Pink’s Summer Carnival 2023 Tour came to San Diego and it did not disappoint. The concert,
really more of a Las Vegas style spectacle, took place in the relatively new Snapdragon Stadium. The stadium is the perfect size for concerts. The sound was great and the weather was perfect.
Before the concert and in between sets there was a DJ, Kid Cut Up, keeping the crowd
entertained with snippets of classic rock and 90’s pop hits. The crowd was one of the most multi-generational crowds I have ever witnessed at a concert. They ranged from young pre-teens to retirees. Men, women, boys and girls and all of them stood for the entire night! Some of the younger ones stood up on chairs to see over the adults and nobody seemed to mind.
Grouplove, an alt-rock band definitely influenced by the likes of the Grateful Dead, Dave
Matthews and Big Head Todd and the Monsters, opened the evening with a short, but very
energetic set of upbeat tunes. The band is fronted by Hannah Hooper on vocals and Christian
Zucconi on vocals and lead guitar. Other members of the band are Andrew Wessen on lead guitar, backing vocals, Daniel Gleason on bass , and Benjamin Homola on drums. The band’s set included “Deleter,” “Cheese,” “Itchin’ on a Photograph,” “Hello,” and “Tongue Tied.” They ended the set with their hit, “Colours,” to an enthusiastic crowd.
Next up was the incredible Brandi Carlile. It seemed that the sold-out crowd was there to see
Brandi almost as much as to see Pink. Carlile also played an abbreviated set of only 9 songs
starting with “Broken Horse” and finishing up with a beautiful rendition of Queen’s “We Are The Champions” during which the stadium was lit up with cell phone flashlights. In between the band performed “You and Me on the Rock,” “The Story,” “Right on Time,” “Sinners, Saints and Fools,” “The Joke” and a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.” Brandi, dressed in a pink suit, talked about her days playing many of the smaller San Diego venues like The Casbah, Music Box and Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay. She told the enthusiastic crowd that her band, made up of the twins Phil and Tim Hanseroth on guitars and vocals, Matt Chamberlain on drums and special guest on keyboards, Shooter Jennings, were basically a “bar band” and not used to playing to sold out stadiums. I think they should probably get used to it because I think the bar band days are behind this multi-award winning singer-songwriter record producing musical genius.
Finally, the moment everyone was waiting for, the main attraction, Pink. First on the giant video screens was a “Max Headroom” style version of Pink welcoming the crowd to the carnival. The animated Pink told them to get ready to laugh, cry and sing. Then the singer appeared in a giant smiling mouth high above the stage. As the mouth opened, Pink smiled and waved at the crowd before plunging down towards the stage and performing aerial acrobatics all while singing “Get This Party Started” above a stage full of dancers, flamingos, giant ice cream cones , a huge disco ball and dazzling lights. There was so much happening on stage that to truly appreciate it, it was actually better to be seated in the “cheap” seats. It truly was a “carnival.” Nobody in the place was seated during the entire 2-hour plus performance. Pink danced, interacted with the crowd, performed aerial acrobatics and sang her heart out. There were explosions, fireworks, acrobats, giant flamingos and so much more.
I have been attending concerts for almost half a century and this show is definitely in my top five best shows of all time The set consisted mainly of hit songs from her catalog but also included songs form her latest, more introspective album, Trustfall. Also included in the set weas a tribute to one of her heroes, Sinead O’Connor. A duet with Brandi Calile of “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Pink closed out the show flying all around the stadium while performing “So What.” It truly was an amazing night of music and showmanship. To paraphrase the late, great Jimmy Buffett. Don’t try to describe a Pink concert if you’ve never seen one. The complete setlist is below.
Get the Party Started
Raise Your Glass
Just Like a Pill
What About Us
I Don’t Believe You
Make You Feel My Love
Nothing Compares 2 U
(with Brandi Carlile)
Just Give Me a Reason
Just Like Fire / Heartbreaker
(Partial cover of Pat Benatar song)
Please Don’t Leave Me
When I Get There
I Am Here
No Ordinary Love
Are You Gonna Fall?
Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
Never Gonna Not Dance Again