August 8, 2002
Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheater, Atlanta
As Pink bounced out on stage with her appropriate mega-hit "Get The Party Started," the rock crowd snickered and did their best to ignore the performer. Freed of her teen pop baggage, Pink displayed her nerve backed by a powerful, stripped down band. The audience tried hard to hate her, but by the time she declared, "You can't keep me down" in "18 Wheeler," the tide was starting to turn. While they had been seated and talking amongst themselves early in the set, the crowd started warming up to one hell of a performance from Pink. Then the walls came down.
Any snobbery directed toward her was erased when she pulled out a triple shot of standards to honor her hero Janis Joplin. Starting with "Summertime" then segueing into "Me And Bobby McGee" and "Piece Of My Heart," she wailed like a woman possessed by the classic rock goddess. She wore the songs out in the best possible way. By this time, the crowd was on its feet. After this, Pink didnt let up. Her own blues number "Misery" stood up next to the Joplin tunes with ease. "My Vietnam" surprised everyone with its depth, insight and raw emotion and she owned the room by the end of her set. Hits "Just Like A Pill" and "Don't Let Me Get Me" drove home just how underrated Pink has been as an artist. She surprised a lot of people tonight. I've got a feeling she'll really shake things up with her next release. I can't wait.
P!NK set list (8-8-02)
1. Get This Party Started
3. 18 Wheeler
4. Lonely Girl
5. What's Going On (4 Non Blondes cover)
6. There You Go
7. Summertime/Me And Bobbie McGee/Piece Of My Heart
8. My Vietnam
10. Just Like A Pill
11. Don't Let Me Get Me
Lenny Kravitz was electricity tonight. Slashing through "Bank Robber Man" with counterfeit Lenny dollar bills blowing overhead, he and his amazing band came out swinging. "Rock And Roll Is Dead" was nothing if not ironic. Sure, Lenny's music is derivative, but so were Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones in their time. Kravitz conjured the spirits of them as well as Marvin Gaye, KISS, John Lennon and Prince over the course of his perfectly paced show. He should've had a dragon down his pant leg for "Is There Any Love In Your Heart."
This was a night of highlights. The most passionate guitar playing I've heard all year came during "Blues For Sister Someone." Kravitz and his Sideshow Bob looking co-axeman Craig Ross were shoulder to shoulder like Siamese Twins trying to break free of one another. The sound was blistering and intense. Bassist Jack Daley stood rooted to his spot like John Paul Jones while the guitar men shot notes as clear and bright as laser beams.
The early anthem "Let Love Rule" led into the sweet soul of "More Than Anything" that caused squeals of delight from the girls close enough to be dripped on by Lenny's sweat. Harold Todd dished out some tasty sax to add to the effect. That was nothing, though, compared to the finale. At the end of "American Woman," Afro-sporting drummer Cindy Blackman unleashed a solo that would've made Mitch Mitchell blush. Jazz flavored spikes of sound shook the foundations of the building as she led the band into an utterly relentless version of "Are You Gonna Go My Way." The crowd had reached an almost religious trance state by the end of this rock and roll masterpiece. The encore featured the appropriate goodbye songs "Again" and "Fly Away," and while they were well received sing-a-longs, nothing could match the intensity that had been reached earlier in the show. So what if everything Lenny Kravitz does has been done before. It has never been put together in a way this streamlined and effective. Lenny rocks!
Lenny Kravitz set list (8-8-02):
1. Bank Robber Man
2. Rock And Roll Is Dead
3. Is There Any Love In Your Heart?
4. Dig In
5. If I Could Fall In Love
6. 7th Song
7. Blues For Sister Someone
8. Let Love Rule/More Than Anything
9. Stillness Of Heart
10. Can't Get You Off Of My Mind
11. American Woman
12. Are You Gonna Go My Way
14. Fly Away