Live Review: P!nk + Tones And I at Marvel Stadium, Melbourne

“It’s so good to be here in my hometown to play the biggest show I’ve ever played,” says Tones And I as Marvel Stadium fills up with crowds of fans. She starts off with a cover of Bob Dylan’s Forever Young and her powerful booming vocals reach far to every corner.

“I understand that nothing here is mine and I don’t take your energy or being here for granted. The energy is something you choose to give us, and we will take that and give it straight back to you,” she says whilst glowing in a sparkling green pantsuit, united with her choir family.

Tones And I powers through hit after hit including Cloudy Day and Never Seen The Rain to her most recent song Dreaming, and even sharing her yet-to-be-released next single coming out on 12th March called I Get High. The audience dances along to her high energy pop anthems delivered with an impressive vocal performance and commanding stage presence.

We watch a video that plays on the screen featuring a montage of clips to showcase her music journey to get to where she is today. She explains how she’s been playing music all her life and still remembers the first day she busked on the street, playing music for people walking by as one of her most favourite moments.

“I never thought that songs I would write would see me from busking and living in my van to stages like this across the world. I’d like to take you all back to a time when it was just me and my keyboard making music and playing it on the street,” she explains. Tones And I continues with the first song she ever wrote, and the first song ever released called Johnny Run Away, which transitions into Rihanna’s Diamonds and she brings her nanna on stage with her as the audience lights up the arena for the special moment.

Her biggest hit Dance Monkey is sure to be known by everyone in the crowd who sings along to every word, and she ensures she continues her tradition of getting down low with the crowd and jumping up together before the last chorus. Her whole crew including her nanna joins in for the big finale Fly Away.

As the stadium darkens, we watch a video with a digital P!nk on the screen welcoming us to her Summer Carnival. She asks us to come with her and leave it all behind, to scream, cry and laugh as she explodes onto the stage with Get The Party Started. We’re immediately drawn into her celebration for a good time of fun as dancers ride scooters around the neon-lit stage with inflatable flamingos and fireworks set off into the sky. P!nk straps in to an aerial bungie and launches into the air – flipping herself around in circles to show off her jaw dropping acrobatic stunts.

She wastes no time to give her fans exactly what they want with old favourites including Who Knew, Just Like A Pill, emotionally charged Try and dance remix version of What About Us to round out the first act of her set that sees her only just warming up.

An interlude dance sequence of a heartbeat monologue slows down the beat for the second act and P!nk wraps her legs around aerial silks for some incredible stunts. She manages to spin around and hang upside down, demonstrating remarkable strength, power, and grace so effortlessly – all while belting out a tune without missing a single note on Turbulence.

As P!nk catches her breath, she walks over to the piano to join in with her band mate playing the chorus of Most Girls. “This is the part when he gets to play any song that I’ve ever had anything to do with and if I guess it, I get candy. But here’s why I can’t play the game anymore – because this was the only place I could go on earth where my kid couldn’t find me to take my candy,” she jokes as she looks around trying to spot which of her children stole some. She spots some Maltesers from a fan in the crowd and she’s happy again after she gets her chocolate fix and continues.

“I try to write love songs, but it always just takes a left somewhere and gets kind of violent and scary. But other people write love songs so there’s enough of them in the world. This is one of my favourite songs (Make You Feel My Love). It’s a Bob Dylan song but it became my favourite song when I heard Adele sing it,” she reveals, before singing the heartfelt ballad as she plays the piano.

“I played here at this stadium 22 years ago at a festival called Rumba,” P!nk recounts, as she looks out at the audience of more than 50,000 people for the first of her four headline shows here this summer. Thanks for having me back,” she says, with heartfelt gratitude towards her fans who have supported her since the turn of the Millenium. “You guys made the rest of the world feel like they were missing out on something,” she jokes, acknowledging her massive Australian popularity. Her fans keep coming to her shows because she puts on a show like no other.

The second act ends with flames shooting up from the stage for the supercharged anthem Just Like Fire that transitions into a cover of Pat Benatar’s Heartbreaker, featuring trilling electric guitars for an exciting hard rock energy hit.

Act three allows everyone to catch their breath for some more mellow and emotional songs including stripped-back acoustic versions of Please Don’t Leave Me and Don’t Let Me Get Me. Cover Me In Sunshine is a highlight when she invites her daughter Willow Sage Hart on stage to sing with her. “When this song fell into my lap a few years ago it was like a huge hug. I did not write this song but I’m so glad it found me.” She recounts the time when she recorded the song during the pandemic. “I taught myself Garage Band which is a big deal for me because I could record myself at 40 for the first time without anyone else in the room. I was singing it, and Willow ran in and sung on it in one take.”

After the beautiful moment with her daughter, P!nk get’s sentimental and opens up about losing her father in 2021. “It’s hard to believe my dad is gone. I don’t know how else to explain it but some days it’s just weird when people leave,” she says candidly. She connects with a fan about imagining what kind of animal their late fathers would be if reincarnated. P!nk tells us her dad is a hawk looking down on us from above as she shares the deeply personal and emotional track When I Get There, written for him.

“This next song is not meant for shoes – it’s about letting go,” she shouts as she kicks off her glittery platforms for I Am Here. To end the third act, P!nk shares a cover of the 4 Non Blondes track What’s Up? She reveals she got arrested for singing this song out of the third floor of her friend’s attic for disturbing the peace. “So let’s all disturb the peace together for one big party!” She exclaims.

P!nk harnesses her fearless energy for the final act including three tracks from her latest album – TRUSTFALL, Runaway and Never Gonna Not Dance Again. Charging forward with electronic beats for a huge dance break to start and then getting into roller-rink-ready disco-funk for a huge pop moment as the stage bursts with colour.
An encore of So What has P!nk attempt one final show-stopping aerial stunt that has to be seen to be believed. Even for fans who have seen her do similar stunts on previous tours are still amazed as she harnesses up and shoots out at the audience like a slingshot. She flys up into the air and moves 360 degrees around the stadium as confetti cannons explode over the crowd. A spectacular fireworks display sets off around the stadium for a big finish to mark the end of the first Summer Carnival Tour in Melbourne.

Words by Michael Prebeg

Photos by Amanda Lee Starkey

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