Kesha's Rainbow Tour: I Lived It

It’s been a long slow slide for Miss Kesha Sebert for the past four years. What with dealing with legal proceedings and backlash from the infamous Dr. Luke trial, the music world hadn’t heard much from Kesha until July 5th of this year, when she announced to her ardent followers that she would be putting out her own self-titled music in the months to follow. After the release of her single Praying (which debuted at No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart), she released her first full length album since 2012’s Warrior. Rainbow immediately soared to the top of the charts, and not long after Rainbow’s release, Kesha went on the road with her band and her opener (Savoy Motel) to bring her Rainbow to the stretches of the United States and beyond. I was lucky enough to snag tickets to her opening show in Birmingham before they sold out, and September 26th may have been one of the most awe-inspiring concerts I’ve ever been to.

Doors opened at 7 PM, but the line out the door was wrapped all the way around the block. The excitement was palpable. This was Kesha’s first return to the stage in four years, and her fan base hadn’t diminished one bit. There was glitter galore and unicorns and kittens as far as the eye could see. When they finally began letting all the Animals in, Savoy Motel was ready to perform. A teeny but talented band from Nashville, Tennessee, Savoy Motel sent the audience back to the flower power era of the ‘70s, with smooth guitar riffs and experimental vocals. They perfectly gelled with Kesha’s new moon child vibe of this tour.

When the lights went down, Kesha’s band made their way on stage through a haze of smoke and flashing lasers. She had assembled an interesting ensemble of guitarists and backup singers, all dressed in black suits with pink sparkly bolo ties. When she appeared through the mist, she immediately launched into her newest single, Woman, an anthem and ode to self-serving females. But there wasn’t a human in the crowd that wasn’t singing along, waving their arms and having the best time of their lives.

The overall emotion throughout the evening was gratitude. Kesha made it known that she was forever and genuinely grateful for the fans lining the interior of Iron City Birmingham. In all of the concerts I’ve attended, I had never felt so recognized as a fan. All of us were there together, basking in the music and the sheer volume of love that was spread throughout the venue.

As this was Kesha’s first show on her Rainbow tour, I was expecting some technical difficulties at the very least. However, Kesha and her band performed with flying colors (no pun intended) for the audience in Birmingham. It was as though she had never left the stage at all; I had never seen an artist so at home among the lights and mist. There were some emotional high points, like when Kesha invited her mother out on stage amid cheers from the audience to sing her song Godzilla, or when she reached out to grab a rainbow pride flag from the screaming front line of fans, declaring as she tied it around her neck that she would be taking it along with her to every stop on her tour. Kesha served as a great unifier for the evening, even playing some of her old bops (to my surprise) to please some of the die-hard fans from the early eras (Middle-School Sarah would be bitterly jealous of College-Sarah). Her concert was a resounding success: for allies, for music fans, for those distraught in these tumultuous times. Kesha was a safe haven for her fans, declaring that she would fight for the LGBTQ+ community against the heart-wrenching bathroom laws and the recent rulings in Brazil. When she finally took a bow, tears in her eyes (and in mine), I felt as though I had just been through a spiritual experience. And I’m sure many of those who attended felt the same.

I guess my point here is that Kesha managed to stay true to herself, throughout everything that has happened to her. This concert was a work of art. It was something she herself said she’d been dreaming of in rehab four years prior. Kesha is a resplendent example of triumph over her trials, and I am so thankful I got a seat to see her take on the planet.

Marquee picture pulled from Kesha Sebert's Twitter. Venue pictures used with permission from Brian Oliu.