy about her. She showed off that wild rebellious side by flipping people off and grabbing her crotch plenty-a-time, and if that's what Pink's fans want to see at a show, they shouldn't have been disappointed.

See the full setlist, notes, and video on the next page.

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias: I've always been a fan of Pink's vocals, but this was my first time seeing the lady in concert since she toured with *NSYNC back in the day.

The Crowd: Mostly 20-something ladies, but maybe 30 percent male. Most people incorporated the color pink somehow into their outfits.

Overheard in the Crowd: "She did not need Jimmy," my friend said, referring to the awful "host" who tried to entertain the crowd.

Random Notebook Dump: During "Try," there were images of topless women wearing pasties writhing around in the background. The images had nothing to do with the song, and I was puzzled to see them, considering Pink has some very young fans.

Set List: 

Raise Your Glass
Walk of Shame
Just Like a Pill
U + Ur Hand
Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)
Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover)
Just Give Me a Reason
Are We All We Are
How Come You're Not Here
Family Portrait
Who Knew
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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