- The Washington Times - Monday, July 17, 2006

Pink is an interesting performer.

Born Alecia Moore, the 26-year-old has already been in the business for more than six years and has carved out a very successful niche for herself. She’s not a sensitive singer-songwriter like so many other young women on the music scene. Yet she’s not a pop puppet, despite her platinum blonde tresses and sassy sex appeal. She co-writes her songs and has ditched the R&B; that made her debut, 2000’s “Can’t Take Me Home,” a success in favor of rock-pop that appears better suited to her singular persona.

Just think of her as the Joan Jett of our day.

The Pennsylvania native brought her brand of slightly elegant trashiness to the 9:30 Club on Sunday night. She opened the rollicking concert with “‘Cuz I Can,” a tough anthem from her recent release, “I’m Not Dead.” Clad in a sharp black blazer and wielding a black schoolmarm-type pointer to emphasize her moves, the singer could have easily been mistaken for a dominatrix.

“I don’t play by your rules, I make my own,” Pink sang, underscoring the rebelliousness that’s become her trademark. “I’ve still got it,” she said at one point. “And I’m still pissed off.”

However, unlike Alanis Morissette — another songstress famous for being angry — Pink has fun. She soon ditched the black jacket and the rod and got down to the business of putting on a very good show. The multiplatinum artist could probably have filled a bigger hall, but playing in a more intimate setting gave her a chance to work the room. She had no problem developing a comfortable rapport with the 9:30’s capacity audience, even as she occasionally flashed her diamond encrusted teeth at the crowd.

Pink’s strong voice certainly could have filled a bigger venue, sounding bluesy at times, as on “The One that Got Away” and a 4 Non Blondes’ 1993 hit “What’s Up.” (Blondes’ vocalist Linda Perry co-wrote much of Pink’s breakthrough album, 2001’s “Missundaztood.”)

Pink’s backing band also deserves credit for tearing down the house. Half of her six-piece accompaniment was female; Janice Tanaka on bass was a particular standout. Keyboardist Jason Chapman was given a long solo to open “Family Portrait.” Musically, it was a strong piece — though it does seem rather de rigeur these days for young female singers to release songs about family angst.

The night’s encore brought a surprising acoustic set. The band brought back their electric guitars to end with Pink’s biggest hit, 2001’s fun “Get the Party Started.” The lyrics were perhaps inappropriate as a closer, but the energetic dance number ended the show on its highest note.

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