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Dumb and dirty pop served up with satire

House of Blues
Chicago, IL
February 24, 2011
Kesha Kesha

Story and photos by Andy Argyrakis

Now that Lady Gaga's swooped up the next generation of Madonna fans and Katy Perry has the Vans Warped Tour crowd wrapped around her finger, Kesha's making a mark on the sleazy side of the dance floor. Though her pop ditties may appear brainless at face value, the production on her full-length breakthrough Animal (RCA) and follow-up EP Cannibal is loaded with full-throttled club confections that are simply impossible to shake from one's psyche.

At a sweaty, sold out House of Blues, Kesha brought her cheeky sense of humor (as evidenced in the tour's "Get Sleazy" moniker) and an arena-sized show to plow through naughty nuggets like "Sleazy" and "Take It Off," loaded with call and response hooks and mounds of bass blasts. Had the audience been comprised of fans remotely close to Kesha's age (she's 23), it probably wouldn't have seemed so scandalous, but considering the all ages crowd was comprised of teens and even tweens, one has to wonder what their parents were thinking.

Though a role model she's not, Kesha has her finger on the pulse of today's pop culture, turning in tunes wrapped around texting-friendly phrases like "Blah Blah Blah" and "C U Next Tuesday." It doesn't necessarily add up to lyrical ingenuity, but the songs are undercut with a certain sense of sarcasm that makes the singer's silliness add up to one of the most intelligent marketing moves since Madge was a "Material Girl."

While the repetitive themes from the first half of the 90 minute evening quickly wore thin, it was impossible not to sing alongside a hit laden home stretch, starting with sing/speak simplicity of "Your Love Is My Drug." From there, "Tik Tok" tore the roof off the joint thanks to its rippling pulsations, while the lip smacker "We R Who We R" was backed by even more bouncing. After all of her self-penned frolicking, Kesha ended with the Beastie Boys' rap rocker "Fight For Your Right," which was perhaps the perfect summary of her party hardy lifestyle that doesn't necessarily pack the most substance, but sure is pushing plenty of buttons.

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Rihanna / Ke$ha - Concert review - Chicago, IL - August 2010

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