Ke$ha Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion August 2, 2011
See glitter, glow-in-the-dark attire and some mighty afros from Ke$ha, LMFAO and Spank Rock (and their fans) in our slideshow.
Halfway through her sparkly, sordid and sweaty extravaganza Tuesday night, Ke$ha dropped to the floor of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion stage and, while hunched forward, began to perform "The Harold Song," in which she longs for companionship and says she would gladly give up all of her fame, fortune and even glitter (we assume) if only she had someone with whom to share her bed.
Not in the sexual way, believe it or not; in the romantic, I-don't-want-to-sleep-alone way.
As the song ended and the crowd cheered, she softly breathed a thank-you into the microphone, telling the crowd, "I love you guys."
It was nothing like the Ke$ha we've read about, and it was a stark contrast to the Ke$ha we had been watching up until that very moment.
She may be a puppet in an industry only concerned with making a quick buck, but there may be substance behind this diva. And if she can write more songs like "Harold" on her forthcoming albums, she may even be able to appeal to a few less-than-sleazy young women. In the meantime, she'll stick to what works.
"Harold" was, of course, an anomaly in an evening full of glitter, glam, boobs, balls and, believe it or not, a few appearances by Santa Claus. If that wasn't enough, Ke$ha played guitar a few times.
Appropriately, the show began with the warped feminist anthem "Sleazy," as the lady of the evening stood in the middle of the stage, sporting sunglasses with bright LCD lights on them.
"This song is about taking your clothes off," Ke$ha told the crowd as the backbeat for "Take It Off" began. Fittingly, the male dancers onstage began stripping, eventually making their way to the edge of the stage with old-timey cameras, pretending to be paparazzi, snapping photos of the crowd.
After "Blow," a man sloppily dressed as Santa Claus walked out onstage, didn't say or do anything, then walked offstage while Ke$ha switched outfits. After changing into more patriotic garb (a red, white and blue tank top), the slutwave queen reappeared and addressed the crowd again.
"Houston, when I say 'Blah,' you say, 'Blah,'" she said, holding a guitar shaped like an AK-47. If there's one thing Aftermath is good at, it's following simple directions. We complied.
Anyone who thinks Ke$ha's lyrics don't have authenticity to them can write off their suspicions as untrue. "Backstabber" is apparently about grand theft auto. Yup, Ke$ha said so herself.
A few years back, Ke$ha told the crowd, she and then-friend "Jeanie" stayed up all night partying, and when Ke$ha woke up, both "Jeanie" and Ke$ha's car were gone. We would have called the police, but Ke$ha went to the bathroom, brushed her teeth with a bottle of Jack Daniels and proceeded to write a song about the incident.
Mick Jagger would be proud.
During "Cannibal" she strapped one of her male dancers to a Saltire (an X-shaped cross) and pretended to rip his heart out. She then proceeded to drink "blood" from it. At this point, Santa brought Ke$ha a chair and then walked back offstage.
Still, we had no idea who this guy was.
"Grow a Pair" is about a boy who wanted to talk when Ke$ha wanted to have sex, which is apparently a no-no in the young lady's book. As the song began, she asked if any boys in the crowd were up for some punishment. She then pulled an 18-year old onstage, Saran-wrapped him to a chair (Santa helped) and began dancing around him, occasionally grinding on his leg or arm.
One of the male dancers reappeared onstage, dressed as a pear. Witty, right? In case the crowd didn't get it though, another guy emerged dressed as a penis, fully equipped with two testicles that Ke$ha began fondling.
The fourth Santa sighting of the night occurred when he brought a mike stand onto the stage. At this point, he still hadn't said a word, though no one in the crowd other than us seemed to care.
For her encore, Ke$ha reappeared onstage wearing a glow-in-the-dark suit, complete with a yellow helmet with feathers attached to it. She kind of looked like a peacock on ecstasy, or something.
"We R Who We R" closed out Ke$ha's performance, but Santa wasn't quite ready to head back north, apparently. Our surly friend grabbed the mike and began singing "Fight for Your Right to Party" as a piñata bobbed above his head.
Ke$ha then ran back onstage with a glitter-blasting gun, showering her dancers and fans with more gold sparkles. The dancers destroyed the piñata, and all of them humped Ke$ha as she positioned herself on the ground, before Santa carried her offstage.
Maybe her music isn't very good; maybe she isn't all that talented; and maybe everyone in attendance at last night's concert wasted their money supporting an industry that is willing to put anyone in the spotlight as long as they make an easy puppet.
And maybe, just maybe, she gave us hell of a good time.
Personal Bias: We wouldn't have paid money to see the latest pop-rock icon in the making, but we can always appreciate a good show. And a good show, this was indeed.
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Overheard In the Crowd: "At least they saved the best song of the night, the Beastie Boys cover, for last!"
Random Notebook Dump: In case God ever considers giving me a daughter, I have to say that I disapprove of Ke$ha's message. But from the perspective of a 23-year-old male, I can't say that I'm not somewhat fond of the whole "Get Sleazy" thing. Not with a straight face, anyway.