Ke$ha - O2 Apollo Manchester

The city's market traders are reporting a run not seen since the great Manchester Glitter Shortage of 1963; stationers across town are out of flourescent markers, and it's all because tonight 3000 teenagers (mostly girls) have raided the dressing up cupboard, rolled themselves in glitter, scribbled luminous slogans across the nearest appendage before making their way out to Ardwick to witness Ke$ha's first headline show in town.

For the uninitiated, Ke$ha completes the trifecta of pop's current big three young pop females - Katy Perry is the cute but naughty one, Lady GaGa's the mad but artistic one, and Ke$ha is the good time party girl that parents hope their daughter isn't hanging out with. So tonight's theme is straightforward: it's a party.

Kicking that party off is electropopster Natalia Kills who performs a half hour set comprised mostly of tracks from her new album, Perfectionist, the highlight being the Eurythmics-influenced 'Mirrors'. As she performs with her backing dancers, she's got an air of cool about her and a strutting confidence on stage that suggests she could be one to watch.

Natalia Kills

Next up are LMFAO, operating tonight a man down but no less relentless for it. They've got a good-time vibe, and a clearly enthusiastic crowd are rewarded with stage antics featuring glow sticks, a dry ice gun and - almost inevitably - a champagne shower. At least we think it was champagne. Could've been Lambrini.


Ke$ha arrives on stage, a pair of glowing sunglasses looming out of the darkness as the swaggering beat of 'Sleazy' kicks in. It's quite the entrance, with Ke$ha banging out the rhythm on drum pads.

While it's all been done before, there's loads of theatricality to the production - the obligatory costume changes, sure, but there's also fake blood during 'Cannibal', a glitter cannon during 'Blow', and during 'Grow A Pear', a chap is pulled from the audience and serenaded, while (somewhat over-literally) a man in a giant pear outfit prances around.

Naturally the singles get the biggest reaction of the evening (although every gyration is greeted with cheers) with main set closer 'Tik-Tok' seeing the house in full voice.

Thankfully the show (and Ke$ha) doesn't take itself seriously, and at little over an hour, there's no risk of it outstaying its welcome. For a debut headline tour, it's an impressively silly piece of work. With a few more hits and the bigger canvas of an arena, she might come up with something sufficiently demented to rival Gaga's Monster's Ball.

Set List: Sleazy / Take It Off / Dirty Picture / Blow / Blah Blah Blah / Party At A Rich Dude's House / Backstabber / Cannibal / Harold / Animal / Dinosaur / Grow A Pair / Your Love Is My Drug / Glitter / Tik Tok // We Are Who We Are / You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party

Photos are copyright Mike Gray, and may not be used under any circumstances. No blogs, tumblr, fan sites etc...

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