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Pink is my favorite crayon
P!NK headlines before hometown crowd

by Timothy Tilghman

     P!NK performed in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, June 1, 2002, at the Tower Theatre. The Doylestown lass, all grown up now, appeared before a sold out house. The Party Tour 2002 is her first headlining tour as an emerging artist in support of her second disc, M!ssundaztood.

     Squeals erupted when her silhouette appeared upon a large curtain. Appearing after an instrumental interlude, P!NK launched straight into her hot single "Get The Party Started", rocking the Tower to the hilt. She used a mini-megaphone to alter her voice during a vocal passage. A cool graffiti mural displaying her name P!NK was utilized to project an urban atmosphere.

     "Respect" presented an opportunity for audience participation as P!NK conducted a 'scream test'. She then instructed assembled fans to shout out "yeah" when she sang the lyric "Hey Ladies" or "Hey Sisters. She wanted the males of the audience to act like females and answer the lyric as well. P!NK stalked the stage to the funky groove, grabbing her crotch once with an occasional bump & grind movement to boot.

     Her first cover of the evening was "What's Up", a song originally recorded by 4 Non Blondes. The audience sang along during the chorus with the lyric "what's going on". Linda Perry, a 4NB member, composed the track "Lonely Girl" on her new album. P!NK commented how she took a chance on recording this song for her new album.

     The stage action began to heat up considerably shortly before her performance of "Numb". P!NK asked Moriera, "to play me something funky". The guitarist launched into a searing solo of "Sweet Child Of Mine". Afterwards, she asked Johnson for a drum solo. Again dissatisfied, she consulted with the audience and decided she wanted, "something nasty".

     With that cue, strobe lights began to flicker as the band kicked off "Numb". From behind the stage walked out a young blonde woman dressed in a tight pink top and black pants. P!NK and this randy female created a sense of sexual tension as P!NK simulated roughing up the nymph on stage.

     The rocker set the mood as P!NK strutted across the stage, interacting with the girl. During an extended pause in the song, P!NK stood face to face with the woman in what appeared to be an impending embrace. P!NK seemed to have a perplexed look on her face as if she didn't know whether she should kiss this woman on stage. This awkward interlude was truly an odd moment.

     A major fan of Janis Joplin, she performed a medley of songs in memory of the 60's icon. "Summertime"/"Me And Bobby McGee"/"Piece Of My Heart". Photographs of Janis Joplin, hippies, and the peace movement were projected onto a screen above the band. She plugged the work of Joplin, recommending her fans pick up a disc and rediscover this music.

     The climactic, "My Vietnam", began with a flashing beacon to the sounds of helicopters and gunfire. Pictures of Vietnam war action, infirmed soldiers, and modern pictures educated her young audience of that controversial conflict while she sang her power ballad. P!NK sported a tight black top bearing the M.I.A. insignia.

     Words splashed across the backdrop one after another: WAR, POLITICS, POWER, FREEDOM, RIGHTS, PEACE, RACISM, GAY, STRAIGHT, UNITY, CHOICE, FEAR, HATE, and the last two, LOVE .... IT'S ALL YOU NEED. A picture of a hippie holding a sign that read 'drop acid not bombs' was inappropriate. The end of the song segued into a lead guitar solo of "The Star Spangled Banner", closing on the the 9-11 Flag Raising photo.

     With the audience clapping and chanting "P!NK", she returned for the first of three encores. Asking "Are you ready for my guitar debut?", P!NK received an acoustic guitar from a stagehand. Turning her back to the audience and strumming a few chords, she declared, "This guitar is not tuned .... screw it", and stated singing the ballad "Eventually" solo, bathed in orange lighting.

     P!NK put on a cool little black top with her name emblazoned on it, tossed on stage by a fan. The latin funk-hip-hop sound of "There You Go" featured alternating light and dark pink beams. Girls sang in unison for the poppy rocker "Don't Let Me Get Me". Clutching a bouquet of pink roses, P!NK thanked her hometown crowd before running off stage. In a final act of self promotion, a blurb announcing '' appeared upon the backdrop.

     P!NK's performance was polished and professional. Her band of pinkos featured Jason Chapman on keyboards, Mylious Johnson on drums, Rafael Moriera on guitar, Cassandra Oneal on keyboards and backing vocals, and Janis Tanaka on bass and backing vocals. Her talented band delivered a punch on the rockers and handled the versatility of her diverse material.

     Johnson was introduced last and surprised by P!NK who brought out a birthday cake to celebrate his birthday that night. P!NK lead the audience in a version of "Happy Birthday" before he blew out the candles. P!NK scooped up a gob of icing and kept smacking her lips, commenting on how much she enjoyed the sweet icing.

     Pink was the theme of the evening as females of all ages came adorned in articles of pink clothing, sporting pink hair-dos or hair-donts, dolled up in pink make up. P!NK, now a blonde, first appeared on stage in an orange jumpsuit. After a backstage dress change, she revealed a primed physique that was truly toned.

Philadelphia setlist: Most Girls instrumental intro * Get The Party Started * M!ssundaztood * 18 Wheeler * What's Up * Dear Diary * Respect * I Love You/You're All I Need * You Make Me Sick * Just Like A Pill * Lonely Girl * Sweet Child Of Mine guitar solo * Numb * Summertime/Me And Bobby McGee/Piece Of My Heart * Family Portrait * My Vietnam/Star Spangled Banner guitar solo * Encore: Eventually * There You Go * Don't Let Me Get Me

RockonTour   Issue #10
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