After the release of her double platinum album Funhouse last year, P!nk set out on a world-wide tour. The Australia leg of the tour was sold-out — all 60 shows. A camera crew went along, and the fruit of their efforts is the recently released DVD/CD set Funhouse Tour: Live in Australia.
The CD portion of the set is a selection of the songs performed on the DVD portion. Three of the tracks are covers (AC/DC's "Highway To Hell," Led Zepplin's "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You," and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"), one track is from I'm Not Dead ("U + Ur Hand"), and the rest are all off of Funhouse. The choice of including cover songs in the concert is a boggling one, but to include them in the recording as well makes me wonder why they thought it would be better to do that than to have live versions of more of P!nk's songs. Don't get me wrong — they're classic songs and I can see why P!nk would want to cover them. But, I felt like they needed more of her style/touch to make them worthy of being included in this recording. "Bohemian Rhapsody" in particular sounds almost like she's singing to a karaoke track, which is a testament to the quality of the performance of her band and backup singers, but not something that excites me as a listener.
I don't know how anyone has the strength to keep going full throttle day after day. P!nk's body may be up to the stress of the athleticism of her performances, but her voice isn't. If you want a recording with spot-on vocals, pull out your copy of Funhouse, because what you'll find on Funhouse Tour are energetic, passionate performances with weaker, almost broken vocals. Live audio recordings are fickle beasts. On the one hand, you often get moments captured for all time that could never exist in a studio environment (i.e. the electric guitar solo in "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You"). On the other hand, they never quite replicate the experience of being at the concert. The listener is left with the feeling that they've missed something that would make the recording more like looking back through old family photos rather than looking back through some stranger's family photos.