Kesha takes the stage and unapologetically lives her truth

If you’re looking for a show where they go hardcore and there’s glitter on the floor — Kesha’s “Rainbow Tour 2017” is the destination. The pop-rock artist performed to a sold-out crowd at The Ritz Raleigh Monday night.

The tour is in support of her recently released album, “Rainbow.” The collection of tracks — which marked a departure from electro-pop and moved into country-rock territory — made up the majority of the set list.

Kesha fans (referred to as Animals) waited outside the venue for hours in anticipation for the singer. They came out decked in rainbow colors, but the biggest dress code rule of the night was glitter.

After the hordes of Animals settled into the venue, Reigning Sound, a garage rock band that Kesha has been listening to since she was 15-years-old, kicked off the night as her opening act.

After one too many of their “hits,” their songs began to blend into one never-ending song. Additionally, the lead singer’s voice could barely be heard. Maybe because the crowd was too busy talking to be bothered by the band’s lackluster performance.

Reigning Sound showed no sign of stopping anytime soon as their performance began approaching an hour, but a Ritz employee entered the stage to notify them that it was time to go. Like that, the band was gone, to the crowd’s delight.

Thirty minutes later, the lights began to dim and the backing band entered the stage. The crowd began chanting “Kesha” in unison.

When she strutted in a Western-style pantsuit from the right side of the stage, she brought with her an aura of positive energy that revived the crowd after the opening act.

Kesha kicked off the night with “Woman,” a female empowerment anthem. During the song, she declared herself as independent, “motherfucking woman,” singing, “Don’t buy me a drink, I make my money, don’t touch my weave, don’t call me honey, ’cause I run my shit, baby.”

She got the crowd dancing during “Boogie Feet,” backed by two male dancers moving in sync with her. She urged her Animals to stop “living in resentment, (and) choose redemption” on her track, “Learn to Let Go.”

Before launching into “Hymn,” a song she said was dedicated to anyone who never felt like they had a song, she thanked her fans.

“You’ve been there for me during, hands down, the most difficult time in my entire life,” Kesha said. “I don’t know what I did in my past life to deserve y’all in this life, but thank you. This record wouldn’t exist — actually I know for a fact it would not exist without my fans.”

After playing several songs off her new album, Kesha took it back to the classics — and that included taking it all off.

She began to tease the crowd by taking off her bolo tie and her jacket. She unbuttoned her shirt to reveal another layer underneath this new country exterior — she’s still the party girl from 2009.

She used the tease as a starting point for a performance of “Take It Off,” one of her first hits. During the bridge, she told everyone to raise their middle finger up in the air.

After, she jumped right into “We R Who We R,” an anthem about living life without apology. The audience went chaotic, jumping up and down and screaming every single lyric of the two songs.


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