Pink sure knows how to throw a party on a Saturday night.
I’m comin’ up so you better you better get this party started
Get this party started on a Saturday night
At KAABOO Del Mar, the 38-year-old singer-songwriter did just that — and did so with energy to spare, despite declaring early on that she was under the weather.
With the music on full blast and the stage all lit up, she arrived for her 8:25 p.m. set right on cue. The lively entrance from the back field kicked off the singer’s first time at the Del Mar festival. By the time she reached the stage — flanked by two massive screens — Pink was roaring to go, showing off some moves so infectious that many in the audience danced along with her.
She jumped right in with “Get the Party Started,” her biggest-selling single from the 2001 album “Missundaztood.”
And with that, the KAABOO crowd, numbering in the tens of thousands, showed they didn’t any more convincing.
“Let’s get this party started!” screamed the 60-something woman next to me, dressed in all black and dancing with three friends. “Pink!”
Much like what KAABOO impresario Bryan E. Gordon said earlier in the day — that the festival is geared for those “17 to 70” — the crowds at Pink’s concert Saturday cut a wide swath demographically. Grandmas and grandpas. Empty-nesters. Teens. Moms and dads with young children. Millennials.
Pink, who first emerged in the 1990s as an R&B singer, has made the transition — quite successfully — into other genres, namely pop and rock. And with that transition, she picked up fans of all ages — many of whom sang along to her songs throughout the evening.
With the Pacific Ocean behind her, Pink closed out Day 2 of the three-day festival with a mix of old and new, all punctuated with that unique kind of Pink energy many of her fans have come to love.
Her trademark raspy voice was surprisingly strong despite being sick, and in songs like “Try” and “Just Give Me a Reason” (both from 2012’s “The Truth About Love”), she shined.
Pink is as much as performer as she is a singer, and Saturday’s concert delivered in both departments. (There was even a surprise marriage proposal — she said “yes.”) At times, the stage was awash in colorful lights and filled to capacity with backup dancers. Many dance moves were heavily choreographed, but not to the point of being robotic and predictable.
As enjoyable as her high-octane numbers were, though, the pared down, acoustic moments proved to be the most memorable. Thirty minutes after taking the stage, Pink sat down next to her guitarist, Justin Derrico. Her performance of “Who Knew” from 2006’s “I’m Not Dead” album was simple, understated and vulnerably touching.
Pink has an uncanny ability to connect with her audiences whether jumping about the stage lights all ablaze or sitting on a stool accompanied only by an acoustic guitar.
But it’s during those quiet moments, like in the moving performance of 2010’s “F**kin’ Perfect,” when Pink shows why more than 20 years later, she can still throw a party on a Saturday night and tens of thousands will show up.