Concert Flashback: Ke$ha, New York City, 4/13/11


Ke$ha! (These pictures are from my old Blackberry. I really hated that thing.)

Outside the Roseland Ballroom, the line of Animals stretched a quarter mile down 52nd Street. My first thought, standing with a few of my fellow college-aged friends, was “why the heck are there so many small children here? Have their parents ever listened to Ke$sha?”

No, clearly.

We waited outside for probably an hour and a half. It was standing room only, so we wanted to get there early to get as close to the front of the stage as possible. While we were waiting, “Popcorn, Indiana Gourmet Kettle Corn” was giving away bags of their popcorn. It was wicked good.

Inside, it was hot and tight. The opening act, Beardo, was absolutely dreadful. He was the second* worst performer I’ve ever seen. His songs were petulant, narcissistic, and just plain grody. (Is that possibly the first time those three words have been used together?!)

Beardo started off okay. He looks like a mix between LMFAO and Frank Zappa. He did one song called “Girls Girls Girls and Pills and Pills” that wasn’t awful. At one point, the rapper Dirt Nasty (aka actor Simon Rex from “Scary Movie 3”) came out and did a couple tunes. This was notable mostly because my friend Kate at one time could recite his entire rap battle from that movie!

(*the worst person I ever saw live was without a doubt Justin Bieber. I saw him open for Taylor Swift once. He did terrible covers of Aerosmith and Michael Jackson, faked a drum solo, and I literally left to use the restroom when he started playing “Baby.” Gross.)

Anyways, once Beardo left (about five songs too late), the crowd started to get nasty. It was hot. People were vomming. It was a little bit overwhelming. FINALLY, after probably over an hour, Ke$ha came out.

Glitter on the floor

Glitter on the floor

She opened with the fantastic “Sleazy,” which live has even sleazier lyrics. Without getting too graphic, all I’ll say is that “over to your place” is switched to “all over your face.”

“Take It Off” was especially apt because we were at a place downtown where the freaks all come around. It was a hole in the wall. And most definitely a dirty free-for-all.

“Dirty Picture,” a Taio Cruz cover, was the only song of the night that I didn’t know. But she followed that up with “Blow,” “Blah Blah Blah,” and “Party at a Rich Dude’s House.”  After these three megahits, she dug a little bit deeper into her catalog for “Backstabber,” “Cannibal,” and my personal favorite K$ song, “Animal.”

Whenever somebody groans that they hate Ke$ha, I ask them if they’ve heard “Animal.” The answer is always no. It’s just a spectacular song. Check out the opening lyrics: “I am in love/ with what we are/ not what we should be.” Or “This is our last chance/ give me your hands/ ‘Cause our world is spinning at the speed of light.”

Seriously, if you think Ke$ha sucks, go listen to “Animal.” I think it will change your mind.

Anyways, after “Animal” she played “The Harold Song,” another great, stripped-down love song. She kicked things back into high gear with “Dinosaur” and “Grow a Pear,” which involved her mom running around the stage dressing like a giant, well, you know.

Up next was “Your Love is My Drug,” which was K$’s current hit. At the end, she beat the audience to the punch by shouting “I like your beard” a few beats before schedule. She then closed the show with her biggest hit, “Tik Tok.” According to Billboard, “Tik Tok” was the biggest hit of 2010, and they recently included it on their list of the 100 biggest hits EVER.

After a brief sojourn backstage, Ke$ha returned for “We R Who We R” and a raucous cover of the Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)”– complete with a dancing Santa and the return of the “junk” suit.

During all of the closing numbers, K$ blasted cannons full of glitter, fake money, real money, condoms, and more glitter onto her adoring masses. I was literally finding glitter on my body for days!

On our way out, those “Popcorn, Indiana” popcorn guys were still there, and the girls I was with took an entire box back to their suite at school. It was good stuff.

Outside the show

Outside the show

POSTSCRIPT: I saw Ke$ha again this past May, and took a few terriblawesome pictures. I also live-tweeted a review of her new album. I’m just cool like that.


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