Live Review: Kesha + Ben Abraham – Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane (10.10.18)

I’ll be honest. Walking in to a Kesha concert, my expectations were pretty low. However, I can say that this gig was WILD (and I’ve been to Miley Cyrus).

Melbourne act Ben Abraham opened the night and although his style is unlike Kesha’s, the crowd fell in love. The singer-songwriter oozed a humble charm that captured hearts around the room. His music is of a softer indie-folk genre and the mosh pit was a bit rowdy for the first few tunes, but he soon had everyone on his side. Unfortunately, his set list comprised of unreleased music, but there were some tracks I’d love to listen to right now, such as “Don’t Be Afraid To Grow Up” and “You Are Loved”.

To give you an understanding of his talent, Abraham has collaborated in writing songs for artists such as Demi Lovato, Gotye, Sara Bareilles, and Kesha’s track “Praying” with Ryan Lewis.

I also have to give mention to his impeccable stage banter. It’s one of the hardest things to nail as an opening act, but I would give this guy a radio show if I could. He talked about how he felt this audience had a paternal ‘you’re-doing-great-sweetie’ vibe and ended with his favourite self-written joke:
Q: What do you call the opposite of Celine Dion?
A: Celine Di-off.

Kesha took to the stage in a white diamante bodysuit with assless-chaps, accompanied by a four piece band and two very athletic backup dancers. For such a small venue, it was amazing the amount of gyrating movement these dancers were able to bring to the stage.

Her 13-song set had a mix of tracks from her most recent album Rainbow and past hits. The first track “Woman” saw Kesha and her backup dancers performing a routine that included a lot of the middle-finger and that’s when I knew it could only get more rowdy from here.

As she performed her way through hits such as “Blah Blah Blah” and “We R Who We R”, I stood squinting at what I assumed was an excellent lip-sync (by expectation). But no, I was wrong. Kesha is actually a brilliant vocal performer and not a single sync-track was in sight! I was blown away and again, impressed. Her voice was spot on for a live performance.

Notable moments of the crazy night included her pashing the guitar technician (to be fair, he’s her partner); solving a fight over her sweat towel by ripping up another; and urging the audience to strip off, subsequently causing clothes being thrown at Kesha (including a tutu and a bra which she swung around for a while). In her final track “Tik Tok”, the singer grabbed a can of beer and dribbled in into the awaiting mouths of a few lucky fans in the front row.

I never thought I’d enjoy a Kesha concert as much as I did. 12-year-old me came alive for the hour and bit Kesha rocked the Eatons Hill Hotel, and awakened the “Tik Tok”ing child inside every audience member.


Kesha continues her tour in Sydney tonight.

Tait McGregor