Kesha brings raw emotion, truth to Ryman Auditorium on Rainbow Tour

Photo and story by Jessica Knoble / Contributing Writer

Kesha has always bent the boundaries of acceptance and individuality, but now she full-on breaks them in the most pure and colorful way possible, which made for an unforgettable night as Kesha returned to Nashville. She performed for a sold out crowd last night, and she laid it all out on the line. 

As she delved into her Nashville performance — the first since 2011 — Kesha embodied the idea of embracing identity and spreading love, and the moment the lights dimmed, the crowd erupted in applause.

A giant UFO stationed over the stage set a scene that corresponded with the cover of “Rainbow” and the final track on the album, “Spaceship.” A kick beat led to Kesha’s female-driven hit “Woman.” The transition to the next hit, “Boogie Feet,” was morphed with ecstatic energy.

“I’ve always wanted to play this venue since I was a little girl,” Kesha said to the crowd. “I just want y’all to know how special this is to me.”

Kesha immediately established a humble and gracious connection with the audience. And as the stage glistened of different colors, fans sang — with voices of inspiration — Kesha’s next song: “Learn To Let Go.” 

“You guys sold this tour out,” Kesha said. “You guys made my record number one, and I don’t know how to thank you, so I’m just gonna keep thanking you all night …  you guys stuck with me through a very, very hard time, and I hope it was worth the wait.”

Upon Kesha’s request to come closer, the crowd crammed toward the stage. “Take It Off” and “We R Who We R” — two of Kesha’s older but chart-topping hits — were played with intensity and gaiety.

Her consistent variation and audience interaction set Kesha’s performance apart from others. Fans were even encouraged to use their applause to vote for the better string-picking as two of her lead guitarists competed in a guitar battle. 

The next performance began as “Spaceship” but smoothly transitioned into the tangy, country-inspired “Hunt You Down,” which later led to “Timber.”

Kesha introduced her mother, Pebe Sebert, to the stage, where she contributed to an acoustic duet of “Godzilla.”

The room was dark and a single spotlight targeted Kesha as she performed her No. 1 hit “Praying.” With a draped, sparkling cloth around her, she sang until she became emotional. She was followed by many in the audience. 

Matthew Taylor, a freshman at Columbia State Community College, thoroughly enjoyed Kesha’s performance.

“I love that Kesha’s main goal is to spread as much love as possible,” Taylor said. “To me, it seems like any moment that she could see something as a negative experience, she always turns that around and can see the positive in every situation.”

Kesha continues to be a channel for those who feel out of place and provides reassurance to ones who are waiting for acceptance. 

“You will always have a place at my show,” Kesha said. “I love you just as you are.”

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Life.

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