At 2:38 a.m. on Tuesday, after just leaving an afterhours party in the East Room of the Executive Mansion, Katy Perry tweeted, “All other parties from here on out will be judged unless they take place at the White House.”

Good thing, then, that the Inaugural Ball, a massive draw of tens of thousands of inaugural goers faithfully dressed in tuxes and gowns, took place before Perry set the new bar for revelry. She was among the performers, along with Jennifer Hudson, Brad Paisley and Smokey Robinson, for an event that looked elegant on TV but had all the feel of an assembly line in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in a space roughly the size of two football fields. Regardless, stars did celebrate even if they weren’t on the White House guest list.

Cyndi Lauper performed at the Human Rights Campaign gala at the Mayflower Hotel. “He said ‘gay.’ Bitch, right!” she exclaimed.

Ke$ha and DJ Jazzy Jeff performed at a Musicians on Call/RIAA event at the 9:30 Club, with gold glitter raining on the attendees, while Goo Goo Dolls headlined a Creative Coalition ball at Harman Center for the Arts. And in the atrium adjacent to the National Portrait Gallery, Common sang at a bash for the twentysomething org Our Time. As he put it, “Our president is in for the second time because he reached for the sky.”