P!nk live at BST review by Ryan Beardsley.

I’ve always had a crush on Gwen Stefani ever since I saw that No Doubt video back in 1995, so how could I resist the chance to see her perform in the UK for the first time in 16 years!? Speaking of many moons ago, It appears Stefani is impervious to Father Time as she marches onto the Hyde Park stage looking just as fantastic at 56 as she first did on TOTP nearly 30 years ago.

It’s a great slot for her, warming up an already oiled-up crowd and we get treated to a nice mix of No Doubt classics, solo hits, and the obligatory new single. Not only that we also get a star cameo in the shape of Eve for Rich Girl and Let Me Blow Your Mind, only in London I guess.

The big hits hit hardest, What You Waiting For? sends the crowd into a frenzy before Just A Girl blows the roof off (there was no roof but you know) and Stefani’s voice is as impeccable as her appearance. The highlight is predictably Don’t Speak, written by Stefani about her break up with her No Doubt bandmate, it’s just a great pop song and she gives it her all here and truly resonates with those in attendance.

One minor critique, were all the F bombs really necessary? This was a family show with tons of kids in attendance, maybe I’m being an old curmudgeon as it was a terrific show but still, let kids be kids ay?

An hour later and almost by magic, the clouds shift and the sun is blazing over Hyde Park for the arrival of Pink, or should I say P!NK? The band arrive on stage and we can hear her from somewhere but we can’t see here, then low and behold the mouth atop the stage opens and there is P!nk, hanging some 50 feet in the air ready to Get The Party Started.

It’s an astonishing opening as she bungees down to the stage and back up again, truly I’ve seen nothing like it and those around me are in raptures, and why not? 

There’s a lot of audience back and forth as she collects gifts from those brave enough to man the barricades all day to get a glimpse of their hero. Honestly, I think I underestimated the popularity of P!nk, I had no idea she had such a devoted fanbase but there’s a genuine connection here to the young fans and it’s really heartwarming. 

There are a few surprises, including a Bob Dylan piano cover which is a welcome change of pace to allow the crowd a breather, and she does it justice here, a little treat for the dads in attendance.

The rest of the show is made up of 4 acts and I’ll try not to ruin any more of the surprises, but rest assured it’s an absolute treat for the eyes and the ears throughout. Most of the big hits get played in Act I, Just Like A Pill and Who Knew especially are pop songs done right, power vocals, catchy hooks, and lyrics that deserve more than a second glance.

The set ends as it started with an incredible spectacle and 70,000 plus people singing along to So What and every face I see is beaming (and slightly sunburnt) but I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer’s evening.

Check out the link here for tickets to more of the BST events

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