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Review: Pink and the giant, inflatable Eminem rock Oakland

Fans certainly get their money’s worth at a Pink concert.
The pop superstar basically hits the crowd with everything she’s got, and then some, for roughly two hours. There’s pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, dance routines, hit songs, catchy banter and, yes, one giant, inflatable Eminem (more on him later).
It’s no wonder Pink has remained such a popular concert attraction during her lengthy solo career, which took flight with the release of the debut album “Can’t Take Me Home” in 2000. She is all about exceeding expectations, pleasing the fans and delivering an equally encompassing and entertaining concert experience.
And she definitely achieves her mission with her latest road show, Beautiful Trauma World Tour, which touched down at the Oracle Arena in Oakland on May 18. (A second concert will be held at the same venue on May 19.)
From the moment the pink curtain dropped at the start of the show, revealing the star swinging on a chandelier as she belted out the 2001 hit “Get the Party Started,” to the soaring encore that brought the concert to a close, Pink was absolutely electric and in complete control of the evening.
“Thank you for coming,” she said to the capacity crowd. “Thank you for bringing me to this beautiful place.”

She knows how to get the party started. @pink at the home of champions – #oakland pic.twitter.com/qHjI4xcMf3
— Jim Harrington (@jimthecritic) May 19, 2018

Backed by a solid band and a talented dance crew, Pink stalked a large stage complete with a catwalk that extended out into the audience. Yet, she did some of her best work of the evening when she was several feet above the stage.
Aerial stunts are, of course, one of Pink’s calling cards. And she drew from that bag of tricks on several occasions in Oakland, such as when she embarked on a fairy-tale ride aboard a floating bed during “Just Give Me a Reason.”

Here's giant inflatable @Eminem pic.twitter.com/eSauGHlobk
— Jim Harrington (@jimthecritic) May 19, 2018

Yet, her next trick was even better, which we’d find out as she burst into “Revenge,” one of the singles from Pink’s most recent album, 2017’s “Beautiful Trauma.” The studio recording of that song features the great Eminem on it. But, of course, everyone knew that the rapper wouldn’t show up on this night to reprise his role.
Or would he?
Well, kind of.
Pink did perform the song with Eminem. But it wasn’t the flesh and blood one. It was a giant, inflatable version of the hip-hop legend, which made for one of the coolest and least expected guest appearances in memory. And it worked brilliantly in this case, with inflatable Eminem standing at least two or three stories tall and providing one of the more potent “oh, wow” moments of the night.
Pink also did a few covers, delivering a faithful, if somewhat dull, version of No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” as well as a high-adrenaline take on the Nirvana staple “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Both songs were greeted by big-time applause.

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" part 1 @pink at @OracleArena pic.twitter.com/Q3EckGAsdx
— Jim Harrington (@jimthecritic) May 19, 2018


"Smells Like Teen Spirit" part 2 @pink at @OracleArena pic.twitter.com/oFwGLv9cvN
— Jim Harrington (@jimthecritic) May 19, 2018

“You guys are awesome,” she told her admiring fans. “This city is rad.”
Yes, it most certainly is. And it felt even more rad than usual because Pink was visiting.
Not everything was a big, special effects-fueled production, of course. Pink would nicely change things up on occasion, going from a pyrotechnics-aided version of the oversized anthem “Just Like Fire” to a lovely stripped-down take of “Barbies,” which benefited from some cool cello work.
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She’d close the main set with two of her best —¬†“Raise Your Glass” and “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” — before returning to the stage for an encore that included a high-flying version of “So What.”
And that high-flying comment is meant to be taken literally. Pink, suspended by four cables, flew all about the arena as she knocked out that 2008 fan favorite.
Talk about a rock star.
 

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