RIGA, TALLINN - Pink, nee Alecia Beth Moore, showed up at a dark time in American pop history: spring 2000. Britney was cementing her claim as everyone's favorite virgin-hussy. The Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync were pretending that their rivalry was as big as a previous generation's well-honored fight between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Kid Rock was acting like his outlaw mediocrity was hip-hop's answer to Johnny Cash.
And then came Pink, with her huge hit of that year, "There You Go," which seemed to only confirm everyone's suspicions that we would never ever again hear a good song on MTV.
It had some brilliant lyrics: "Please don't come around talking bout that you love me / Cuz that love shit just ain't for me." The video seemed to present her as the anti-Britney, anti-Christina, anti-dumb blonde. There she was riding a motorcycle in a leather halter top, taking revenge on an asshole ex-boyfriend.
Pink, a definitely not-nice Jewish girl from the Philadelphia suburbs, is coming to the Baltics, which is fitting enough. (Did you know that Pink is part Lithuanian?) On Oct. 31, she'll be in Tallinn. On Nov. 1, she'll be in Riga. But we'll be getting a far angrier, far bigger badass of a Pink than we would have gotten six years ago.
Her song "Dear Mr. President" bashes Bush's stance on the war in Iraq, gay rights, education reform, and criminal justice. Some sweet, rage-fuelled lines: "Let me tell you bout hard work / Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away"; "What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away / And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay." Our favorite part: "You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine."
This isn't to say that she saves all her rage for terribly popular public figures with Jesus-like followings. In "Stupid Girls," a call-to-arms for intelligent females the world over, she impersonates a "Dukes of Hazzard"-era Jessica Simpson, as she intoned her hatred for all popular big-breasted girls she knew in high school: "They travel in packs of two or three / With their itsy bitsy doggies and their teeny-weeny tees."
Where did the name Pink come from? Some claim it was the weird pigmentation of her skin. Some claim it was an offbeat reference to Mr. Pink, the insane little character Steve Buscemi plays in "Reservoir Dogs," who hates his nickname. And the artist herself claims that it was a childhood nickname. We prefer the "Reservoir Dogs" theory.
Anyway, let's welcome the no longer so stupid Pink to Estonia and Latvia. Grrrl!
Oct. 31 's Saku Arena, Tallinn
Available tickets: 595 kroons (38 euros)
More information: www.piletilevi.ee
Nov. 1 's Arena Riga, Riga
Available tickets: 15-20 lats (21.75-29 euros)
More info: www.bilesuserviss.lv