Ke$ha, LMFAO, Spank Rock
Gexa Energy Pavilion at Fair Park
August 4, 2011
Better than: trying to get by without water in this climate.
The Gexa Energy Pavilion's stage housed a two-story steel scaffolding with vertical LED light rods and a large diamond in the center. A bit after 9:30 p.m., Ke$ha appeared in the beaming diamond, wearing illuminated shades and a glittery black leotard with ripped fishnet stockings.
Indeed, Kesha's set contained a number of such stage gags.
First was the Alice Cooper-like gags in "Cannibal," with Kesha taking a bite out of a dripping piece of meat and a dancer getting tied up and replaced with a skeleton. Second was an attendee named Freeman being ushered on stage to get plastic wrapped on a chair; as "Grow A Pear" played, Kesha placed a bra on the guy and a dancer in a tall penis costume "teabagged" the attendee with the outfit's sagging testicles.
From "Pear," Kesha played her hits "Your Love Is My Drug" in a tacky, racoon-looking "spirit hood" and she followed that with "Tik Tok." The crowd peaked on the track as glitter sprayed from launchers at the center of the house and on the stage.
Between the frequent gaps on her lines and concealing her efforts with backup dancers and the the crowd singing along, questions emerged: Can Ke$ha actually sing? Maybe, but not so greatly in this environment.
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The show's closing "encore included the single "We R Who We R," with Ke$ha and dancers in blacklight-painted leotards (once again) and bright helmets. Then came a cover of the Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)" with a cheap Santa in a white-shirt and Kesha donning the Texas flag as a cape.
LMFAO opened at 8:10 p.m. with the dance group Quest Crew in white and neon hoodies popping to a cut of printer-jam dubstep, followed by the duo entering the stage and starting up the track "Sorry for Party Rocking." Redfoo appeared to have hearts painted on his arms as Skyblu's hair whipped around through. All tracks in their set included sight gags, much like Kesha: "Put that Ass to Work" saw a couple dancers suggestively working a Shake-weight; "Sexy and I Know It" saw the duo stripping down to speedos; "I'm in Miami, Bitch" saw the duo in touristy-shirts and palm-tree balloons. Keeping up with the group's schlock image, "La La La" had Redfoo playing a Keytar hooked up to a vocoder to catch his voice Peter Frampton-style. The crowed peaked at the new single, "Party Rock Anthem." Because of lack of space on the seated rows, any shuffling was infrequent in the house. LMFAO's set ended with the crowd-pleasing "Shots," marked by a pause and set-ending barrage of movement with the duo and dancers.
Spank Rock warmed up the crowd with a quick mix of verses and tracks that resembled minute-long punk rock tracks.
Personal Bias: I'm not convinced or impressed by Kesha's Peaches-Lite image. In my column "The Problem With..." I've characterized Ke$ha as a malicious Joker-like figure out to destroy music. Some people just want to watch the world blo-o-o-o-o-o o-ow.
Random Note: For all the talk about individuality, a lot of fans showed up with Ke$ha's blue lipstick, teardrop paint and spirit hoods. For shame, kids!
By the Way: After seeing her from afar, I gotta say that Ke$ha looks better with Steve Buscemi eyes.