Pink performed to a sold-out crowd at the KFC Yum! Center on Tuesday, March 27. | Photo by Tami Conti

Before her show in Louisville Tuesday night, Pink had to cancel two stops on her “Beautiful Trauma Tour” — in Montreal and Detroit — due to the flu. The sold-out crowd at the KFC Yum! Center held its collective breath before she took the stage, wondering if the usually energetic pop star would show signs of wear and tear.

But guess what — she’s still a rock star. And her rock moves didn’t stop for over 90 minutes.

Pink started the show with her 2001 hit “Get the Party Started,” and from the very first lines — I’m comin’ up so you better get this party started — it was clear her voice was back and she seemed genuinely happy to be commandeering the stage.

The show included a mix of hits — “Just Like a Pill,” “Who Knew,” “Try” — and songs off her current album, “Beautiful Trauma” — “What About Us,” “Revenge,” “Barbies.” She also included two covers — a mashup of No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” with her “Funhouse,” and a raucous version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that got everyone on their feet.

No safety nets, no fear. | Photo by Tami Conti

Pink performances usually involve a large amount of aerial acrobatics, and Tuesday’s show was no different — although she wasn’t in the air as much as she was during her last tour, which is most likely because she’s changing things up, not because she wasn’t physically capable of it.

The 38-year-old and her dancers used every inch of space the stage offered — and then some.

Near the end, as she belted out “So What,” she maneuvered into a harness and soon was catapulted into the air, where she fluttered about like Tinkerbell, waving and singing to people all around the venue — from the floor to the nosebleed seats.

Typically people begin to trickle out with a few songs to go, but from what I witnessed in my seat, everyone stayed put, excited to see every last trick and outfit change she had up her sleeve.

One of Pink’s platforms is championing for acceptance and anti-bullying, and during a few costume changes, clips from her interviews and speeches kept the crowd engaged. One in particular was her acceptance speech from the 2017 MTV VMAs that was an inspiring message to her daughter (see below), who was afraid she looked like a boy.

 

Her performance of “F#*kin’ Perfect” after that seemed even more poignant and relevant than ever.

On a side note, I actually ran into Pink in downtown Louisville on Monday as she was walking with her daughter and pushing her son in a stroller, heading to a late lunch at Dish on Market. She had no security, no disguises, just a mother on a mission to get her kids fed.

I didn’t have my phone on me, but even if I had, I don’t think I would have wanted to interrupt her with a photo request. As we approached the corner of Fifth and Market, I did ask how she was enjoying Louisville, and she replied, “Great,” and then went back to reading her daughter the menu from her phone.

I think it’s a testament to her character, and also an indication of Louisville’s welcoming hospitality, that she felt comfortable enough to walk around freely. Not that she’s any different from us — it’s just not every day you run into a pop star on Fifth Street.

Here are some more photos from the concert from friends who had better seats:

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."