Pitbull & Ke$ha
Mountain View, CA
June 14, 2013
In high school, I only listened to rock music. Any artist that was playing Warped Tour or Mayhem Festival would be on my iPod. I disregarded almost anything that was featured on the Billboard Top 100, the music that was considered “mainstream”. So it was almost shocking to me that I was standing in the middle of an amphitheater filled to the brim with glitter-covered spectators screaming the words to Ke$ha’s hit song “Tik Tok”. What was more shocking was that I actually enjoyed myself.
Latin-American artist Pitbull (a.k.a. Mr. Worldwide) and pop-music icon Ke$ha embarked on a co-headlining tour that helped kick off the summer of 2013. The tour made a stop in Mountain View, California at Shoreline Amphitheater (sometimes simply referred to as “The Shoreline”) on June 14.
An aspect of this show that I truly enjoyed was that Pitbull and Ke$ha know how to put on a show. A performance. A production. Whatever you’d like to call it. Each artist demonstrated their artistic abilities, and ways to bring their songs and characters to life on stage.
Ke$ha took the stage as the sun was just barely on the horizon. The band took their places behind their respective instruments while the video screen that served as the performance backdrop powered up, filling the stage with a vast array of images and bright shades of neon. A group of dancers dressed as pseudo-ninjas take the floor, gathering at the foot of the staircase placed center stage. CO2 tanks jettison out of tanks strategically placed around the floor, smothering the stage in an array of thick white smoke. As the fog clears, Ke$ha herself stands atop the stairs, surrounded by her dancers. She knows that she owns the crowd.
The party begins as the band launches into the title track of her most recent album “Warrior”. Ke$ha powers through a raunchy, fun-filled, hour-long set. The audience, filled primarily with young teenage girls, ate up her performance, all the way down to the last detail. Her set included a multitude of hits like “Blah Blah Blah”, “Blow”, and “Tik Tok”.
Her closer was the single of off ‘Warrior’, entitled “Die Young”. This song is an anthem about living your life to fullest. The crowd of twenty thousand people chanted the chorus back at Ke$ha and her band. The glow of the sunset crept over the venue’s lawn, signaling the beginning of dusk. The weather was perfect. That moment signified that summer was finally here.
The sun had set, and a curtain is lowered in preparation for Pitbull’s set. About an hour later, the lights go out, and the one LED screen has turned into three movie screens encapsulating the stage. The screens light up with animations and images of Pitbull’s music videos as the band kicks off the show with a rendition of “Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor)”. The curtain drops. Mr. Worldwide himself stands center-stage, adorned in his neatly tailored suit, polished shoes, sunglasses, and microphone. His energy is fantastic as he races across the stage spitting verses at a rapid-fire pace. His set lasts an hour and a half, featuring a vast collection of songs from his extensive catalogue of work. In addition to a powerful backing band, four female dancers accompanied him onstage. (Okay let me rephrase that: four female dancers who are the most gorgeous women I’ve ever seen in my life accompanied him onstage.)
This show surprised me not only with how much fun it was, but how well it was presented to the audience. I love productions and when an artist truly puts on a show. A lot of people think that most shows require spontaneity. I tend to think the opposite. The last few times I’ve seen artists that try to embrace this “spontaneous” mindset, it has never panned out well and makes their show look poor.
Whether you like their music or not, Pitbull and Ke$ha know how to put on a show. And a damn good one at that.
(But really. Pitbull's dancers. Most gorgeous women I've ever seen. Damn.)