First Niagara Pavilion, Burgettstown, PA June 2, 2013

By Michael Rampa


Say what you want about electro pop princess Ke$ha.

She’s filthy (true)

She has trouble keeping her legs closed onstage for extended time periods (true)

She is a poor role model for her fan base of mostly young girls (you get the picture)

Nonetheless, she is one of the most electrifying performers in pop music

Add Cuban sensation Pitbull to the bill as a co-headliner and you’ve got a pulse pounding dance party that has challenged the structural integrity of every venue on this summer’s hottest tour. Such was the case at Burgettstown PA’s First Niagara Pavilion. Though the two artists combined have sold over 13 million albums worldwide, they drew a crowd of only 7,000.

Ke$ha came to stage exactly at her scheduled start time among ninja clad dancers and opened with the title track from her latest, Warrior. Though not the most polished vocalist out there, she showcased an impressive top register, holding notes for extended periods through the soaring chorus. The show featured elaborate costume changes, blasts of confetti and thousands of screaming, glitter soaked tweens.  Her best numbers were the party anthems; Take It Off, Blah Blah Blah and of course Tik Tok. With costumed animals and outlandish wardrobes, the show was gimmicky at times. As previously mentioned, Ke$ha is one of the filthiest performers out there. At one point, she took a grinder to her crotch and said, “Look, sparks are coming from my vagina, isn’t that cool?”



Enter Pitbull and you immediately think you’re in a South Beach club. The slick Latin rapper is always impeccably dressed and bald. His seven piece band is a mirror image. Armed with an impressive laser show and amps that went well past 11, the ensemble funked up the outdoor venue for 75 minutes. Unfortunately, for an artist with seven solo albums to his credit,  a large portion of the set featured short samples of songs and covers ranging from  Guns N’  Roses to Enrique Iglesais. When he did perform his own material, it felt peppered in randomly, The highlight “Culo” was No. 15 in the set list and he saved his most recent, “Feel This Moment” with Christina Aguilera , then out with his breakthrough 2011 hit “Give Me Everything” with Ne-Yo for the closers.

The middle block of the set featured numbers deftly performed in Spanish

He took a moment to the recent criticism of his street cred. He responded, “People say, ‘Why don’t you rap for the streets no more?” “I say, ‘I rap to get OUT of the streets, not to stay in the streets.’ ”

Ke$ha provided the crotch- grabbing, auto tuned sleaze while Pitbull put whatever polish could be salvaged on the biggest dance party of the summer.

For more about Ke$ha, visit her website at

For more about Pitbull, visit his website at