I do not like concerts. The appeal is utterly lost on me. You have to stand on your feet for hours on end, either outside in the beating sun and oppressive humidity or inside a sweaty, heaving club venue. People press in on you from all sides, discontented to stand still and somehow superfluous with elbows and pointy-toed shoes they will surely step on your bare feet with. Concerts are invariably scheduled for 8:00, but musicians also invariably saunter onto the stage anywhere up to an hour or more late, which is not so much rock n’ roll as it is rude. If you want a drink to pass the time, you are treated to a harsh real-world lesson in the economic concepts of supply and demand, wherein you pay $12 for a Bud Light (which are, like, $20 for a 30-rack) that you are not allowed to crack open yourself, because once somebody chucked a full one and hurt somebody else, and some people just ruin it for everyone. Then, after everything, you are treated to screaming throngs of human beings whose enormous heads obscure the stage, forcing you to watch the thing you came to see on a Jumbotron, which begs the question of why you didn’t just watch the thing on YouTube and skip it altogether.
Of course, I am always happy to be a scion of contradiction, and had an absolute BLAST seeing Ke$ha this weekend.
First off, it’s Ke$ha. Which means that you’re not just watching someone play their songs, but there are miniature cars and glitter and drug-trippy light effects. Also, Ke$ha’s music is the perfect spectrum of amp to MORE AMP, which makes her concerts a non-stop party.
Other contributing factors: This concert was at PNC Bank Arts Center, which is the ideal venue for summer reverie, as glitter-festooned teenagers (and twentysomethings!) roam the lawn in crop tops and shorty-shorts, slightly judging one another but mostly sharing in the general good vibes inspired by Ke$ha’s inclusive, “We R Who We R” ethos.
The whole thing was mostly a great time because it was just a giant dance party. Which, I suppose, is the basic appeal of summer music festivals, far more so than the bands that play them. People aren’t there to hear this band or that singer, they’re going to wear ludicrous leopard-printed vests and draw stars on their face in eyeliner and glitter-bomb each other with reckless abandon (that this last act was resoundingly greeted with glee instead of indignation tells you everything you need to know.) If you still aren’t grasping how genuinely, unironically joyous this event was, let me add that I drank a margarita/daiquiri swirl drink out of a foot-tall plastic guitar. #Heaven