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Ke$ha Gets Sleazy at the Hollywood Palladium (Fans, Midriffs and Glitter Galore!)

There were a lot of songs about alcohol.
There were a lot of songs about alcohol.
Jena Ardell

[Originally published Saturday, May 7, 8:38AM]

[Commentary by Dave Parkman]

What: Ke$ha

Where: Hollywood Palladium

When: Fri. 5/6/2011

Ke$ha brought her Get Sleazy tour last night to the Hollywood Palladium. Openers were HAIM and Beardo.

Here are some photos of Ke$ha, some of her (many) Ke$halike fans, and some running commentary about Friday's well-attended gig:

Ke$ha is in there somewhere, underneath all the glitter.
Ke$ha is in there somewhere, underneath all the glitter.
Jena Ardell

The crowd: Many, many packs of young girls (estimated average age: 15-22), occasional small groups of flamboyant dudes, one or two infants (yup, some parents bring actual children to see Ke$ha--one of them was snapping pictures of the scantily-clad teen girls with a mad glint in his eye).

The dress code: Ah, the dress code... Glitter. Animal prints. Glitter face paint. Metallic fabrics. Torn t-shirts. Bare midriffs. Animal print made of metallic fabrics. Wraparound microminiskirts. Nothing fitting properly. Basically, most Forever 21s in L.A. and environs must have been raided by gaggles of young ladies following the call of Ke$ha. (See Jena Ardell's photos below)

Welcome to Hollyweird.
Welcome to Hollyweird.
Jena Ardell

The opening acts, part 1: Peculiar choices, shall we say. HAIM (aka, veteran local indie rockers The Haim Sisters) were professional, competent and clearly in command of early slot, even though the Ke$haettes weren't paying much attention to the long-haired sisters and their Zep- and Fleetwood Mac-inflected repertoire. An act more at home at the Echo or the Troub, and definitely a strange fit for the "We Want Ke$ha" clubby girls filing in.

The opening acts, part 2: Ah, good old Beardo... And we mean "old" literally. (Overheard in the crowd: "Is that Ke$ha's dad?" They were not kidding.) Beardo is something in of a local institution, at least in the sub-Paris Hilton, sub-Charlie Sheen, even sub-LMFAO, circles frequented by the likes of Simon Rex/Dirty Nasty and Mickey Avalon. You're probably familiar with this one-man party band that peddles a cross of 1985 Beastie Boys mayhem, 1995 Kid Rock frat-boy rap and 2005 Andrew W.K. schtick. If you saw Beardo doing his act at the Venice Boardwalk (or even at The Smell) it would be hella amusing. At the Palladium, opening for Ke$ha (he was a trouper: everytime he wanted the girls to start screaming he would start chanting "Ke$ha"), he just looked like a strange old dude inexplicably yelling his name and bragging about high-school antics and drugs to a bunch of tarted-up teenagers.

Ke$ha performs at the Hollywood Palladium.
Ke$ha performs at the Hollywood Palladium.
Jena Ardell

The DJ: Between sets, the girls were treated to the DJ stylings of none other than Destructo, the mastermind of local dance operation HARD. It went (mostly) very well, and he even deployed a left-field sample of the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" onto the glittery crowd (kudos). His attempt to ask the largely underage crowd "You guys know about HARD?," though, failed hard.

Party in the Palladium!
Party in the Palladium!
Jena Ardell

And then there was Ke$ha...:

 

The Ke$ha Cometh: Ke$ha took the stage standing in the middle of a neon pod, wearing neon sunglasses and playing a mad-scientist's array of synths, drum machines, and other devices (was that a Theremin?). She was backed by a proper band of music pros, plus a few dancers, all decked out like their leader in cheap-looking, ripped Halloween costumes.

Her set is short-ish (about an hour), but she's up there working it for the duration. Ke$ha's fans are a devout bunch: not only are they decked out like the diva, but they mouth every lyric with deliberate precision.

It's clear that for the Ke$haettes, Ke$ha's lyrics are meaningful and even full of truth and insight about the human condition. Go to one of her shows to see evidence that what might sound banal, trite, calculated or plain terrible to many of her critics, is actually life-affecting for many 16-22 year old young women with a penchant for glitter, beer and ill-fitting Forever 21 outfits.

Pretty girl COVERED in glitter.
Pretty girl COVERED in glitter.
Jena Ardell

The shenanigans: Ke$ha rails against paparazzis. She also pours fake blood on her mouth before singing a ballad. She talks about how awful men are in a way not dissimilar to a kinda crappy lady comedian you might see in the middle slot at the Laugh Factory. She gives the worst lap dance ever to a chump she pulls from the audience, berating him throughout and molesting him with the help of two cheap-looking Furries (one shaped like a Pear--as in "grow a pair"-- and another shaped like a Cock-and-Balls). Ke$ha also, for some reason, line dances with a T-Rex and a bunch of undead pirates. All these props/costumes/outfits look like the kind of stuff you see at 75% off in the middle aisle of Rite-Aid on November 2nd. This is, quite likely, a deliberate creative choice.

Quite possibly the coolest shirt in attendance.
Quite possibly the coolest shirt in attendance.
Jena Ardell

The one hit: Ke$ha plays "Tic Toc" last, right before the day-glo-heavy encores. It's still catchy. It's still not as good as Uffie.

See-through tops and sequins.
See-through tops and sequins.
Jena Ardell

Should you go see Ke$ha if you're not a 16-22-year-old girl into glitter and ill-fitting Forever 21 costumes (or a flamboyant dude in an Uncle Sam hat and Kanye sunglasses who likes to hang out with 6-22-year-old girls into glitter and ill-fitting Forever 21 costumes)?: Sure, why not? The music is kind of grating and repetitive (except one song from the new EP Cannibal where Ke$ha frees herself from all the brain-softening Dr. Luke formulae and plays with her mad-scientist synth-rig in a kind of rad Joy Division-y--yup, Joy Division-y--way) but, especially if you ask Beardo's buddies where to get the right drugs, it's not a terrible way to spend an amusing evening among a bunch of pretend tarts listening to their sartorial icon tell them how "craaaaaaazy" they're gonna get.

Here--look at some more purty pictures:

Even boys like to play dress-up.
Even boys like to play dress-up.
Dollar signs and leopard print.
Dollar signs and leopard print.
Jena Ardell

 

Blonde hair and skeleton apparel.
Blonde hair and skeleton apparel.
Jena Ardell
Knee-highs, midriffs, short shorts and fury animal hats.
Knee-highs, midriffs, short shorts and fury animal hats.
Jena Ardell
Wacky glasses and animal print.
Wacky glasses and animal print.
Jena Ardell
Birthday Girl in a tutu!
Birthday Girl in a tutu!
Jena Ardell

 

Sequins and glitter.
Sequins and glitter.
Jena Ardell
Lace, neon and pink hair.
Lace, neon and pink hair.
Jena Ardell
Facepaint and floral prints.
Facepaint and floral prints.
Jena Ardell

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