PHOTOS: 6 Weird/Awesome Things About Saturday’s Ke$ha Concert

How much of her show did she get from The Flaming Lips? And is she, y'know, age-appropriate?

Saturday night, Ke$ha headlined the penultimate night of Bethlehem’s Musikfest. The second performance of the second North American leg of her Warrior tour — and the closest she’ll get to Philadelphia — took place in front of the iconic Bethlehem Steel stacks.

With an army of glitter-spackled, glow stick-clad teens (many with their shell-shocked parents) screaming along to hits like “We R Who We R,” “Blow” and “Your Love Is My Drug,” deeper cuts like “Party at a Rich Dude’s House” and the never-released “Machine Gun Love,” Ms. Sebert ripped through 16 songs — including encore “Die Young” — four costumes and an arsenal of props and set pieces, including a giant inflatable pig and set of women’s legs, a rainbow-painted toy car and a jungle gym. She and her backing band and dancers, dressed at turns as samurai, drag queens and furries, were energetic and unapologetically raunchy.

Five observations on the spectacle.

1. Ke$ha loves single entendres

For as loaded with very thinly veiled innuendo as a song like “Gold Trans Am” is (“climb into my golden cockpit,” “burn rubber on the southern highway), was Ke$ha actually concerned that her fans were missing her meaning when she proclaimed at the song’s conclusion, “get inside of my vagina.”

2. No need to rush a costume change

As Ke$ha broke to change outfits, her band played while videos of her ran on the big screens. In one, an underwear-clad Ke$ha grinded on a motorcycle then frolicked on a white seamless background while she tossed vinyl records into the air. Another featured a tattooed guy in a horse head with a giant bear hand — surely the first and last time I’ll write that sentence.

3. Ke$ha has a sly appreciation for rock history

In addition performing a song she “wrote with my mother and Iggy Pop about making dirty, filthy love” (“Dirty Love”), Ke$ha nodded to avant garde collective The Residents with a show-tuney intro to “Blah Blah Blah” that featured her dancers in eyeball masks. Of course, Ke$ha introduced this gambit by asking the audience, “Do ya like balls?” (She ended the song by asking the audience to “take your balls out and tea-bag your neighbor.”)

4. She’s also picked up a trick or two from her friends The Flaming Lips

Ke$ha’s got a song, “2012 (You Must Be Upgraded),” on experimental indie veterans The Flaming Lips’ friends collaboration The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends. The Lips’ Wayne Coyne co-wrote produced Warrior bonus track “Past Lives” with Ke$ha. And her live show borrows more than a few long-running elements of the Lips’ legendary live performances, from streamer fireworks and confetti cannons to inflatable animals and the set-closing on-stage furry party.

5. Gay marriage is gloriously inevitable

Ke$ha rode on stage with a rainbow-painted Shriners-type car and proclaimed herself “supportive of every kind of love,” which was met with wild applause… in the shadow of the former Bethlehem Steel.

6. Ke$ha’s exhibitionist-leaning frankness is hilarious. But is it also, I dunno, inappropriate?

I found it hilarious when Ke$ha introduced “Blah Blah Blah” by calling it a song about a guy who wanted to talk instead of “bone” because “who would want to talk when you could bone?” I also laughed when she concluded said song by instructing men to “take your balls out and tea-bag your neighbor.” It was funny when, after apologizing about the “bad news” that she was about to play her last song, she added, “the good news is now is when you take out your boobs and make out with your neighbor.” And yes, when she concluded her encore by saying “I hope you all get laid,” that too was funny. But then I noticed just how young some of her fans are. Made me wonder.

Set List

1. Warrior

2. The Crazy People

3. We R Who We R

4. Blow

Costume Change

5. Gold Trans Am

6. Dirty Love

7. Take It Off

8. Machine Gun Love

9. Party At a Rich Dude’s House

Costume Change

10. Animal

11. Supernatural

12. C’Mon

13. Blah Blah Blah

14. Your Love Is My Drug

15. Tik Tok


16. Die Young