There’s gold at the end of every rainbow.
After a busy weekend of huge shows in the Twin Cities, from Lizzo’s return, to two days at the Baslicia Block Party, to Phoebe Bridges at Surly, to Lissie playing sold out shows at the Parkway, the Armory finished with Kesha’s last show of her 2021 tour. As many of the fans can attest to, it was pure gold from an empowering siren and vocal force in Kesha. Although the setlist only included 13 songs (setlist here), the 90 minute show entertained with 5 unique trademarks of a Kesha show.
Before Kesha even took the stage, the lights went down and the slow build up began. The crowd danced and sang along to the preview songs, awaiting her presence. It didn’t stop at any point in the evening. Her performance of “Timber” (Pitbull cover) and “Blah Blah Blah” had the feverish crowd bumping along. “Tik Tok” received the most cheers as opening artist Betty Who joined her to sign and dance along.
“Your Love is My Drug” also drew the audience into jumping up and down, shaking the floor and engaging the sides of the deep venue. It shows the influence Kesha has when her band of 3 can bring the entire audience to their feet. Also being the last night of the tour, everything was perfectly timed and perfected, energizing the performance even more.
There’s really no other word to describe a Kesha show. Between the 4 outfit changes, the tinsel cannons, the 5 huge inflatable props on stage, the dancers, and the lighting and smoke effects, there is plenty to watch onstage. This over the top design and intent fits aligns with the playful and edgy music of Kesha. Designed to hold your eyes up front, while her dynamic and strong voice keeps your ears ringing, there is a candyland effect of being in the crowd.
The finale with “Blow” filled up the front half of the venue with confetti raining down. The rainbow behind her glowed as she slowly disappeared one final time. Like a flash, the extravaganza of it all is over. Feeling charged with the show, you’re left carrying that energy out the door.
Empowerment Mixed With Sexual Inclusiveness
Right before her second song, “We R Who We R“, Kesha welcomed everyone, no matter their orientation, to the evening. The leather outfits, leashes, chains, and costumed mascots all incorporate into this edgy acceptance of kink and sexual exploration. Built around the strength of her songs and lyrical fireworks, it ties everything together.
The other side of this equation is a heavy theme of female empowerment. Before singing “Women”, Kesha dedicated the song to all the women in the crowd, shared she will never fake an orgasm ever again for a guy; stating, “You make me cum motherfucker.” She took moments in the evening between songs adding to this with words of being who you are, and being powerful in what you do.
Kesha candidly pushes the line of shock and awe. Before playing “Take It Off” she urged the crowd to throw their clothes onstage. This lead to a barrage of shirts and bras to hit the front. Whipping them around, stringing them on the guitars and microphone stand, Kesha reveled in the moment.
At the end of “Raising Hell” she bent over to the audience with her dancers forming a heart around her backside. “This is the last night I’m wearing a thong on tour, so everyone get a good picture of it,” then prompting the audience to send those photos to her later. Later in the show her backup dancers requested dick pics and dump truck photos to be DM’ed to them. This edge and vulgarity is a trademark to Kesha and only adds to the sizzle of her shows.
Near the end of the show, Kesha stopped in the middle of “Praying” to restart the song. She said it was the last time she was going to get to sing it and really wanted to take it in. She requested everyone to sing along. Emotionally impactful, Kesha has control of the stage at all times. Like a spell, everyone stayed hypnotized until she walked off to change outfits. The instant she came back had everyone once again focused.
The crowd held up phones during “Rainbow” in another example of the power of her presence. Walking around the venue, you could see each section connecting to her in their own way. Fans would be singing to their friends, dancing against the rails, or holding their hands high in agreeance to the music.
There’s gold at the end of every rainbow.
Last night we experience a nugget from Kesha that holds more value and importance in those 90 minutes than many marathon shows we see. It’s in these 5 trademarks that combine for a special evening of sparks, sizzle, and acceptance in who we are and how powerful our rainbows can be.