The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore: Charlotte Edition
The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore
Far far away in the land of queens and hornets, referred to by many as… Charlotte, there lies a venue that is known as the musical pavilion of PNC. This is where our story takes place, for on the first night of August we meet our two main characters who shall guide us on a journey of music, emotion, dancing, and pure fanciness. The two characters in which we are speaking of are those that go by the names of Kesha and Macklemore.
Macklemore is a young lad from a magical place loved by many, as this location gave birth to Starbuck. You guessed it, Seattle, Washington. Macklemore knows a fellow by the name of Ryan Lewis. This dynamic duo have created funky tunes such as ‘Thrift Shop”, “Same Love” and “Can’t Hold Us”. Through their musical journey they have claimed the coveted Grammy a few times in their career. Although, our main character Macklemore also has a new solo album that you can listen to now called Gemini featuring songs such as “Glorious”, “Willy Wonka”, “How To Play The Flute” and “Good Old Days” the last of which features our second character known as Kesha.
Kesha is seen by many of her fans as a source of light and positivity, even after facing dark times. She is also a huge advocate for equality and basic human rights; her clothing often sparkles and is as colorful as a rainbow. For those that come to see her, you could say in their eyes, she is a superhero. Kesha is one that is fierce, strong, caring and an all around incredible performer and musician. You may have heard some of her songs over the past 10-12 years such as “Tik Tok”, “We R Who We R” and most recently the incredibly powerful and emotional “Praying” off her latest album titled Rainbow. Now that we’ve introduced you to our two characters, we shall begin our story that is The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore: Charlotte Edition.
As our evening began the skies of Charlotte were a cloudy gray as rain storms had been off and on for a few hours. Upon entering the venue it was noticeable that many fans were there to witness the spectacle that was to be presented by Kesha. This was indicated by the fact that many fans were covered in glitter, had clothing made of rainbows and even capes. All of which are signature pieces of Kesha’s look and style. As seven o’clock arrived DJ Nick Bebba walked onto the stage to get the crowd amped up for an electric night of music. His DJ booth was on stage surrounded by palm trees and strings of lights all upon a grass floor, which we would soon discover was part of the set for Macklemore. The DJ began his set with an intro before gracing the audience with hit after hit across the past few decades. He then brought on stage an artist by the name of Xperience (XP) to sing a song, followed then by a performance by Eric Nally, both of which travel with Macklemore and you can find featured on his latest album. Eric Nally preformed one of his own songs titled “Black” in which he is dressed in all black and wears a blindfold. All while rolling around on stage, doing push-ups, tumbles and crazy dance moves.
After the DJ finishes his set, a few adjustments are made to the stage including the introduction of a coyote lawn ornament to add to the cookout vibe presented on stage. Shortly after the word Gemini fills the screen in the background as band members took to the stage. The horn section begins to play and Eric Nally has returned to kick off the set with the song “Ain’t Gonna Die Tonight” then Macklemore runs onto the stage as an explosion pairs with a drum hit and pyrotechnics.
He gets the crowd out of their seats and dancing along. After his first song Macklemore tells the crowd “I heard there was going to be lightning and rain”, but makes sure that the crowd knows that during this show they are the lighting and he wants all of their energy. His show is one of pure energy and fun.
From the moments that encourage the fans to get louder and louder to the quirky and funny expected stories and challenges. One of those challenges was a dance off between two audience members that were chosen at random by Macklemore himself. He also gave us a summary of his day off in Charlotte the day before, mentioning his trip to Target to buy an air mattress in which he got there by ordering an Uber and what appeared was a 1999 Nissan Sentra. Oh yea, that air mattress was purchased so two lucky winners of the Golden Tickets placed under the seats could come on stage and chill during his performance of “Willy Wonka” (orange top hat and cane included).
After Macklemore performed ‘Can’t Hold Us’ the plan was to walk off stage and come back for an additional two songs for an encore but the weather had other plans. By this time it was a torrential downpour and immediately after Macklemore walked off stage the venue announced over the speakers for those not under cover to return to their cars or seek shelter until notified.
A large storm was directly over the venue and this lasted for about 15 minutes before the crew decided to go ahead and break down Macklemore’s set and prepare for Kesha as the storm was beginning to pass. After about 30 minutes the crew rolls an elevated platform onto the stage, upon it seemed to be a large inflatable that wasn’t yet filled with air. Then a large black curtain dropped to hide the stage, the crowd cheered because they knew the show would continue. About an hour after Macklemore left the stage the weather had cleared up enough to continue the show and it was time for Kesha.
The house lights go out, the crowd roars and the band began to play. We then see lights in front of the curtain start moving around the area with a beam like design thanks to the haze from the stage mixed with the mist created by the weather. Then the band builds up and the curtain drops, we are presented with a large UFO on stage surrounded by smoke as Kesha exits the UFO while speaking the lyrics to ‘Tik Tok” as she walked towards center stage before coming to a stop. She brought a sense of strength and confidence immediately as she strutted around the stage and threw middle fingers to the air while switching quickly to ‘Woman’ a song that kicks the show into full swing and proves the value and independence of all women. The crowd loved every moment of it, including the choreography between her and her male background singers and dancers.
Without wasting a single moment a guitar was handed to Kesha as she went straight into her hit song “Blah Blah Blah” which got the entire band rocking out, all of which were dressed in white suits. As she ended the song she made a comment to the audience that she didn’t think the white outfit she had on was “showing enough ass”, her dancers proceeded to take off the tinsel-like bottom half of her outfit and supply her with a white cape with sequin stars on it. She followed this by saying “the ass is out, the cape is on, we’re not F-ing around anymore”, the crowd laughed and applauded and cheered. She then let us know that we shouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves and that the following song was about equality and basic human rights, we should never fear the fact that “We R Who We R”. Rainbow flags are waved throughout the crowd and a sense of community is felt all around. After completing the song she then walked up the stairs re-entering the UFO as the band continues to play.
As she returned to the stage the band immediately began to play the opening chords to “Good Old Days” and she began to sing and after the first verse she was joined on stage by Macklemore. As they sang the screens on both sides of the stage began to fill with images of fans who recently posted on social media using the hashtag #MomentsForGood which was shown in between sets encouraging the crowd to do so for the purpose of T-Mobile donating $1 for each post to a charity. She concluded the song by thanking everyone for being there and braving the “monster storm”. As the night progressed the energy level was constantly at a high as Kesha went from hit song to hit song. Many crowd members found themselves being covered in glitter and confetti as there were many times she would fire cannons over them filled with both. Some of which were part of the set and some cannons were triggered by her as she would stomp and launch streamers through the air.
Later into the set she mentioned that she was about to do a song but she couldn’t start the song until she got some articles of clothing from the audience. After a few moments things started flying towards the stage, shirts, capes, pants, and bras. Members of the audience took it off to get the party song ‘Take It Off’ started, soon after the dancers followed along and lost their shirts. She then takes it up a notch as she begins a crowd favorite “Blow” which includes Kesha being handed a long hose that is used to shower the fans with confetti. She exits the stage along with her band. Then the crowd began to chant Ke-sha, Ke-sha, Ke-sha and soon after her and the band returned to the stage. She then began one of the most emotional and raw vocal performances of the evening as she sang ‘Praying’. During which you could see many flashlights being held up and one of the most connected moments of the night as the audience sang along with such grace and confidence. It was met with a large applause and cheers as the fans showed their support. Kesha took a moment to soak everything in and for the first time in her set slowed down to talk to the crowd. She was told backstage that the storm had passed so she no longer had to feel rushed to get through all the songs, so made a point to acknowledge all of the fans that were wearing sparkles, rainbows, and especially the fans out on the lawn that had spent their evening getting drenched by the rain.
It was then time for the final song, the one in which she teased at the very beginning of her set. Before she started her song she made sure everyone was ready to go crazy and mentioned that before she began she needed the “appropriate jacket”. Her dancers then dressed here in a colorful and shiny tinsel covered jacket. As she started her song ‘Tik Tok” the house went insane and before closing out the song it was time for more confetti, and a lot of it, huge cannons filled the air with glitter and confetti to close out the show.
This was one night we won’t soon forget, make sure if either of these two artist are in a city near you that you make time to experience their show. The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore Tour wraps up in Florida on August 5th but be on the lookout for tour dates from each artist.