Rainbow: A Kesha Live Review

Photo courtesy of Kyle Dunleavy/Ravinia Festival
For the last two years, Kesha has used the word “rainbow” to describe everything that she is. It’s the name of her album; the thing that brought her out of the darkness, through the unspeakably hard times and into the person that she is today. It represents her personality, her outlook on life and her willingness to share her story. She’s spread her message through the Rainbow Tour, which made its last stop at Ravinia Festival on September 8, 2019.

With her message comes the same upbeat energy and glitter-infused wardrobe changes that Kesha is known for. A silver spaceship, similar to the one on her album cover, sits atop the stage and is the focal point of her entrances and exits.

Her wardrobe is nothing short of eccentric, from a black one-piece with bottoms that turn into a cape to multi-colored tinsel cardigans and fringed jumpsuits. She even encourages the audience to contribute their wardrobes to the stage during “Take It Off” which brings forth numerous bras, pairs of underwear and even a pair of tie dye shorts – the latter of which she gives back after the song. She tells the audience she’s been collecting bras from every night of the tour and has been stringing them together. It has to be over five miles long, she says.

She plays guitar for songs such as “Timber” and “Bastards” and has choreographed dances moves for “Woman” and “Tik Tok”. She dedicates “We R Who We R” to the LGBTQ+ community and uses time in between songs to talk about her stance on basic human rights. She forgets the first verse to “Your Love is My Drug” but it’s no matter, the crowd has her covered until she figures it out. She can never remember that verse, she says.

She brings the audience to tears during “Praying”, which is no small feat. This audience ranges from families picnicking on the lawn to preteen girls spread throughout the seats to drag queens gracing the front row. The show is over in just over an hour, and while there was no confetti or streamers littering the ground, there was still that sense of admiration amongst the concertgoers. They had just witnessed an actual phoenix that rose from the ashes, and they might never see something like that again.

Rainbow is an era of Kesha’s career that speaks to everyone and resonates in a way that she’s never experienced before. The live shows around that album have brought together groups of people that all have the same beliefs and dreams, and the last live show was no different.