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At her Monday night show at Nationals Park, it didn’t feel as if Pink came to brawl. Nor did it feel as if she came with anything to prove. The 43-year-old artist, born Alecia Moore, has for more than two decades been an antidote to the pep of conventional pop, using her don’t-test-me candor on and off the stage to tear down patriarchal standards and promote unabashed individualism. But on her Summer Carnival Tour, she came for the spectacle.

Take her performance of “So What,” the only song in her encore, when, clad in a bedazzled leotard, signature mohawk drooping with rain water, she threw up her firsts. Her eyes widened as she scream-sang the pre-chorus line: “We’re all gonna get in a fight.” But she didn’t, of course. Instead, she was catapulted into the air, swinging and spinning high above the crowd.

It wasn’t just her gymnastic stunts that caused a mix of trepidation and excitement among the 40,000 or so fans, who appeared to consist mostly of Gen Xers and their tweens. The forecast called for end-time-level storms and possible tornadoes that some feared would sweep the aerial artist up to Oz, but the dreary sky made her rain-soaked appearance (after a short delay) all the more exhilarating — especially as she bungeed from a huge pair of red lips at the top of the band shell to the tune of the aptly named “Get the Party Started.”

She kicked off her first act in D.C., her first show here since 2018, with that 2001 single from her second album, “Missundaztood,” and her biggest hits, such as empowerment anthems “Raise Your Glass” and “Try.” Pink’s prodigious contralto was unshakable, but the focus was hardly on the music: A mix of perfectly timed backup dancers and props such as motorized flamingo pool-float scooters made sure that our dopamine-rattled brains were never bored.

Her second act began with her high above the crowd in a graceful rope-swing dance that emphasized the themes of the affirmation-ridden “Turbulence.” She continued with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love,” introduced as “a song I wish I had written.” Her only solo piano song of the night was followed by “Just Give Me a Reason,” which amped up the crowd for radio hit “Perfect” and a version of explosive rocker “Just Like Fire,” which incorporated, among the obvious pyrotechnics, choruses from opener Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker.”

The artist’s 12-year-old daughter, Willow Sage Hart, made an appearance during the third act to sing a chorus on “Cover Me in Sunshine,” a 2021 track that, for once, has Pink asking for reassurance instead of granting it. (“Tell me that the world’s been spinning since the beginning / And everything will be all right.”) This segment of the performance heavily featured newer tracks, with “Kids in Love” showcasing guitarist Justin Derrico’s phenomenal chops and a rain-soaked rendition of “I Am Here” feeling something akin to a gospel song.

Before launching into “Irrelevant,” Pink talked about the hate she receives on the internet: erroneous claims that she’s biologically male and that she couldn’t have given birth to her children, as well as people saying she should “just shut up and sing.” Her short speech was followed by a video montage. As disjointed clips — from women’s marches and Black Lives Matter protests, of Donald Trump mocking a reporter’s disability, of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), unhoused populations and pro-choice rallies — flashed on the screens, it didn’t feel as if Pink was really saying anything.

In 2023, her once-iconoclastic attitude might be a bit redundant. The mainstream culture has caught up to where she was in 2001, when she stood out from the clean-cut performers of the day. So what if her once-anti-establishment image lacks the same brazen bite? She’s still a rock star.

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