Kesha and Pitbull  June 2, 2013

Going by a single name is a sign of strength and for people who want to be remembered. There have been quite a few female artists that use mononyms. They are mostly icons like Madonna, Cher, Pink and Selena. It may be a stretch to put electro pop princess Kesha into that category. But as one of the most electrifying performers out there, her showmanship, work ethic and commercial success have placed her in the upper echelon of today’s artists in the pop genre. 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. The two artists combined have sold over 13 million albums worldwide. and have been playing to raucous crowds all summer.

Kesha came to stage exactly at her scheduled start time among ninja clad dancers and opened with the title track from her latest, the gritty “Warrior”Though not the most polished vocalist out there, she showcased an impressive belt range holding notes for extended periods through the soaring choruses of some of her biggest hits. Her best numbers were the party anthems; Take It Off,” “Blah Blah Blah” and of course “Tik Tok.” The show featured elaborate costume changes, blasts of confetti and thousands of screaming, glitter-soaked tweens.   With costumed animals and outlandish wardrobes, the show was gimmicky at times. Kesha is no stranger to shock value, At one point, she took a grinder to a metallic shield on her crotch and said, “Look, sparks are coming from my vagina, isn’t that cool?”

Really?  Yes. But Kesha is unabashedly all about freedom. rebellion, angst and sexuality. She closed with a full throttle version of her No. 1 smash “Die Young”


Enter Pitbull and you immediately think you’re in a South Beach club. The slick Latin rapper is always impeccably dressed and groomed. 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.”

The artists who go by single names proved that together, they are twice the fun .