The O2. The new arena of choice for the world's top acts which boasts of it's success at every turn.
A fat lot of good when the only bleedin' underground station close by is closed due to the Jubilee line being closed over the weekend for - I don't know what - needing new bog rolls in the ticket office lavs.
I endured a ride on a train groaning with loud Spurs fans, a crowded rush hour Central line to Stratford then a bone-shaking bus ride through the bombsite desolation of Docklands with a bulge of overweight fat girls and women all in varying degrees of pink.
Why? Because we were off to see the raucous, ever-bouncing P!nk on her Funhouse tour.
Despite buying GET THE PARTY STARTED on cassette single - yes THAT long ago - I hadn't really followed P!nk's ascent to the higher echelons of Divadom but Owen is a fan and a few months back he did an expert Best Of compilation cd which have got me up to speed with her best tracks so we thought we'd have a dollop of her live.
Well she certainly puts on a show! The Funhouse theme of her last cd was fully reflected in the show with Carnival mirrors, 2 slides, a wonky Waltzer, inflatable scary clowns, several costume changes and - wait for it - a trapeze!
Owen was surprised that I was clapping along and singing but several of her songs are great pop/rock anthems - GET THE PARTY STARTED; JUST LIKE A PILL; WHO KNEW and U + YOUR HAND all had me boinging about. She also sang my two favourite tracks from her new cd: the crunchy, glitter-stomp of title track FUNHOUSE and her magnificent "me" song SO WHAT - a work of genius!
She also has a fine line in muscular ballads too - muscular being the operative word for her live version of SOBER, which she performed on a trapeze! Yep P!nk had a wire on - but it was also P!nk who was doing the somersaults from trapeze to the catcher! Respect!!!
In fact the P!nky lass - as she is sometimes called - has a definite love of the aerial life. Her first appearance was being winched up out of the runway trapdoor and carried towards the stage with her long pink gossamer train floating behind her, GET THE PARTY STARTED ended with her doing a bungee-jump to within inches above the runway - eeeek! - and the last song of the evening, the lovely ballad GLITTER IN THE AIR had her wafting again in a see-through hammock over the audience, dripping glittery water over their heads.
There were a few songs that I wasn't familiar with and, although I'd probably have been more engaged had I known them, they sounded a bit like Cher late-80s album tracks... theatrical Rawk.
The letdowns? There was a mistimed acoustic set that went on for too long and which concluded with a ballad rendering of her stomping hit TROUBLE which kinda didn't work. I think also we need a moratorium on dancers going up on the silky rope thing. That is kinda dreary now!
Even worse was her over-reliance on cover versions... there was a good version of The Divinyls I TOUCH MYSELF which she sang as she writhed on a chaise with hands popping out of it to caress her but a Led Zepplin song was included for the sole purpose in giving the guitarist a solo to cover a costume change. My heart sank lower than a snake's chuffhole when it dawned on me that no... she wasn't just singing the opening verse of BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY - the most over-rated cock in music history - as an intro into one of her songs... she was going to sing the whole damn thing. P!nk also ended the show with a cover of Gnarls Barkley's CRAZY... I mean... c'mon! That is SO September 10th! What made this annoying was perfectly fine songs from her own career - STUPID GIRLS, GOD IS A DJ - were dropped for these covers. If she had to do a cover version - why not LADY MARMALADE which won her a Grammy in 2001 and would have fitted in with the whole Funhouse vibe?
P!nk is certainly a powerhouse performer tho' I didn't particularly connect with her as a person - maybe I need to see her again?