Colby College on October 29, 2016 was the last stop on Kesha’s “Fuck the World Tour”. Due to various lawsuit factors, this tour was completely different than any of her previous ones and featured her performing different arrangements of her tracks with her band “the Creepies”. In interviews, she has stated the idea for the tour stems from a “deep eternal love of dirty rock & roll and country music”. It’s important to note that because of this concept combined with her lawsuit, this was not the over the top stage show many would have seen last time Kesha performed in Maine on August 30, 2013.
Reading post from others who attended, my understanding is entry was extremely disorganized, cluttered and involved a lot of people pushing to “get in quicker”. What I can say in regards to this is I arrived at the venue at 6:40PM with the doors scheduled to open at 7PM. The line was not extremely long when I arrived as I had feared it would be and once the doors opened, it moved along fairly quick. I personally thought Colby did a great job with the set up as it relates to entry having people first show IDs (the show was 18+), then move on to have they’re tickets scanned followed by a security check. This set up resulted in the line moving much quicker than I have seen at other concerts and upon entry, attendees were adorned with cute Kesha bracelets. These acted as proof of proper entry as well as a great souvenir. That last part I mentioned because oddly there was no merchandise table. Would have loved to have gotten a concert t-shirt or even a poster. As I mentioned, this is my experience entering. A lot of people have posted with complaints
in regards to this accompanied by photos that visually show a much different scenario. As you can see, when I entered the venue it was essentially empty so I didn’t witness the “chaos” that has been talked about. The other point I want to make is the blame can not be put on Kesha, and shouldn’t be put on the Colby staff at hand. The blame needs to be put on the select few who feel the sense of entitlement that so many whote about online. I will touch on these few later but just know that MOST of the people there were from Colby but only a select few acted as people have described. The venue was an odd choice as I think the basketball court up stairs would have been a better selection but I’m sure there was reasoning behind why they used the field house portion of the building. As far as the opening act, she was phenomenal. So much so that instead of mashing it into this review, I will be doing a write up specifically for Grace.
Waiting for Kesha’s portion of the concert was a long tedious battle. It was approximately 45 minutes between Grace and time the Creepies hit the stage. The wait on it own was long but that was bearable. Things happen and delays are just one of those things that attendees may have to deal with at any live event. That is NOT what made the wait seem so awful. The issue is that from the time Grace completed her set to the time we just simply relocated from the front (it possibly continued through out the whole show), there were three specific groups of attendees the spent the whole time grabbing, grinding and pushing. These “elite” few made up an extremely small portion of what at this point had grown into a massive crowd. They were drinking, making comments about people that ironically Kesha campaigns against (body shaming/insulting sexual preference) and literally moving people who got there early enough to have a good spot. There was one group of people that all came together, a fairly large group, I would say of about 20, with full costumes who were having a fantastic time and had a great spot toward the front as well. During the 45 minute wait, I noticed that this group, mostly of woman, had been completely pushed out of their spot by 3 drunk men and a few screaming girls who continued to push further. We held our spots however did end up moving on our own after the first song, not because of the few late arrival entitlement brats but because we wanted to cool off and look for a merchandise table (as mentioned, turns out there was none).
Finally the lights went down indicating that Kasha was ready and they began to play Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Appropriate since this was basically a Halloween show. The song played but that was it. Aside from those mentioned in the crowd getting even more pushy now, the Thriller track had nothing to do with Kesha or the concert. Finally the Creepies came on stage to introduce themselves and Kesha. They opened with a variation of “We R Who We R”.
The performance itself was fun and energetic. A lot of people have gone on the internet complaining that the performance was “horrible” and that Kesha sounded “awful”. I personally enjoyed the edgier harder take on her songs. No, it did not sound like her studio compositions of these tracks but that was the point. I have also seen other performances from this tour and this may have been her best when it come to overall sound. The band was on point and Kesha was lively and appeared to be putting her all onto the performance. At one point, with chants of “Free Kesha” as the backdrop, she talked to the crowd about her lawsuit as she has throughout this tour.
As mentioned, we started in the front and moved to the back. I bring this up again to point out a huge contrast in overall concert experience. In the front, it was somewhat hard to enjoy the performance due to those few folks who behaved in a manner that would be considered obnoxious and too much even in the belly of a mosh pit at a drive bar. When we moved out to the side, due to the smaller size of the venue, we still had a great view AND we were able to enjoy the concert in the same way most general admission concerts would be enjoyed. At the end, when we went all the way to the back, what we found was a view that was still great (closer than GA at Darling’s for example), great sound as the acoustics in the back were much better than other parts of the venue, and what appeared to be a costume party of people simply dancing, singing and having great time! What became clear is this was the spot we should have been in from the beginning! Finally the concert came to a close and after half the crowd had left, Kesha came back out and performed “Timber”. The version of Timber she performed was much different than the original recording, as were her other major hits she played, but unlike the other songs, it was also different than the way she performed it at other stops on this tour. While there is plenty of negative stuff that can be said about this concert, when it comes down to it, almost all the negative is based the actions of a few in attendance, not the promoters or the performers. I would have loved to have heard her cover of Iggy Pop’s Nightclubbing that she did at some of the tour stops, but from her cover of “Till the World Ends” that she wrote for Britney Spears, to the Creepies performing the song “Gravitron”, the event proved to be a fun night well worth the price of admission. Great job to the Colby Student Programming Board for making this concert happen.