Pink at Nationals Park

Cellphones buzzed with alerts as the national capital region was told to shelter in place due to severe thunderstorms in the area. The National Weather Service warned of a severe weather outbreak, with widespread damaging winds, possible flooding and isolated tornadoes. The federal government even released employees early to ensure the workforce avoided getting caught in the bleak conditions.

And yet, as Washington, D.C., prepared for one of the worst storms the region had seen in more than a decade, tens of thousands of dedicated souls refused to budge — not until they had a chance to sing and dance the night away with the iconic Pink.

At Nationals Park, ominous skies, swirling winds and periodic flashes of lightning could not dampen the spirits of the fashion-forward faithful adorned in their best and brightest outfits — albeit underneath ponchos, trash bags and anything else capable of protecting against the elements.

Welcome to one of the most sought-after tickets of the calendar year — Pink’s Summer Carnival Tour. Good weather sold separately.

While the date had been circled for months for many in the area, the evening did not get off to the best of starts, with alt rockers Grouplove cancelled entirely and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Pat Benatar + Neil Giraldo forced to perform an abbreviated 30-minute set due to the weather. That said, Benatar, accompanied by husband Giraldo on piano and guitar, sounded amazing and made the most of her limited time on stage. By accelerating through the opening acts, the artist formerly known as Alecia Beth Moore was able to take to the stage a little after 9 p.m. and perform her entire breathtaking show.

The main event began with a Max Headroom-style version of Pink appearing on giant video screens, which instantly energized the packed venue. Armed with a harness and bungee cord, Pink herself made an acrobatic grand introduction high above the crowd — and stage — at Nationals Park to officially “Get The Party Started.” The track proved the ideal selection to jumpstart the festivities, not that the packed baseball park needed any encouragement, as they roared their approval while the Doylestown, Pennsylvania native bounced, bungeed and flipped her way down to the actual stage.

The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter kept the good vibes going with “Raise Your Glass,” as the stage filled with backup dancers, disco balls and even giant pink flamingos. During “Who Knew” interpretive dancers joined the fun, performing on the catwalk while Pink belted out the chorus on the main stage. Every song was its own spectacle and each built upon the last. With so much action and excitement on (and above) the stage, all you could do was buckle up and enjoy the exhilarating ride.

Over the course of two captivating hours, Pink dazzled the rain-soaked masses with an adrenaline-fueled, 23-song set spanning her impressive and illustrious career. Having released her ninth album, TRUSTFALL, earlier this year, Pink had more than enough material to pull from throughout the night. Whether performing smash hits like “What About Us,” “Try” and “Just Give Me a Reason” or newer numbers such as “TRUSTFALL” and “Never Gonna Not Dance Again,” the 43-year-old showed why more than 35 million people stream her music each and every month.

Nats Park was treated to a special moment midway through the evening, when Pink brought out her 12-year-old daughter Willow Sage Hart for “Cover Me in Sunshine,” a heartwarming mother and daughter duet.

The entire evening was a series of incredible performances that simply could not be contained by a mere stage, as evident by Pink’s willingness to soar high above the stage and floor seats, gliding to the further corners of the ballpark during the encore performance of “So What.” The impressive aerial display involved with the final number presented Pink with a well-earned victory lap around the entire venue.

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