Liveshot: Headliner Pink delivers energetic performance with too many covers

Reya Mosby and Sage Dunlap

Fragmented lyrics and computer glitches blared from the American Express Stage speakers — a distorted mix that perfectly suited the wacky, eclectic nature of Pink’s ACL set. 

Headliner Pink took the ACL stage Saturday night for a 90-minute performance of her most beloved hits — as well as classic throwbacks from other artists. The Grammy-winning pop-rock artist brought a confident stage presence that only comes from a seasoned performer. 

From airborne somersaults to large beach balls bouncing through the crowd, Pink went above and beyond — literally — to energize the crowd. While most efforts to bring energy to her set proved productive, others felt distracting and cheesy. During performances of throwbacks like “Get the Party Started,” colorful filters, bubble letters and cartoon heads overlaid the projection screens, which prevented fans far from the stage from seeing Pink and her band. These psychedelic visuals persisted through the set, and while aiming to match the nostalgic appeal of Pink’s hits, ultimately felt silly and distracted from the pop star’s performance.

The singer-songwriter delivered a vocally impressive set, her voice seemingly never tiring as she worked through her catalog of belty songs. Her voice particularly shined on “Just Give Me a Reason,” hitting the climax of the song with ease and delivering full, high notes. Additionally, Pink’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” made for another musical standout and refreshing change of pace from her otherwise upbeat set, with Pink taking a solo moment to play piano and showcase her rich vibrato saturated with emotion.

Pink’s performance of “Cover Me In Sunshine,” a duet between the singer and her daughter, created the most special moment of the night. The song ended with a recording of Pink’s daughter singing the ending chorus as the singer smiled out to the crowd, a sweet and memorable moment in the set. Rather than creating a dynamic spectacle for audiences, “Cover Me In Sunshine” felt like a special, fulfilling moment just for Pink.

Pink featured her early 2000s hits and an extensive section of various covers of iconic songs, from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes, creating an ACL performance built on nostalgia. While fan favorites like “Raise Your Glass” and “So What” encouraged the whole crowd to scream-sing along, the set definitely contained a few too many covers. 

The singer-songwriter overloaded her set with other artists’ music — a disappointing realization for audience members expecting a set reminiscent of the artist’s lengthy and successful pop-rock career. While the extensive list of covers spanned multiple decades and genres, the set did not feature enough of Pink’s own music.