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Concert Reviews:
Ke$ha brings glitter, flash to her "party" at the Fillmore
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

DETROIT -- There were plenty of options for those who wanted to party Saturday night (Feb. 26) in downtown Detroit.

Gearheads and hot rod devotees revved it up with Autorama at Cobo Center, while that tattoo nation gathered at the Motor City Tattoo Expo over at the Marriott Renaissance Center. But if glitter, flash and trash was your thing, Ke$ha was the ticket.

If you could get a ticket, that is. The multi-million selling pop singer's show at the Fillmore Detroit was an instant sellout, a testament to her status as Billboard's Hot 100 Artist of the Year and Top New Artist during 2010, thanks an album ("Animal"), an EP ("Cannibal") and five Top 10 hits -- including the chart-toppers "Tik Tok" and "We R Who We R."

Ke$ha celebrated the success with a mostly high-energy, 85-minute show of the Madonna/Lady Gaga lite variety, flaunting Thunderdome-era "Mad Max" staging and costuming, choreography that was simple enough to effectively straddle the pop-rock divide and plenty of irreverent attitude. "Tonight I want to see you on your very worst behavior," Ke$ha told her legion of glittered, fishnet-stocking wearing fans (women and men), but she infused the 17-song set with enough party spirit to make them feel like it was the Best. Time. Ever.

She may trade on a trashy, low-rent image, but Ke$ha (real name Kesha Rose Sebert) scored plenty of style points on Saturday. She opened the night singing four songs -- "Sleazy," "Take It Off," "...He's a DJ" and "Dirty Picture" -- bump-n-grinding between two banks of keyboards on a platform rimmed by a diamond-shaped lighting grid -- making the crowd wait for her to finally come down front for a punchy rendition of "Blow" as she and her two dancers/backup singers fired gold confetti from the stage. "We're taking control," she sang, and she wasn't kidding.

The rest of the show was episodic but enjoyable. "Blah Blah Blah" ripped with a building energy that would have made it an even better opening number, while "Dinosaur" and "Party at a Rich Dude's House" were goofy fun, the latter featuring a mini-drum line and Ke$ha turning a cartwheel. For "Grow a Pear" she brought a fan named Michael on stage and tied him to a chair, but rather than the faux seduction most of her peers perform Ke$ha instead made him part of the party, while dancers dressed comically as a pear and, well, a penis complete with gigantic testicles, bumped against him.

"The Harold Song" scored as the show's only ballad, but Ke$ha does have a few songs, such as "C U Next Tuesday" and "Your Love is My Drug," that are pretty standard-issue pop, rote enough for Nickelodeon or Disney and, consequently, speed bumps in the context of her show. And the final encore -- a cover of the Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (to Party)" -- was a curious anti-climax, sung mostly by a road crew member dressed as Santa Claus, with Ke$ha barely a presence, a comedown after the killer "We R Who We R" that preceded it.

Ultimately, however, Ke$ha's concert gave more of her best than her worst, and plenty of reasons for the fans at the Fillmore -- and probably more -- to come out the next time she throws a party in these parts.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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