By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy
When it comes to music, I am sure there are a lot of fans that mostly like one particular genre, but they usually have that 1 or 2 artists from another genre that they like. We call them our secret shames, and I know I got them. Growing up in the 1990s and early 2000s, pop music did play a part in my musical education before I wised up. One of my biggest secret shames that I am not afraid to admit is P!nk. She is a pop diva with a punk rock attitude and R&B swagger, always being true to herself while flipping the bird to her critics. When she first debuted in 2000, I originally thought, “Oh God, another pop princess has arrived.” However, when she dropped her 2002 sophomore record, Missundaztood, she changed the game and stood out from her counterparts Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. In 2017, she dropped her 7th release, Beautiful Trauma, to commercial success, and is getting ready to launch her next album, Hurts 2B Human. P!nk has been on the road spreading her musical joy to the world for the past year. Last year, she came to the Honda Center in Anaheim, but I missed. Well, she came right back, and I was there to witness the excitement.
Opening up for her was pop songbird Julia Michaels. She first got her start as an accomplished songwriter for artists like Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez, but now she has emerged as a talented singer in her own right. I never heard of her before the announcement of the tour, but after seeing Michaels, she was a spark plug full of pop sass. She is like a cross between Gwen Stefani and Miley Cyrus. Sporting a blue polka dot dress, Michaels twirled and danced around the stage while laying down her righteous pop singing. Her backing band did a great job performing the pop beats that gave her melodies jovial flavor. Michaels, fresh off her recent EP release Inner Monologue Part 1, gave the Anaheim crowd a good mixture of tunes that danced between pop and EDM. From “Pink” to “Into You,” “Happy,” “What a Time,” “Uh-Huh,” and her Grammy nominated breakthrough “Issues,” she brought joy to the venue. She even did a melody of songs she has written for other artists over the years, which was pretty cool to hear. I do not know if this makes me an instant fan, but I did enjoy her performance, and so did the Anaheim crowd.
Full Julia Michaels gallery below:
In between Julia Michaels and P!nk, DJ KidCutUp would entertain the crowd with his turntables. Pumping out the classic tunes we all grew up on, from Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” to Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.” All the fans, especially the ladies (young and old), were on their feet singing their hearts out. I will give to DJ KidCutUp, he certainly knows how to keep the crowd’s energy up before the headliner comes out.
Full DJ KidCutUp gallery below:
With a pink curtain overtaking the stage, Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” plays over the PA, pumping up the fans. Then, the curtain drops, and there she is, swinging across the stage on a crystal chandelier while singing “Get the Party Started.” P!nk’s back up dancers help her get down, and then she wows the fans with “Beautiful Trauma,” with her dancers giving a brilliant dance routine. After that, she changed outfits and performed one of my favorites from her catalogue, “Like a Pill.” For the whole night, P!nk added new elements to the stage that set the mood for each song. Some would feature choreographed dancing while others would just be her and her band, which features guitarist Justin Derrico, bassist Eva Gardner, and drummer Mark Schulman. Derrico is an excellent guitar player and brings some rock swagger to P!nk’s sound, which he displayed when he was introduced during the mash-up of “Funhouse” and “Just a Girl.” She has recently been doing aerial acrobats during her show, and she looks incredible and beautiful when she is in the air, showing no fear.
During the song “Try,” she and her crew went into a synchronized dance that had the theme about nature. The way the moved was mesmerizing to watch. Not only did she performed 7 songs from Beautiful Trauma, she also played 2 songs from her upcoming Hurts 2B Human, including “Hustle” and “Walk Me Home.” P!nk is not only about entertainment, she also shows how positivity can make the world a better place, and how beauty is only skin deep. When she performed “Barbies” and “I Am Here,” she and her band headed to the front of the stage for a more intimate showdown with the crowd. A strong feminine, she is the kind of role model young women should look up to, as you can her in “Raise Your Glass.” Other songs she performed with gusto included “Just Like Fire,” “What About Us,” “Fuckin’ Perfect,” and “Blow Me (One Last Kiss).” For her encore, she attached herself to a harness that would fly her across the Honda Center, and she sang beautifully to her upbeat tune fans waited for, “So What!?” Ending the night with the cherished “Glitter in the Air,” the fans left with smiles.
Full P!nk gallery below:
This was my first true pop show I have ever covered, and I have to admit, I had fun. P!nk was how I envisioned her live. She is full of spunk, raw, emotional talent, and she was having the time of her life. The Honda Center was turned into a fun house, where we did not want the party to stop. She is still a rock star with rock moves, and she is having more fun than ever before. To P!nk and Julia Michaels, I salute you. Horns up!!!