The Big Issue : Edition 565
THEBIGISSUE.ORG.AU 29 JUN–12 JUL 2018 17 And Australia has certainly earned her love. In 2009, her Funhouse Tour set the country alight, and she broke John Farnham’s record by playing 17 shows at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena alone (netting her roughly US$17 million of her US$55 million Australian tour total). She broke those records in 2013, performing 18 shows at Rod Laver during her The Truth About Love tour, which saw her perform to more than 600,000 Australians (nearly 2.6 per cent of the entire population, as Junkee’s Jules LeFevre noted). So, what led to this love affair with an entire nation? Pink reckons it’s Australia’s “no bullshit” attitude that keeps her coming back. “I think we have that in common,” she told Nova in a radio interview last year. “I always laugh that, like, the moment I realised Australia was the place for me was when I was on stage and I thought I was nailing it and the front row was so into me and then this woman yelled something out at me and I thought it was something like ‘I love you’ but it was actually ‘I can’t hear you, you should tell them to turn your microphone up’. I was like ‘oh, thanks I’ll do that’. And I think that’s what it was, no bullshit.” Her Beautiful Trauma World Tour will be in Australia during July and August this year, and will no doubt set more records for the artist. As has become a hallmark of Pink’s live shows, the artist will perform high-flying acrobatic stunts that wouldn’t be out of place in a Cirque du Soleil spectacular. In a revelation that seems to speak to the complexities and honesty that has coloured her career, Pink admits, “I hate heights. I’m scared of them. But that’s kind of where the genesis for these types of performances came from, wanting to conquer that fear, showing my girl that. And I’m still scared, but I try to – insert cliché – ‘embrace’ that nauseating feeling.” And Australia will embrace her right back. » Clem Bastow (@clambistro) is a cultural commentator and former music editor of The Big Issue. Pink tours Australia 3 July–29 August. demons along the way,” she says. “And you learn.” The performer credits part of this maturation with becoming a mother of two. “[Parenthood] made me a lot more fun and goofy and less serious. I was always fun, but then I went through a really dark period where there was kind of a cloud there. But now I’m really goofy and silly and all about the laughs,” she says. “There’s definitely flickers of darkness from time to time, but I just put any of that on the album.” That album – her seventh studio effort Beautiful Trauma, recorded while she was pregnant with her second child, Jameson – was released in late 2017. Rolling Stone critic Maura Johnston hailed it as a reminder of Pink’s long-held position as an honest and approachable chronicler of emotional pain. “Pink was dominating the charts with spunky, real-talking anthems back when today’s slow-sad divas were in preschool.” The record’s leading single, ‘What About Us’, was a soaring EDM anthem that also carried with it a sense of protest. In its lyrics like “Sticks and stones they may break these bones/But then I’ll be ready, are you ready? It’s the start of us waking up”, Pink seemed to be offering a rallying cry to the disenfranchised youth of Trump’s America. If her work has often spoken directly to the American experience, Pink has established a following in Australia almost unmatched (except perhaps by ABBA) by any other artist. Songs – such as 2003’s ‘Feel Good Time’ – that barely made a ripple in the US charts have been certified multi-platinum here, and her tours regularly sell out multiple stadium shows. Perhaps as thanks for this enduring support, Pink has also turned her activist’s eye to a number of Australian causes. She was the face of an RSPCA Australia campaign, and in 2009 donated $250,000 to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal following the Black Saturday fires in Victoria.