Reprinted from late editions of yesterday's Globe.
If anyone else attended the Ashlee Simpson, Kelly Clarkson, and Pink concerts this past week, you too may have had the sensation of moving up the pop music food chain. You may also be confusing the hooks you enjoyed at one show with the hooks you enjoyed at one of the other shows; all three of these young artists sing songs cut from the same bolt of sturdy, radio-ready cloth.
Happily, each makes it her own. Ashlee is the bimbo. Kelly is the stylist. And Pink, bless her soul, is the misfit.
Well-adjusted gals don't wear black-and-blue party dresses and carry whips. But the former Alecia Moore, decked out like a bruised party girl Tuesday night at Avalon, has managed to stake a complicated corner of the singalong market. It's a place where an artist who hasn't won a nationwide talent search and who doesn't have a manager-daddy makes records skewering the president, bubble-headed celebutantes, and her own messed up family. And Pink has made sure the stuff is fizzy and fun enough so that everyone will remember the chorus.
Backed by an exuberant six-piece band, Pink kicked off the show with her latest mission statement, `` 'Cuz I Can," and sang many other songs from her new album, ``I'm Not Dead." She's hardly a warm and gracious personality; onstage Pink is rather awkward and a little prickly. But that's what sets her apart and why we believe her when she sings a prom anthem gone very wrong (``Just Like a Pill"), an acoustic blues (``The One That Got Away"), an ill-tempered dance tune (``Leave Me Alone"), or an emo-anthem analyzing her obsession with singer- songwriter Linda Perry, Pink's frequent collaborator (``Lonely Girl").
As if to underscore her sick fixation, Pink sang Perry's big hit, the 4 Non Blondes tune ``What's Up?," with every sneer, howl, and crack intact.
Deadline required an early departure, but word is Pink ended the show with the glitzy dancefloor smash ``Get the Party Started." And isn't it like her -- confounding unpredictable girl -- to close it down just when things were getting going.
Opener Matt Nathanson proved himself the pied piper of acoustic pop: cursing, cajoling, and bullying the audience into submission. Who needs inspired songs when you've got a winning personality?