Review: P!nk: All I Know So Far 2021 By Michael Gracey
We’re out and I’m not in sweatpants,” Pink proudly announced as she stepped out onto the stage of the Hollywood Bowl for the premiere of her new Amazon Prime Video documentary, “Pink: All I Know So Far,” which she described as “a movie about my family, and some stadium stuff.” Bringing that stadium stuff down to its most basic level, the singer preceded the screening with an acoustic four-song mini-set.
Pink was performing for an audience of about 4,000 healthcare workers, frontline responders and other invited guests, very socially distanced in groups of four throughout a venue that seats 17,000 — second in a four-part series of free shows that the LA Philharmonic is putting on for essential workers in May and June in advance of the Bowl’s official reopening to the public July 3. Two nights earlier, Billie Eilish had introduced a similarly limited free concert by the LA Phil. In April, Sara Bareilles filmed a streaming mini-concert at the Bowl to an empty house. But Pink still had the privilege of being the first pop performer to sing before a live audience at the Bowl since 2019.
Anticipation had been high, but no guarantees made, that Pink would preface the screening of the doc with a live performance. She didn’t disappoint the 4,000, bringing out her guitar player, Justin Derrico (“one of the loves of my life, and the greatest guitar player alive in my opinion”) for a short set whose simplicity stood in contrast with the bigger-than-Broadway theatrics and acrobatics documented in the film that followed.
The singer opened with “Cover Me With Sunshine,” which she recently issued as a duet with her daughter, Willow, then followed with an older single, “What About Us,” a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” and the new film’s just-released title song, included on a live soundtrack album of the same name. “I screwed that one up, I apologize. It’s only my second time singing it outside of Garage Band, she said after singing “All I Know So Far” (co-written with “Dear Evan Hansen” writers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul).
Dressed in a yellow Valentino gown, Pink said at the outset, “Thank you for being here, all spread out and gorgeous. I want to say to my healthcare workers and my frontline workers, you are the real heroes. My mom was an ER nurse all of her life, and my stepmom was an Army Vietnam nurse, so I grew up in hospitals. If you put me in a hospital gown, I’ll sleep for four days. I am so glad that we get to celebrate you all finally. We couldn’t get through any of this without you. You are tireless and dedicated and brave and we just love you love you. It means a lot to me to be here and sing for you all.”
On the red carpet prior to the performance and screening, Pink told Variety that she never intended to do a reality-based project, but once she decided to do it, she was all in. She and husband Carey Hart said they never asked director Michael Gracey (“The Greatest Showman”) to stop filming.
“When it gets hard, that’s the good stuff,” she said. “That’s life. I want the gritty. I want the hard. I want the challenge.”
Although Pink spends much of Gracey’s doc sans makeup, she glammed up to go on stage at the Bowl, while being characteristically playful with Derrico, doing an air-hand-slap with him at the end of a song and quipping, “I’m not sure if he and I are allowed to touch. I want to play Tetris with all of our bodies.”
Introducing “Time After Time,” Pink invited the audience to “sing along with one of my very, very favorite songs. I performed this on tour for a while, and the original singer (Lauper) actually showed up to the concert, and I was so excited. And I did the thing that you’re not supposed to do: I pointed her out with the spotlight, in the middle of the crowd, and then for the rest of the show she was basically taking pictures and signing autographs. She never spoke to me again, but I still think she’s great.”
The screening was followed by a short, pre-recorded Q&A between Pink and Gracey, in which she was unabashed about having the film serve as a home movie to document her relationship with her and husband Carey Hart’s children — now-9-year-old Willow and 4-year-old Jameson — that would preserve a record of their love for generations to come, as much as a standard tour doc. And, indeed, the film spends so much time with the two kids, both entertainers in their own right, that if it were a fiction film being put into contention for awards, both Willow and Jameson would realistically have to be put up in lead actor categories.
“Enjoy my children,” the singer said just before the film started, “and if anyone wants to rent them out after tonight, hit me up on Twitter.”
“Pink: All I Know So Far” comes to Amazon Prime on Friday.