On October 29, 2016 I attended a Kesha concert at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. I had become familiar with what to expect to see on her “Fuck the World Tour” via other reviews and videos posted to YouTube. I had taken note of the “special guest Grace” in the concert description and looked her up on youtube as well. I watched the video for “Dirty Harry”, an enjoyable and fun track that to me showcased that Grace would be a great opening act for Kesha. I would soon find out that was a HUGE understatement. When the lights went off, her DJ took to the stage and out came Grace opening the set with admittedly the only track I had heard, “Dirty Harry”.
First thing I noticed was this was spot on. She sounded just as good live as she did in the studio recording I had previously listened too. As the set went on, it became clear that Grace was more than just a “special guest” to be a footnote that night as “the person who opened for Kesha”, she was much more than that. The talent being presented to us was worthy of top billing on any stage. Their was no over the top stage show or dance routines. This was not the average pop star that needed to rely on gimmicks to supply an entertaining show. This performer captivated the crowd, consisting mostly of folks who had never heard her, with nothing more then her stage presence and her voice. Then she performed a cover of Lesley Gore’s “You don’t own me”.
I take that back, she did not simply perform a cover of it, she owned it and made it hers. After that mesmerizing display of audible gold, it was clear that we were witnessing a future superstar. Song after song displayed a vocal range rarely heard in todays music. She was hitting notes at times that gave you goosebumps. Her music itself is soulful with fun hip-hop vibes and her presence on stage is powerful. Another noteworthy detail is her DJ. He was spot on with everything. He was not the average DJ on stage simply playing the backtracks. He was fully engaged with the performance a perfect balance of having high energy without being so over the top that it distracted from Grace. The chemistry between grace and her DJ was flawless. After her set was completed, you were left with the feeling that you had just seen the next big star. I truly hope she returns to Maine for another concert soon, hopefully as the headliner.