I had an answer all ready when quite a few of my friends asked me why I was going to a Pink concert last Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, the third time my wife and I have seen her live:
“Because I want to be her when I grow up.”
OK, OK, so it’s unlikely that’ll happen. But if I could somehow get to walk in the awesome shoes of the superstar for five minutes, my life on Earth would be made.
The concert Thursday night was even better than the first two times we saw her; this is a woman who is fierce, powerful and gives her diverse audience exactly what they’ve come for: A damn good time. (Seriously, there were all kinds of people at the show, old, young, white, black, boys, girls. Pink’s fans are a cross-section of humanity. Watch that video above of her flying above the crowd and tell me you don’t want to do that!)
And as I was listening to Pink belt out her hits in one fabulous, kick-ass costume or another, whether it was her beautiful ballad “Who Knew” or when she delivered a stunningly good cover of Nirvana’s classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (and don’t even get me started with how old I felt looking around at the crowd and seeing like, maybe 20 percent of them knowing the song), I started thinking of the numerous reasons I admire and like her so much.
For one, she doesn’t fake it. No lip-syncing at these live shows, no doing everything possible to play it safe. This woman flies around a stage doing acrobatic moves and singing at the same time, which is extremely difficult.
She also comes off as a very real human being. She’s not perfect, she’s made mistakes, she used to talk all the time about trying not to curse on stage anymore because she has so many young fans, and then would let an F-bomb go five minutes later. She’s not better or worse than anyone, and seems to have little rock star ego.
She also realizes she’s a role model, most of all to her young daughter, who in a mid-concert video she’s played throughout this current tour, explains how she’s instructed her daughter to ignore ignorant comments like “You look like a boy” and be proud of your true self.
Pink might not be the greatest singer ever, or the greatest dancer ever. But she is one hell of an entertainer, who relates to her fans, speaks to them on their level, and absolutely gives everyone who pays money to watch her perform a show they won’t soon forget.
A bunch of people my wife and I know were at their first Pink show Thursday. All said it won’t be their last.
I’ve never seen the same musical artist or group three times. But with Pink, I know I’ll be seeing her many, many more times to come.
I may not ever grow up to be her. But I can still admire the hell out of what she does, and who she is.
**Next up today, this “SNL” sketch from Saturday night was so fantastic. Chadwick Boseman, star of the mega-hit movie “Black Panther” guest-hosted, and appeared in the sketch as his movie altar ego, “T’Challa.”
If you watch nothing else of it, go to the 5:08 mark and watch T’Challa finally get the hang of the game. Totally brilliant.
**Finally today, two quick hockey stories as we get ready for the Stanley Cup playoffs (weird not having my Rangers in it, first time in eight years they’ve missed it. And no Blackhawks or Blues either? But a team from Las Vegas? Gonna be a strange, wonderful ride.)
The first story is a tragedy from Canada: A bus carrying a junior hockey team called the Humboldt Broncos from Western Canada, in Saskatchewan, crashed into a semi on the highway on the way to a game. Fifteen people, including the team’s head coach, players and broadcasters, died. What a brutal, awful tragedy. These were teenaged boys, trying to live out their dream of playing the sport they loved. Spare a thought for them and their families today.
The second story is a sweet one: For 17 years twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin have been stars for the Vancouver Canucks, doing everything except winning a Stanley Cup. They announced recently that this will be their last season, and in their final home game Friday night, the twins teamed up for the game-winning goal in overtime.
Very rarely do you get storybook moments like this. Very, very cool.