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REVIEW: P!nk jumps into Newcastle on Summer Carnival tour

It’s been a long time since Newcastle live music fans were treated to a big production concert like last night’s P!nk concert at McDonald Jones Stadium.

The last time we saw anything remotely like the show we were treated to last night was when KISS graced our fair city almost 8 years ago.

And although the two acts are completely different, it’s a fair comparison to make. Both shows had all wow factors.. pyrotechnics, big production numbers, artists flying around the arena, and a bucket load of, sing-a-long inducing, songs.

But it’s what P!nk does with all that production and music that sets her apart from other big box arena acts.

On top of bungee jumping to the stage and performing Cirque du Soleil-like acrobatics P!nk has a way of connecting and relating to her audience that few of her contemporaries have achieved.

She treats her fans like they’re family… And in turn, they give back in spades.

Last night she stopped the show several times to talk to people in the front of the sections around the stage – Many who had been waiting in the heat all day to score the best spots. She told stories about her kids and took the time to not only to receive gifts, but look at them and thank the people who gave them to her.

In one of the most memorable moments of last night’s P!nk complimented a fan on a colourful shirt they were wearing. The fan quickly produced a duplicate of the shirt and threw it onto the stage… So P!nk wore it for a few numbers and said she loved it so much that it would replace her current skating shirt. Twinning with P!nk – not something you’d forget in a long time.

With all the big area production and fan interaction it would be easy to forget that P!nk also has the chops to back it up. So she reminds us.

Yeah, it’s impressive to see someone flying around the area, dancing and performing acrobatic feats while singing numbers like the show opener Get the Party Started, but it’s in the show’s more stripped-back moments that P!nk’s vocal prowess takes centre stage.

An acoustic version of Please Don’t Leave Me is the highlight of these numbers, but it’s hard to go past P!nk’s cover of the Bob Dylan song Make You Feel My Love, that Adele made famous again back in 2008. Not because she absolutely nails it, but because of the bug that decided to fly right into her mouth while belting out one of the big notes. And while she tried to recover, no one in the Hunter could blame her for bailing out to grab a a drink and a chocolate to wash away the buggy goodness – we’ve all been there.

Other highlights of the latter half of the show include a cover of the 4 Non Blondes‘ classic What’s Up?, a production performance of the title track from P!nk’s latest long player TRUSTFALL followed by a blistering rendition of Blow Me (One Last Kiss) complete with dancing lips.

Then it’s time to wrap up the party with an encore of So What featuring a fireworks display and the American star flying around the stadium.

It’s a massive show and serves as a coming of age for McDonald Jones Stadium as a live music venue.

It’s the first time since kicking off the new series of shows that the stadium has featured a standing general admission section (more of this please), and for the most part, they’re getting the whole park-and-ride thing down pat.

Parking at the showground and getting the bus to the venue was a pretty good experience. And while getting back isn’t as great (signage needs improving) it’s getting much better.

When you wrap it all up – the stadium experience, a kick-arse support from Tones and I (f*ck the haters) and a big production show that only a true superstar of the genre can bring – P!nk’s Summer Carnival stop in Newcastle will be one we’re talking about for years to come.