Thanks to a series of ducts blowing air on her, Kesha didn’t let the heat – or the humidity – slow her down at Battery Park Friday night.
Indeed, she was able to get through 13 songs in less than 90 minutes and still have time to change clothes twice.
Arriving in what looked like a spaceship, she worked those ducts (and a certain four-letter word) through “Woman” while two back-up singer/dancers gyrated more than an Alvin Ailey soloist. All dressed in white, the dancers, the band and Kesha made an impressive splash, then worked through “Boogie Feet” (another high-energy song) and “We R Who We R.” In the process, she got a rainbow flag from an audience member, tied it to her microphone stand and used it as opening to show her support for the LGBTQ community. The latter song underscored her message – “be yourself, unapologetically” – and helped set a tone that remained throughout the night.
Following the number, the Grammy nominee changed while an odd Bjork-like video with large pig-headed characters played. (What it meant, we have no clue.) She returned in a bluish-green fringed outfit that seemed like a hat tip to country music.
Sure enough, that was the theme for the next two songs.
“Bastards,” which she said was inspired by “mean people” (among other things) was written after one of those days “we all have.” It was a quick, to the point, message song that gave way to a Dolly Parton cover.
Easily, you could have gotten a Kacey Musgraves vibe out of this portion of the show, even though the native Californian had Beyonce-level dance moves, Cher-like hair flips and a lot of glitter. Her “Jolene,” however, was quite original – a perfect rendition that would have made Parton proud.
Last week’s Hard Rock headliner, Pitbull, had a hit with Kesha on “Timber.” She performed the song toward the middle of her set, sans the rapper, and pointed up just how similar the two are. Both have backup dancers (hers were male); both don’t believe in halting the pace.
Confetti and glitter – two Kesha hallmarks – were present while she rolled through several more songs and another costume change. She did her biggest hits as encores and admitted she was warned about swearing but didn’t pay attention.
The four-letter words were a bit much, considering they lost their effectiveness with repetition, and the drums could have pulled back on several of the songs.
Still, the 31-year-old performed with passion and gave the audience the kind of show that explained why one of her songs is called “Your Love is My Drug.”
Opener KVBZ wasn’t quite as intense (the California-cool sounds of singer Sean Jacobs were more suited to a less-choreographed act), but had enough music to get the crowd ready for the main attraction. His “Vicodin,” “Be Like You” and “Feels Great” were fine scene setters.
Kesha, though, was in a class by herself. TiK ToK.