Ke$ha's $leazy Tour: On the $cene in NYC -- are Carl Bernstein and Nora Ephron closet Ke$ha fans?

KeSha

Image Credit: Rob Grabowski/Retna Ltd

A line of showgoers—most of them teenagers, and collectively wearing approximately one metric ton of glitter—furled down three city blocks in Midtown Manhattan last night to see Ke$ha perform at the Roseland Ballroom.

The crowd was about what one would expect from a Ke$ha concert: Boys wearing mesh tank tops, girls sprinkling glitter on each other’s bare legs, some put-upon parents who’d rather be anywhere else, some Cool Moms who were all too happy to chaperone, and 20-somethings like myself who were pretending to be there for ironic purposes but were actually pretty stoked.

I was surprised, though, by how unexpectedly awesome the show was. Judging from some less-than-stellar TV performances, my expectations were low, but for what it’s worth, Ke$ha sounded at least as good live as she does on her recorded tracks. And as far as onstage antics go, she packed infinitely more entertainment value and energy into the show by way of pure, unabashed silliness than Britney Spears did in her much more expensive and lavish Circus tour.

I left the concert with an understanding and appreciation for Ke$ha that I hadn’t had before—and having to pick glitter out of my hair for the next three weeks is a small price to pay for enlightenment.

But first, I have to mention the utter travesty that was Beardo, the night’s opening act. When he first jumped onto the stage, I thought he might have been some children’s novelty act fresh off the bar mitzvah circuit: an unholy mixture of Weird Al, Andrew W.K. and Freddy Spaghetti.

A thirtysomething man with no beard to speak of, just a greasy mustache, he looked like a kindergartner who dressed herself for class photo day circa 1992: Seizure-inducing magenta tights and homemade t-shirt, and in place of a side ponytail, a curly mullet that could put old-school Billy Ray to shame.

I stood in the mezzanine with all the parents and joined them in absolute horror as Beardo sang about creating a “blizzard” in his nose (“Drugs! On my mind … Drugs! All the time”) and getting kicked out of class for selling grass. The parents didn’t need to worry, though, because it didn’t take long for their teens to realize that Beardo wasn’t cool enough for them—he was getting booed off the stage by the third song.

Toward the tail end of Beardo’s set, I spotted the person I’d perhaps least expect to see at a Ke$ha concert; the white-haired gentleman standing next to me wasn’t just another parent/grandparent chaperone but renowned journalist Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame. While I was pondering the fact that I was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the man who inspired the book and film Heartburn and the Oscar-winning 1976 drama All The President’s Men, when who walks into my eye line but screenwriter, author, and director Nora Ephron!

I couldn’t imagine why these two refined individuals in their late sixties—who also happen to be famously divorced—would be at the same Ke$ha concert, but a quick iPhone Wikipedia search explained it all: Their youngest son Max is Ke$ha’s touring guitarist and bassist. The exes stood far apart, and I didn’t see them acknowledge each other all night, but they both seemed to enjoy themselves and bopped their heads with the beat—I hope Nora doesn’t feel bad about her neck this morning as a result.

Ke$ha couldn’t arrive soon enough, and she put on an amazing show from the opening number (“Sleazy”) to the two encores. She began on a raised platform surrounded by her collection of electronic instruments, but by the fourth song, “Take a Dirty Picture,” she was down on the stage doing some hilarious dance moves and incorporating as many props as possible.

The choreography didn’t come across as all that synchronized or rehearsed, but Ke$ha and her dancers looked like they were having a blast. Some highlights: Ke$ha shot a glitter cannon and threw a few confetti bombs during “Blow,” ate one of her dancers to the bone in “Cannibal,” and danced with a walker while singing the unapologetically ageist “Dinosaur.” At times, she was almost upstaged a few times by her hype man, who was dressed as a very Bad Santa, but Ke$ha delivered from start to finish.

The funniest moment of the night came when Ke$ha asked for a “man who enjoys being abused” from the audience and chose 18-year-old Andrew, who was wearing his mom’s Suze Orman-esque leopard-print jacket. She tied Andrew to a chair with duct tape and gave him a lap dance while singing “Grow a Pear. Then a dancer dressed as (yes) a pear joined the tease show—a clever and somewhat subtle visual pun, until another dancer, dressed as a pair of exactly what you’d think, showed up. This is Ke$ha, after all.

I think Ke$ha doesn’t get much respect because people have a hard time seeing what she brings to the table that other pop solo artists like Britney, Gaga, and Katy Perry don’t already, but her persona was fully on display last night, and it was all her own.

She gamely plays the role of the Bad Influence, the party girl with impulse-control issues, but she does it in a way that’s so blatant (“I want to see you all on your very worst behavior!”) that kids and authority figures are both in on the joke. And don’t mistake it, Ke$ha is an artist with a message. As she said last night, “Be yourself. Unapologetically. Always. … Get laid!”

More from ew.com:
Avril Lavigne’s acoustic cover of Ke$ha’s ‘TiK ToK': Watch it here
Ke$ha shoots co-star James Van Der Beek and countless unicorns in her ‘Blow’ video

Comments (42 total) Add your comment
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  • ERNIE CAPSLOCK

    HOW FAT DID SHE APPEAR IN PERSON?

    • Annika

      Not fat at all! She’s a healthy normal girl

      • Georgie

        hmmm really

      • Dpa

        Agreed

    • Georgie

      Ha love her but pretty fat

      • Dpa

        Not nice georgie

    • Dpa

      Dude why does it matter what she looks like? She rocked

    • Dani pa

      Not cool

      • Dani pa

        But she drinks too much

  • Jay

    I freaking love Ke$ha, and I am SO not her audience.

    I’m a 34 y/o married guy… and I’m a musiacian, so I like to spout off about things like “artistic quality”, and “musical talent” quite a bit.

    I know Ke$ha’s music is largely producing and auto-tuning nonsense, but I cant help but like the girl. I’d give anything to hang out with her for an hour or 2

    • K

      Been fighting back severe depression the last eight months and kesha instantly makes me smile whenever her music comes on.

      • Annika

        Hey K, that’s great! I’m sure she’s glad her music can touch you like that

      • stan

        exactly the same effect on me. Last yr was also tough for me but her songs kept me sane. I know it is just silly lyrics but when u are depressed, u feel so serious and that’s when her songs are the antidote. you begin to loosen up and fantasize about waking up in the morning like diddy and partyin with no care in the world!!!!

      • Georgie

        omg whenever im in a bad mood “your love is my drug” makes me feel better

      • Dpa

        I like dinosaur when I’m down

    • Annika

      I saw lots of people in their 30’s and beyond at the concert, and not always with children!

      • Dpa

        There were plenty of people old enough to drink or they at least had fakes

      • Yassn

        graigaurie 03 aofbt Oui, c’est vrai, c’est tellement beau de voir la psniuasce humaine face e0 une bestiole dresse9e e0 ne pas fuir face e0 un cheval ( ou un homme ), voir un homme arme9 et prote9ge9 de multiples clowns environnants attaquant une bestiole sans conscience qui n’a rien demande9 e0 personne Qui n’est meame pas violente e0 la base, cela dit en aparte9 ( e7a se voit que je supporte pas ce soi disant spectacle??? )

    • Georgie

      Dude my mom and dad like her too. my mom came to the concert and she was all rocking out HAHA

      • Dpa

        My dad came and hated it so much

  • #1ke$hafan

    I was at the roseland ballroom concert last night! she was awesome! beardo sucked! the crowd kept pushing, and ppl were vomiting! I was some were in the front,but had to move back because people were falling from the pushing and i almost got killed! but all in all ke$ha was fabulous! I love you ke$ha! :)

    • Annika

      OMG, it was soooo crowded! I thought i might vomit too

    • Georgie

      i didnt see vomiting but there was this one mom who was screaming at this kid and the security had to come break it up. it was sooooo weird

      • Dpa

        I saw that! Crazy drunk mom

    • Dpa

      Beardo was the worst the description here was way too nice

    • Dpa

      Btw my friend puked gross

  • DJ

    I think she’s disgusting, not talented and a terrible influence on the youger generation. If I had a daughter in her teens there is no way on earth she would be attending one of her shows. There is too much good out there to waste time and money on someone like this.

    • Georgie

      hmmmm don’t take it so serious! its not like we hear whatever kesha says and do the same thing. she’s just fun

    • Dpa

      Dude like the writer said, it’s all a joke

  • Annika

    I was at this concert too! It’s so funny, everyone was talking about how much Beardo sucked when everyone was leaving.

    • Georgie

      He was soooooooooo baddddd. My ears!!!!

    • Dpa

      My friend thought he was hilarious and bought his cd

  • Albers

    HAHAHAH this is hilarious. I think this is one of the best EW headlines I’ve ever read. I can’t believe Mr. Deep Throat was at a Ke$ha concert. I think I would have thought I was hallucinating.

    • Georgie

      Who are those people?

      • Dpa

        Famous writers. Didn’t see the, and don’t know what they look like

  • Georgie

    OMGGGGZZZ, I was there last week too! It was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to Britney, PCD, and Madonna! It was so much fun and so ridiculous and so crowded. There were lots of fights and arguments and the staff had to get involved a lot, LOL.

    • Dpa

      Long island moms!

  • Dpa

    I was there! This review is hilarious and spot on. I went with 23 kids from school and I’m gonna tell them all to read this

  • Dani pa

    LOVED IT best night of my life

  • ha long tour

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