P!NK: Summer Carnival, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne, February 23rd 2024 – Live Review

It has been 6 years since P!NK was last in Australia when she was here for her Beautiful Trauma World Tour. Returning to her Australian spiritual home of Melbourne, the city where she had her record breaking and history making 18 shows at Rod Laver Arena for her The Truth About Love Tour, a record which remains undefeated, P!NK headlined Marvel Stadium for the first time as part of her new tour – Summer Carnival.

Summer Carnival marks P!NK’s first ever stadium tour of Australia and honestly, I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner! Australians LOVE P!NK, emphasis on the word ‘LOVE’. Dedicated P!NK fans were lined-up in colourful outfits, making sure to wear some appropriate pink colours and were patient while waiting in queues that circled around Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium. Everyone was super excited to be reunited with their favourite American singer-songwriter because she’s essentially just like us; unfiltered, unscripted, lovingly unhinged, raw, honest, passionate, hard-working and extremely down-to-earth.

All these traits were excellently reflected in her performances and stage presence on the first night of her 2024 Melbourne shows. When P!NK wasn’t impressing audiences with her rebellious aura of kindness and sunshine, her abundance of talents whether it be aerial acrobatic skills and the variety of stunts while remaining in perfect tune, her epic vocals, her ability to play the piano, sing music of any genre, or captivate the crowd by just speaking from the heart, P!NK was generous enough to give her band, her daughter, her dancers, and even her crew (although hilariously a bit reluctant) their own chance to shine on her stage.

The production itself was incredibly impressive, with an intro video of a glitchy P!NK that reminded me of the film Back to the Future Part II (when Marty McFly was in awe of digital celebrities trying to sell him a certain soft drink), I knew that we were in for something special. But when P!NK emerged from the signage on the ceiling of the stage, literally jumping into view, I knew that we were in for a great night.

For several songs at the beginning of her concert set, P!NK was happily accepting gifts from die-hard fans in the crowd from plushies, funny designed sunglasses, quirky hats, Maltesers in a mini metallic bathtub, to double coated Tim Tams and questioning on whether she can still do a ‘Tim Tam slam’ with them. If anything, I’ve never seen an artist run around to accommodate to fans like this before but that’s just how humble P!NK is. The entire show felt like a celebration of life, love, music, and was filled with affirmations, P!NK never hesitating to compliment the crowd, and the best part about it all is that she meant it.

Dishing out hit after hit including, ‘Get the Party Started’, ‘Raise Your Glass’, ‘Just Like a Pill’, ‘Try’, a catchy dance version of ‘What About Us’, ‘Just Give Me A Reason’, ‘F**king Perfect’ and ‘Blow Me (One Last Kiss)’ just to name a few, P!NK also took the time to perform and respectfully ace covers including the Bob Dylan penned and Adele famed ‘Make You Feel My Love’ that she performed alone on the piano, Pat Benetar’s ‘Heartbreaker’ and the crowd favourite number, 4 Non Blondes’ ‘What’s Up?’. ‘Never Gonna Not Dance Again’ also provided true disco vibes while ‘I Am Here’ gave a heartfelt country feel, both super fun songs and ever appropriate additions to P!NK’s Summer Carnival.

Highlights of the concert include P!NK performing a gorgeously choreographed aerial dance to ‘Turbulence’ with her talented dancer Khasan Brailsford, her brief acapella performance of ‘Most Girls’, a mostly acapella performance of ‘Please Don’t Leave Me’ which P!NK exquisitely performed with her backing vocalists, ‘When I Get There’ which P!NK warmly dedicated to a fan who lost her dad the same age that P!NK did and the song conjuring an ocean of lights from the Melbourne crowd, and ‘Don’t Let Me Get Me’ which P!NK intimately performed only accompanied by Justin Derrico on the guitar.

However, my favourite performance of the night was when P!NK sang a stunning and powerful rendition of ‘Who Knew’, one of my favourite songs, with gorgeous vocals by the musician that soared across Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium and left me gobsmacked. I daresay, P!NK is one of the rare artists that, in comparison to recordings, sounds even better live.

With the show concluding with popular song ‘So What’ and the climatic-now-iconic choreographed moment of P!NK embracing her pixie persona to fly around the stadium like a bespoke rock infused Tinkerbell that lives off of audience applause and happiness, I was reminded by how phenomenal P!NK is as an artist and how magical this moment was for me the first time that I saw it at her The Truth About Love Tour. It is evident that P!NK has remained the unapologetic and real queen that we’ve all come to love, that her touring company is her family, that everyone in her company love what they do, love sharing it with the world, and enjoy doing so together.

I had so much fun that before I knew it, the concert was ending. But not before P!NK provided patrons with a rain of confetti and a dazzling abundance of fireworks – more fireworks than I have ever seen at any concert in my lifetime. I almost didn’t notice P!NK leave the stage due to the overwhelming amount of distractions that collectively provided a fitting conclusion to the first Melbourne show of the Summer Carnival tour.

Summer Carnival feels fun, vibrant, inclusive and is shockingly homely because seeing P!NK live in concert again somehow feels wholesomely familiar, like being reunited with your favourite fun auntie visiting from overseas to joyfully stir the pot for a weekend. Her professionalism and talents remain unmatched. There’s only one P!NK and we’re so glad that she genuinely loves Australia back just as much as we love her, and she deserves it.

Proudly presented by Live Nation Australia, P!NK is currently touring her Summer Carnival and will perform three more shows in Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on the 24th of February, and the 12th and 13th of March. The first Melbourne concert on Friday the 23rd of February was attended for the purpose of this review.
For more information on other tour dates across Australia and ticketing, please visit:
https://www.livenation.com.au/artist-p-nk-348049
https://www.pinkspage.com

Photography by Grant Alexander.

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