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Concert review: Kesha sings throwback songs, hits relevant issues

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Kesha at Billboard Music Awards on May 22. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Kesha at Billboard Music Awards on May 22. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Just when you thought middle school was the only place you could fall into a pit of sweat covered in glitter to the tune of angsty music, Kesha arrived at Ohio State.

For many, Kesha serves as the anthem of their “cringe-worthy years,” when “Tik Tok” seemed to be the only remedy to an awkward first-time-ever boy-girl party. I, for one, never woke up in the morning feeling anywhere close to P. Diddy.

Kesha is known for her fashion, and her concert at The Schottenstein Center Friday proved that she’s also fashionably late. The dragged on opening band performances, combined with the 30-minute wait time between each, called to question whether a 2010 throwback artist was worth it — but then she came on stage.

It is crazy how an artist can make a crowd of people trust them just by their presence. Once Kesha immediately told the crowd to forget about schoolwork, rent and ex-boyfriends, she was able to personalize the glittery, upbeat songs into a way for students to escape their stress. Soon, the familiarity of Kesha’s songs actually worked to her advantage as students belted out every lyric from “Dinosaur” to “We R Who We R” as if we were back in middle school again.

The crowd got lit — literally. In the middle of the concert, Kesha spoke about the lawsuit she is still encountering with her producer who sexually assaulted her. There was something so pure about a woman who just spit beer into another person’s mouth, threw her sweat-ridden towel into a crowd and stripped on stage, hitting on a topic that is still a problem across college campuses.

It was then that I realized how much less beautiful this concert would have been had it actually been 2010.

If it were 2010, I would not understand how so many different people in one room could understand Kesha’s situation so well, even if many were lucky enough to not encounter it. I could not appreciate the ear-piercing uproar that came from every section of the crowd when Kesha mentioned the man who assaulted her. I could never wrap my brain around how a huge school felt like a community, when Kesha sang “You Don’t Own Me” and students held their phones up as lights in tribute to her. Lastly, I would never have been able to distinguish the pain in every inflection of her voice as she played the next couple of songs at a slower pace, before returning to her fun-loving self.

The concert ended on higher notes with Kesha doing more Kesha-esque activities, such as pretending to eat her producer to “Cannibal” and littering the crowd with confetti. Ending with “Tik Tok” wrapped up a wild, loud and simultaneously serious concert in the best way possible: with the crowd singing together. And with that, students can go into game day knowing that Ohio Stadium is not the only place that can make a big school come together.

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