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Ryan Johnson, Published January 11 2014

Review: Pink flies high during Fargodome concert

FARGO - The last-minute decision to postpone Pink’s concert here last October, when she was suffering from inflamed vocal cords and laryngitis, was all about the singer’s voice.

But after a long wait, local fans got their chance to hear the pop star at a sold-out show Saturday at the Fargodome – and see an ambitious stage show with gravity-defying acrobatics that made this concert about much more than Alecia Beth Moore’s voice.

She kicked it off with “Raise Your Glass,” and the curtains opened to a huge set filled with LED screens and dancers and musicians. The only thing missing was Pink, at least until she flew up through a trapdoor, spending most of the song bouncing up and down and twirling on a bungee cord.

With her radiant smile and high energy, Pink was clearly having fun as she launched into “Walk of Shame,” working the crowd and making use of every inch of the oversized stage as she finished the song and followed it up with “Just Like a Pill.”

Fargodome officials had said before the concert that they expected a crowd of about 21,500. A final count wasn’t available Saturday, but few seats were empty by the time Pink took the stage around 9 p.m. – and the singer herself took a minute early in her set to acknowledge the big audience.

“Thank you for making this the biggest show of our entire tour,” she said.

The concert started off with an energetic 45-minute set by The Kin, a New York City-based trio that played 10 songs to get the crowd ready.

Australian-born brothers Isaac and Thorald Koren handled vocal duties, trading off for a blend of thundering alternative and moody rock. The brothers have the looks and the chops to make it big here, and said they’ll soon get to release their latest EP, 2013’s “Get on It,” in America because of their tour with Pink.

The Kin’s set included “America,” Isaac Koren’s “love song” to the country that recently granted him citizenship. Still, he was back in Aussie form just two songs later, playing the didgeridoo during the opening of “Waterbreaks.”

But drummer and percussionist Shakerleg stole the spotlight, banging away at a drumset with his bare hands – he doesn’t use sticks, and it was hard to look away from his unique performance.

Pink has been performing nearly nonstop for a year – other than the doctor-ordered break that caused some postponed concerts last October – in support of “The Truth About Love,” her sixth studio album, which has sold 7 million copies worldwide.

While her concert here followed the same setlist as most of her performances on this tour, there was nothing to suggest Pink was bored or simply going through the motions. Her infectious smile, in-your-face attitude and finely honed ability to play to a crowd of thousands and keep them pumped up was clear throughout her entire set.

But the singer also found plenty of chances to display her vocal prowess, including a sexy take on Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” and a powerful performance of “Just Give Me a Reason,” the biggest hit from her new album.

After a 90-minute show, Pink went backstage and soon returned for an encore of “So What,” singing as she flew through the air on a wired rig that took her across the full length of the Fargodome.

When Pink wasn’t twirling in a suspended metal ball with other dancers during “How Come You’re Not Here,” or going through a dramatic dance with a shirtless man during “Try,” or playing the piano during “The Great Escape,” she was finding every way possible to keep the crowd engaged and riding the emotional rollercoaster of her edgy songs about love, sex and relationships on the rocks.

But unlike many of her pop peers, Pink wasn’t afraid to also put the spotlight on her vocal cords, like she did during a stripped-down start to “F**ckin’ Perfect” that gradually built up to shredding guitars and rowdy drumming.

There was no doubt Saturday that the vocal rest that delayed her first performance in Fargo by three months was worth it. Pink was ready to wow the crowd with her stage antics, high-flying theatrics – and a great voice, even if she was hanging upside down above the stage.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587