Story/Pictures by Jess Laicy
I’m not going to lie. I’m a terrible writer. I’m better behind things like the microphone or a camera, but the keyboard is not my strong suit. When my editor told me that I would HAVE to write something if I want to cover P!nk, I thought way longer and harder about it than I should have. I decided that I would take a different approach to my review, so bear with me.
P!nk and her “Beautiful Trauma” tour flew its way into Columbus May 11, and I was there.
Julia Michaels opened, and I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I have only heard two of her songs and didn’t know a whole lot about her, even though I had done some research. She’s a singer/songwriter who has helped numerous artists along the way (including P!nk). She came out on stage and I was pleasantly surprised.
Not only does she have a wonderful sound, she also made it fun for people who maybe were in the same boat as me who didn’t know much about her. She talked about releasing her first album and how it deals with issues like anxiety and depression. That’s when she had my full attention. As someone who suffers from both, I can relate to the struggles and I find it refreshing that Julia can come out and click with her audience on a deeper level than just an artist on a stage. She ended with her hit Issues and I can honestly say her performance had no issues.
It was now time for P!nk to take the stage.
I have been a fan of this woman since she opened for *NSYNC in 2000 on the “No Strings Attached” tour. It was in Cincinnati and I knew one day she would be a mega star. Here we are 18 years later, and she has become just that. Her new album “Hurts 2 B Human” is currently number one on the charts. I haven’t seen her since “The Truth About Love Tour” and I’m about dead with excitement and the nerves of shooting pictures.
Before the bright pink curtain opens, Here I Go Again by Whitesnake plays. and then there is this human being swinging from a giant pink and white chandler… all while singing Get The Party Started. She was upside down at some points too, might I add. She goes into a trio of old hits to follow her high-flying opening number.
Next, she hits you with a Funhouse/Just A Girl combo and I lose it because this is where I decided to use my voice much like she does. For those young ones out there, Just A Girl is a cover of an old No Doubt song, where Gwen croons “I’m just a girl in the world, that’s all that you’ll let me be…” It’s very much a breakout of captivity, girls can do more attitude. So when I hear P!nk, who is the epitome of a bad-ass woman singing “I’m just a girl…” and hitting you with everything she has, it brought me back to why I was covering the show in the first place.
See, I’ve always been different, and never have been your typical female. I stand out, I have an attitude, I fight for what I believe in and I don’t conform. When I was younger, I thought all these things were horrible and that I needed to dull myself into what society wanted or thought I should be. Then P!nk hit the scene.
Even back in her early days, she was this force to be reckoned with and she showed young women much like myself, that it was okay to be who you are no matter what anyone else thinks or has to say about it; that being yourself and who you TRULY are is okay, and if someone doesn’t like it, fuck them.
So, I can sit here and tell you about all her high-flying tricks, what an amazing stage show and presence she has or rattle off a list of songs she sang. But instead, I decided to tell you why she is the superstar she is and what this show is all about, in my opinion.
P!nk has empowered a generation of females since her start in the music industry. She doesn’t back down or shy away. She stands and fights when people tell her she’s too loud, wrong or that her opinion doesn’t matter. She kicks ass and takes names. She’s been doing it since she started in the Philadelphia club scene at age 14, and now she is doing it in sold out arenas all over the world.
Sure, she is singing and partying and having a good time while doing it, but she is also teaching females everywhere how to be strong, fierce, and what happens when you don’t give in to the assholes of the world.
There is one point in the show where she plays the speech she gave to her daughter at the 2017 MTV VMA’s, and she ends it with “We don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell, and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”
While her show is fun and entertaining, she is also spreading messages to everyone standing in that audience about self-love, strength, acceptance, and courage in today’s world. What other rock star would do that?
On a final note, she is the reason I even got the chance to write this and photograph her show. I was the only female in that photo mix at the Schottenstein Center, and had I given up on my dreams because of all the times someone told me I couldn’t do it or I wasn’t good enough, I wouldn’t have gotten to share my voice with you, the way P!nk shares it with millions of people. She states at one point in the show, “I’m not afraid of being a strong woman,” and while she didn’t teach me that, she helps remind me all the time that being a strong woman is bad ass, and to never let anyone take it away from you.
For those of you wondering, she closes out the show high above the crowd once again, flying around on wires, singing So What. She’s still a rock star. She puts on an amazing show, and not only do you have a good time, if you do it right, you leave feeling empowered and stronger than you did when you walked in.
Credit all images: J Laicy / MIMC