WORDS BY DAVID TAYLOR AND PHOTOS BY ROBERT A CHADWICK | Go Venue Magazine
In the past couple of years, pop artists such as Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé have been playing huge stadiums to fit as my people as possible to see them. So, when I heard P!nk was also going on a stadium tour, titled the Summer Carnival, and was hitting up Omaha, I was shocked, as the three artists I listed above skipped Omaha on their recent tours. But, she gave Charles Schwab Field Omaha a chance and, if my recollection is correct, she is the first-ever solo pop artist to play an outdoor concert in Nebraska. Around 35,000 people, mostly dressed up in pink, packed the stadium to see one of pop’s formidable performers.
Grouplove from Los Angeles, CA was the opener of the concert. They brought a poppy, light-hearted, and groovy feel to their performance. Led by Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper, they really utilized the catwalk P!nk provided. You can also thank them for the earworms they provide, as you may have heard “Tongue Tied” or “Ways to Go” from various commercials or on the radio, which they played that night. They had a new album that came out last month, I Want It All Right Now.
Brandi Carlile from Seattle, WA was the direct support of the night. I’ve been wanting to see her perform for a while, so I was so excited to hear she was on the bill. She had such a humbling presence to her. She seemed truly to play on a stage like the one here at Charles Schwab Field. What a great voice she has. The musicianship that her band had was immaculate. She had, at first I thought they were just backup singers, but then they sat in the back and became a string quartet. Phenomenal! She played all her notable songs, including “The Story”, which made me tear up because it sounded so beautiful. She even performed a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep”, which thereafter apologized to the children in the audience for the cursing and talked about having a swear jar at home with her own kids. She performed a three-part harmony tune with the Hanseroth brothers, Phil and Tim, which was pure ear candy. She ended her set with a jam-worthy version of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock”. The next time she is in town for a headlining performance, I will try to be there because she is just an amazing talent.
I have been familiar with Pink since I was a small child when she really broke out, so this was a long time coming. I knew Pink was a performer, but didn’t know she was a legit Performer with a capital P, with her stellar voice, dancing, and acrobatics, she did it all! First off, she jumped off from the top of the stage to the bottom on a rig, kicking off the set with “Get the Party Started”. And then after that, it was hit after hit. Whether you heard it on the radio or in the supermarket, she played it! One thing I noticed from her is that Pink managed to reach everyone from each side of the stage to the people in the bleachers. It was truly astounding and showed that she cares about her audience. And she felt like herself and was so personable with the audience, having such a funny sense of humor. She had an incredible band backing her, including some amazing backup singers, who you knew were all having a great time, and an array of dancers. Shout out to guitarist Justin Derrico, who was such a versatile player. He performed an incredible solo when they kicked into Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker” during “Just Like Fire”, which had pyro going off during the song. During “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)”, she had her dancers dressed up as giant lips. It was such a fun show to just watch. The highlight of her set came from her performing with Brandi Carlile played Sinead O’Connor’s version of “Nothing Compares 2 U”. It was chill-inducing! She ended her set with “So What” with her flying around the stadium, visiting everyone on the upper deck and down below. I’ve never seen a performer like Pink in my entire life, and it was inspiring and beautiful. And it couldn’t have been done by Charles Schwab Field. I want concerts at this venue until the end of time.