Pink rocks Atlantic City BeachFest at her first hometown show in four years

Pink tosses a beach ball back into the audience as her performance begins on the beach in Atlantic City, NJ on July 12, 2017.

When Alecia Moore, the Doylestown musician formally known as Pink, made her musical debut in 2000, she was a voice for the outcast, the anti-Britney Spears type. On her sophomore album, Missundaztood, Moore created a savage, pop-rock directive, offering the persona of the pop star with edge, a foil to the squeaky-clean images of such contemporaries as Christina Aguilera and Spears. She sings about addiction, her parents, and, of course, getting the party started.

On the Atlantic City beach Wednesday night, as a part of the 2017 Atlantic City BeachFest Concert Series, and her only East Coast performance, Pink made her return to the area for the first time in over four years (in between, she had a son and released an album as one half of the folk duo You+Me). Over 45,000 fans, some with similarly cropped platinum and rose-hued hairdos as the star, crowded to capacity on the beach, upward of five blocks away from the stage, to get a view of the three-time Grammy winner as she belted hits from her six-album repertoire. If you didn’t stake your claim to a plot on the sand prior to showtime, you weren’t admitted past security.

Currently working on the follow up to her 2012 album The Truth About Love, Pink delivered on hits from her back catalog, including songs that helped the singer transition into bona fide pop star rather than the outcast on the fringes such as “Get the Party Started,” “U + Ur Hand,” and “F—in’ Perfect.”

Appropriately opening the set with a fiery rendition of “Get the Party Started” from Missundaztood, Pink, in a fringe-adorned leather jacket and tan-and-black-striped flowing pants, bellowed through a 90-minute performance that featured all the classic elements of a larger-than-life pop show (backup singers, dancers, and choreography) paired with characteristics of a rock show (live band; booming, soulful vocals; guitar solos). She veered into others’ territory, playing covers of No Doubt, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, and Bishop Briggs (“Just a Girl,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You,” and “River,” respectively).

With more than four dozen singles to her name, every note performed was a familiar one, including popular duet “Just Give Me a Reason,” featuring Nate Ruess of kitsch-pop band fun (whose verse was played via a backing track). An acoustic rendition of power ballad “Who Knew,” from 2006’s I’m Not Dead, served as an all-ages singalong, kids hoisted on parents’ shoulders helping fill verses when Pink herself flubbed over the lyrics.

Throughout the performance, the audience was treated to High School Musical-esque choreography from backup dancers during empowerment anthem “Try,” amped-up lovelorn tale “How Come You’re Not Here,” a Caribbean dance rendition of “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” party jam “Raise Your Glass,” and the poignant “Sober,” during which singer and dancers wore white.

Instead of stars, seagulls peppered the sky as Pink closed the night with “So What,” the ultimate tell-off to any naysayers that might’ve doubted her star power and her ability to top the charts, despite being the analog for the angsty teen, the fun-house rock star. Belting through a less-than-elegant acrobatic spectacle, Pink proved she’s having more fun, anyway.