Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Superstar Pink thrills Belfast fans

High-flying singer has 25,000-strong crowd eating out of her hand

Pink plays Belfast - June 2010. To launch gallery click on image above
Pink live on stage at the King's Hall in Belfast.
Joe Lindsay and Davey Matchett at the opening night of Horatio Todds

The Balmoral Showgrounds were transformed into a massive, open-air funfair last night as US superstar Pink brought her Summer Carnival tour to Belfast.

The singer treated 25,000 fans to a sprawling event the like of which the city had perhaps never seen before.

People of all ages, both sexes and various levels of intoxication wound their way through fairground rides and fast-food stands to the main arena, where a stage the size of City Hall and a sound system louder than a million vuvuzelas awaited.

The field had filled up nicely by the time support act Butch Walker appeared, though the shambling rocker — who has penned songs for the headliner — failed to win the hearts of more than the first few rows.

It was a different story for Pink, of course. The bleach-blonde anti-diva had Belfast in the palm of her hand from the moment she exploded out of a box 100 feet above the stage and descended to crowd-level on a wire. As entrances go, it was up there, literally. The circus theme — Pink's latest album is called Funhouse — would have been nothing new to anyone who has seen Take That or Britney Spears in the last few years, but this show took things to a new, gonzo level.

The drums were housed in a carousel, a pair of scantily clad clowns pushed a giant cannon around the stage and the video screens beamed out freaky, Pythonesque imagery. The band were a motley crew of tattooed long-hairs and foxy females, with Walker returning to help Pink out on covers of the Who's My Generation, Green Day's Basket Case and Roxanne by the Police.

As for the main woman herself, she cavorted up and down walkways, spinning from ropes and wires, and rolling over the heads of the audience in a huge, inflatable ball.

She even took time to hug a super-fan in the front row who had travelled all the way from Seattle.

Musically, it was as rocky as a pop gig gets. Just Like a Pill, Sober, So What and the rest lived up to the party atmosphere, with Pink's unique brand of fiery riffs and catchy choruses serving as the perfect soundtrack to her high-flying, death-defying antics.

ANDREW JOHNSTON

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