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Pink equal parts steamed, steamy

For her show at Jannus Landing, the singer packs as much heat as the venue and shows off all her attitude.

By SEAN DALY
Published July 26, 2006


ST. PETERSBURG - Snarly top lip, cool bleach-blond 'do, fist-pumping rebellion packaged in radio-ready hits:

Yep, pop pugilist Pink is definitely this generation's Billy Idol.

And as the 26-year-old singer-songwriter proved at an incredibly steamy and an incredibly sold-out Jannus Landing on Tuesday, being a female Idol can be a very entertaining career choice.

Pink's album sales have dipped since 2001's multiplatinum Missundaztood that's the one with ubiquitous anthem Get the Party Started, but commercial disappointment sure hasn't sapped her fierce, in-your-face spirit.

Heck, she works better when she's ticked off.

During the hit-packed show, the woman born Alecia Moore displayed her sexy anti-establisment spirit in front of a raging six-piece rock band (which was a little too raging at times, often drowning out her deceptively agile pipes).

For opening number 'Cuz I Can, from her new album I'm Not Dead, she took to the stage in long leather boots, a frilly cocktail dress and a long riding crop, which she licked in between delivering defiant lyrics in her growly, soulful wail.

Followup song Trouble, a metallic burner from 2003's Try This, featured the singer flashing her blue panties as she courted only the men who were tough enough to woo her. And just in case she hadn't seduced everyone in the venue, she writhed on the floor during sing-along hit Just Like a Pill.

But woe be the hater who thinks Pink is only in it for the flirting.

"I wanna do a song for you tonight 'cause I think it's awesome," she chirped in a mock airhead coo, flipping her hair and batting her lashes. "I want you guys to pay attention, 'cause I'm easily distracted."

And with that she launched into the vitriolic fun of new song Stupid Girls, which deliciously rips into the Paris Hiltons and Jessica Simpsons of pop culture and features a pleading chorus of "Where, oh where, have the smart people gone?" (Come to think of it, Pink probably won't be invited to Lindsay Lohan's next pajama party, either.)

Of course, for all her toughness, Pink did draw classic Floridian groans when she eeked away from her microphone and said, "Big green bug!"

And her repeated complaints about the balmy weather fell on annoyed ears. "It's really hot. Are you guys hot?"

Uh, yeah.

For the most part, though, Pink's high-octane performance made you forget about the waves of sweat rolling into your Fruit of the Looms. And despite her complaints, she certainly never wilted from the conditions.

For that catchy shrink session Don't Let Me Get Me, in which she worries about not looking like Britney Spears, Pink's pained voice cut through her band's loud chugging as she admitted there's still some self-esteem work to be done.

And in a rousing nod to frequent collaborator Linda Perry, Pink led the crowd in an all-together-now version of What's Up, a hit for Perry's former band 4 Non Blondes.

Most pop stars would be irked that the biggest crowd reaction was for someone else's song. But not Pink: She smiled and laughed and, with a rebel yell, cried for more, more, more.

Sean Daly can be reached at sdaly@sptimes.com or (727) 89308467. His blog is at www.sptimes.com/blogs/popmusic.

[Last modified July 26, 2006, 01:34:01]


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