Yes, it’s true! There have been several acts at The Filene Center this season that have been a departure from years past…But this sold out crowd of over 7,000 people proved that this is a trend, here to stay!
Since Ke$ha only has about six songs that the general public may know, she had two opening acts to fill in time. First up was Semi Precious Weapons, an alt. rock band out of NYC. Lead singer, Justin Tranter is an awesome hype man. While the whole crowd wasn’t packed in just yet, Justin got the crowd roaring and ready, though we had hours to go until the star of the night! Their wacky stage presence was fun and I ended up being a fan of Tranter’s vocals and antics.This is why you don’t come late on purpose because there is an opening act!
Following a twenty minute intermission, we came back to singer/songwriter, Mike Posner. He too, is very energetic and great at getting the crowd moving. The whole crowd was finally in The Filene Center, but tons of people were online trying to get Semi Precious Weapons autographs when he started, which
I didn’t appreciate. With that many people in attendance, they should’ve done autographs after the whole show was over. The issue there was that Semi Precious Weapons promptly left when they were done signing and even had fans leave also, but not enough to make a dent in the swarm of 12-24 year olds. Mike Posner did a great job of filling the grounds with hit songs, but he was covering most of the songs that he sang. Naturally, he sang his chart topping hit, “Cooler Than Me” to close his set.
Now, before you get upset, like I had been…the songs that he covered so suavely are all his own. Unless you are a real Mike Posner fan and even if you are, you may not know that he is a very talented songwriter and he has written many hits for other people. So, why shouldn’t he perform them at his concerts? Besides, all you need these days is one song and you can go on tour! Posner released his debut album, 31 Minutes to Takeoff, in 2010. He is also known for writing and producing “Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber, “Windows Down” by Big Time Rush, “Beneath Your Beautiful” by Labrinth, as well as songs for Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa, and Snoop Dogg. Posner sang live, while living it up onstage and also played the piano for some of his tunes. He has a very good blend of style and I always classify him as, “a yo-boy from the nineties, with a preppy twist”. Sort of Eminem, meets Scott Disick and I mean that in a good way. He is very hot in person, energetic and smooth! He has a great voice live and I hope he gets more songs on the charts, that he sings. See him at these type of concerts while you can because he may just be the next JT and be untouchable!
After another twenty minute intermission, it was finally time for our headliner of the night. It was interesting…yes, I will go with, “interesting”! Since there was so much down time, they had to hype some of the crowd back up with an intro voice-over. Her dancers had great Samurai costumes to start and naturally, were all young guys, who are are well-built. Ke$ha arrived to fans screaming and jumping. I am a fan of her catchy tunes and the energy from the crowd and the stage was electric. She is a bit of a caricature of a pop star, but I think that is what she is going for because it sells. She is the evolution of Britney going toxic, Christina getting dirty and what Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore refused to become. She is to PINK, as Lady Gaga is to Madonna! I will start by saying that she was totally bizarre and interesting to watch and it was probably the most fun concert I saw all Summer. With that in mind…I am sad for the generation that holds her as the end-all, be-all. Thousands of girls, dressed in either their Hot Topic best or Taylor Swift clones crying and screaming for a chick, who in real life is probably nothing like her performance alter-ego and sings along with tracks, so that when she only sings three of the seven words in a sentence, you “don’t” notice! Her dancer, when dancing, completely out-danced her. Her moves consisted of the typical drop to floor with knees bent and pop up and slap your butt. This move repeated throughout the show…and in all fairness, it does go with every beat!
Her hair or extensions rather, were a bed-head mess, but somehow it worked for her and I do have to say that she looked pretty darn hot! After months of touring, her body was in top form and I really liked that instead of parading around in heels that could impale someone, she had sexy boots, with a dancers heel. Her costumes were barely there, but really sexy and good quality. Unfortunately, her changes from one to the other took forever and pretty much everything stopped while she was offstage changing. They played videos of her rolling around in underwear and breaking records or hanging on a couch (in underwear). I’m not sure what purpose the videos had, except for masking the ungodly amount of time between changes, or getting the dads excited? I realized, being one of the oldest people there, that she is a terrible role model for kids and couldn’t believe that I had two six year olds behind me, decked out, even with Ke$ha braids and singing every lyric! When she told us to turn to our neighbor and “teabag” them, I laughed and cringed at the same time. Part of me had a blast and part of me felt bad. I don’t think that a majority of her fans separate reality from a stage persona and with reality TV and the way some celebrities act out, it is becoming the norm. With song titles like, “Dirty Love” and “Blah, Blah, Blah”, what do you expect!?
By the time we got to the middle, what there was of production value, was going out the window, but no one else seemed to care, or be aware! Her dancers and a band member donned Ke$ha wigs and sang back-up for her on, “Dirty Love” which was pretty hilarious. The best moves of the night were during, “Take It Off” (which is my favorite song, so I was totally happy). Two of her dancers came out in drag and used that stripper pole better than any stripper I’ve ever seen. They were working it. I’m sure it’s on YouTube somewhere. What there were of set pieces were dynamic and used well. Her baby voice is an acquired taste, but according to the 7,000 screaming fans, it’s a hit, so what do real singers know?! At one point, I realized that no band member was playing anything, yet the song was still going, but I think I was the only one who caught that?! If you like her songs and don’t overthink it, it is a really fun concert.
If you are a stickler for details like production value, this may not be your concert. By the end of the show, we had strobe lights and disco balls and a plushy party? It was pretty much a free for all and I’m not sure that there was any rhyme or reason to anything that was going on! It was like the end of the night at a club or party, where everyone is sloppy drunk and making bad decisions…but again, fun! Don’t take it all too seriously and it’s ok. I can’t imagine kids below 16 or 17 being at these concerts and aspiring to this, “greatness”, but the parents of the aforementioned six year olds, didn’t seem to mind and even got lovey-dovey when Ke$ha wished sex for the night on everyone that was in attendance!
To each his own, but I am afraid for the decades ahead of us!
Overall Concert: B, too many breaks, for too long. Parking took forever for people who didn’t plan to be there by 6:30. If the headlining act is going to sing along with tracks, you might not want people who sing live opening. The whole thing was super fun and I would go again, checking my logic at the door.
Performance Grades: Semi Precious Weapons: B+, they made me a fan of their music. We’ll see where the go. They have a lot of energy, but would be better suited to a smaller venue, with an audience of legal drinkers, who want to party and dance, maybe Birchmere! Definitely, 9:30 Club! I didn’t like the timing set up of the autographs orthat they left.
Mike Posner: A, while being a fan of, “Cooler Than Me” I had no clue what a star he is; he is truly one to watch. Nuff said!
Ke$ha: She gets two grades…The fun side of me, says “who cares” about production value and what celebs resort to, to be in the limelight? Her costumes were sexy, she looked great, and I like her songs. In that vain, I say A+, God that was fun! She made me want to go out and be wild and crazy! Now, as a person who is logical and realizes that people pay good money for concerts and kids go by what their favorite celeb does, I would never let my six year old near Ke$ha, the production value was shoddy, and things seemed disorganized and chaotic. So, C and a “-” for everyone performing over tracks. The choreography had epic moments, but got lost somewhere around spraying each other with beer.
Venue: A-, Parking! If you are going to a sold out show at The Filene Center, plan ahead to be there before 6:30, if it’s an 8 o’clock show. The shows start on time! This was an odd choice for the calendar, but it sold out, so I guess it was a good choice. I’ve heard people on other nights be upset that Wolf Trap is “letting” those type of shows hit that stage, but it’s money, big money! The weather has been awesome this August.
For the remainder of The Filene Center calendar and The Barns upcoming season, go to www.wolftrap.org
For Semi Precious Weapons, shocker, go to www.semipreciousweapons.com
For Mike Posner’s upcoming dates and info, go to www.mikeposner.com
For Ke$ha who is still touring with various artists, go to www.keshasparty.com