Pink review: Summer Carnival Tour offers the perfect finale to the end of Aotearoa's summer

It began with a nod to the 1980s in the form of Max Headroom and ended with an homage to the 1953 version of Tinkerbell - and for the first of a two night sojourn in Auckland, the nostalgia from Pink came in the form of the songs you've known, heard and loved over decades.

With Auckland's Eden Park renamed 'Eden Pink' in honour of Alecia Beth Moore and with every other person decked in some form of pink from hats to feather boas, furry outfits and sparkling light up ears, the atmosphere was celebratory.

And the lady in question was in a mood to party as well.

From parachuting in at the start before kicking off a high energy performance of 'Get the Party Started' to twirling trampolinists through 'Trustfall', this was a celebration doused in nostalgia and utter joy, a reminder of what it was like when the carnival came to town and everyone came together to enjoy it and revel in the good vibes.

Telling the audience at one points her "cheeks were numb from smiling", Pink was all grins and waves as she prowled the stage, waving at random people in the crowd, wishing 'Happy Birthday' to those who'd brought signs in and even at one point, sharing a pack of Twizzlers with some lucky front row participants. (And did we glimpse light up poi deployed at one point during the show as well?)

But along the way, there were the tunes that have become earworms over decades of radio airplay. The ever brilliant 'Just Like a Pill', a stripped down acoustic version of 'Don't Let Me Get Me', a galloping 'What About Us', it was all there for the taking.

Along with a troupe of dancers, tight choreography and pyrotechnics, the Summer Carnival tour was in town - and there was no messing about. A slick backing band gave Pink the canvas she needed to excel on and throughout the show, among the vibrant lights and on-stage graphics, there was always something to see, something to dazzle the senses and something to leave you agog.

Pink's infectious energy and joy emanated from the stage throughout. If it was work, it really didn't show during the two hours of performance.

Yet in among the pop music bluster and fury, the quieter moments shone.

The aerial spectacle at Pink was second-to-none.
The aerial spectacle at Pink was second-to-none. Photo credit: Supplied - Tom Grut

Despite getting repeatedly angry at herself for starting each sentence with "um", the emotion was palpable when her daughter Willow, complete with buzz cut, red dress and nickname of "One Take Willow", joined her for a live rendition of the twee but heart-tugging 'Cover Me in Sunshine'. As it ended, Pink's face overflowed with emotion as only a mother can with her child; Willow on the other hand, was more interested in skipping off backstage and leaving her parent to earn the family a crust.

If the crowd went crazy for her cover of 4 Non Blondes' seminal 'What's Up' and Pat Benatar's 'Heartbreaker', it was the finale of the punkish, ebullient anthem 'So What' that pushed them over the edge into something resembling a frenzy.

Pink's infectious energy and joy emanated from the stage throughout. If it was work, it really didn't show.
Pink's infectious energy and joy emanated from the stage throughout. If it was work, it really didn't show. Photo credit: Supplied - Tom Grut

As it began, Pink said she was "coming to see y'all" before letting a wire cartwheel her around the stadium - all while performing. An incredible spectacle that showcased both acrobatic skill and vocal assuredness, the finale was everything a good finale should be - breathtaking and leaving the crowd in no doubt they wanted more.

Feel good entertainment in extremis, and with something for everyone, Pink's Summer Carnival was the perfect mix of showmanship, jaw-dropping spectacle and pitch-perfect singalong nostalgia.

Pink plays the last night of the Aotearoa leg of her Summer Carnival Tour at Auckland's Eden Park on Saturday, March 9.