Donning a ripped American flag t-shirt and a guitar that at points seemed more prop than instrument, Ke$ha wrapped up the 20-city initial leg of “Get $leazy,” her first headlining tour, selling her fans exactly what they paid for – attitude.
The line for drinks at Ke$ha’s Friday night Palladium show was surprising if only for the number of fans of legal drinking age. Ke$ha, whose trademark intransigence would seem to appeal more to the rebellious, brooding high school girl than college student (or college student’s mother), has managed to attract a broad range of followers without branching out into non-music enterprises like many of her young pop star contemporaries. Her new album, “Cannibal,” employs similar themes and styles to her debut “Animal,” begging the question of how long the 24-year-old will be able to sell out shows with simple bad behavior party anthems.
Opening with “Cannibal’s” “Sleazy,” Ke$ha alternated between tracks from her two records, including fan favorites “Dirty Picture,” “Blah Blah Blah” and “Tik Tok.” And while the singer displayed some of her dancing acumen, most of the gleeful bounding around was reserved for her backup dancers while the star trotted around defiantly, as if rebelling from a stage lined with invisible parents.
The crowd’s energy began to dip somewhere around the 45-minute mark of the 80-minute set, but Ke$ha, as advertised, knew how to shoot some life into her party. Selecting a 20-year-old “ripe victim” from the squealing audience, a backup dancer strapped the boy to a chair for song “Grow a Pear.” While Ke$ha grinded all over the fan, a dancer in a giant penis costume whipped him with his oversized testicles with all the enthusiasm of a child happily smacking a pinata.
Delivering muscular but not deafening renditions of her party-girl anthems, Ke$ha, admirably, did not try to deliver anything un-Ke$ha-like. There was no introspective editorializing between songs or the performance of anything less than crowd-raising. In all, Ke$ha delivered precisely what her audience came to see: glittery, irreverent fun wrapped up in a patriotic, girls-just-want-to-have fun package – literally. Her t-shirt, a ripped and tattered American flag, goes for $1,600 at Balmain – assuming, as you would, that she wasn’t badasss enough to buy the knockoff.