Kesha - Electric Brixton, London
Quick warning, expect strong language ahead. But then this is Kesha so you're expecting that, right? On the back of her return to the music frontline with the stunning Rainbow, the Nashville singer brings her tour of the same name to the UK for one night only. At the tight but well laid out Electric Brixton.
The real trick of Kesha's return is that her new songs are written very specifically about her, but they're translatable to her entire audience as well. The sold-out crowd is covered in glitter and sparkling outfits and are calling for the main lady a full half hour before she's due on stage. The outsider vibe that the singer has always had is key to her appeal, and her greatest trick is changing the aspect of that outsider status. Now she's a voice for all, exhorting her adoring audience to be themselves, stand up for individuality, and not put up with any shit.
From her opening defiant "We fucking did it", through opening song 'Women' with it's chorus of "I'm a motherfuckin' woman, yeah" and constant middle finger salute this isn't your average pop star gig with clean-cut stories of love and perfectly formed dance steps, but again... this is Kesha. Strangely for live shows her new stuff, from Rainbow, are the strongest part of the set, though the crowd is moving throughout and hits like 'TiK ToK' and 'We R Who We R' still have the greatest impact.
The highlights are the opening salvo of 'Woman', 'Boogie Feet', 'Learn To Let Go', and 'Hymn', the last of which provokes an almost hysterical reaction from her "UK Animals". Matching that is the final trio of a stunning 'Praying' mimicked word for word by the glitter-ati, 'TiK ToK', and the empowering "fuck you" 'Bastards' ("I'm sick and tired of people, of bully motherfuckers, making us ashamed of who we are…").
It's a powerful and emotional half hour, splattered with moments, like Kesha feeding "her baby bird" - basically spitting beer into the crowd - or collecting gifts from the audience, including a rainbow cat, rainbow flag, and handmade sign "Kesha be yourself". Or there's the bit where her mum sings 'Godzilla' with her, and the most touching moment, when a synchronised display of "Kesha you're our rainbow" signs brings a tear to the singers eye. It was that sort of night, emotional and powerful, and it's been that sort of journey for Kesha.