Glitter. Glitter smeared on faces and arms, on sequined tank tops, carefully applied around the eyes and on the floor, all at Ke$ha’s Friday night concert at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor.
Ke$ha, the party-centric pop star with a rock star’s attitude, attracted a crowd to the Waterfront that was predominantly female, under the age of 21 and ready to have a good time during the first week of high school or college.
“We were super, super excited when we found out she was coming,” said Sarah Wright, 15, a sophomore at Lawrence High School in Fairfield, who was there with her friend, fellow sophomore Mikayla Mahew. “We got two tickets for my birthday, one for me, one for her. It’s an awesome way to start the school year off.”
Wright and Mahew were having glittery blue stars applied to their faces by Justin Canning, a cosmetologist from Belfast who had planned to just enjoy the show, but ended up doing makeup for fellow concert goers.
“I was doing makeup for someone, and then other people just starting coming up to me asking me to do it,” said Canning, 27. “I’ve been giving people stars and dollar signs on their faces, and making them look fabulous. That’s what it’s all about.”
Ke$ha played an assortment of her biggest hits, including “Tik Tok,” “We R Who We R” and “Die Young,” with a wild stage show that offered costumed dancers, music that combines elements of rock, pop and hip hop, and, of course, lots of glitter. The crowd screamed constantly and danced along to her anthems of youth, freedom and partying.
Fans dressed the parts, sporting gold headbands, “war paint” on their faces, neon shirts, furry hats and, in some cases, black jumpsuits and shiny superhero capes.
“What I love about her is that she makes you feel really happy and like it’s OK to be yourself,” said Missy Stevens, 18, of Manchester, N.H. “I have loved her ever since I first heard her.”
Also at the show were representatives from Mainers For Fair Bear Hunting, a group working to outlaw bear trapping at the polls this fall. Earlier this week, Ke$ha endorsed the group’s efforts. Ke$ha is known for her support of animal rights, including working as a spokesperson for both People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society of the United States. A photo of Ke$ha wearing the group’s shirt was posted on the venue grounds.
“We reached out to Ke$ha. We know she’s an animal lover and she supports a lot of efforts to help them,” said Katie Hansberry, campaign director for Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting, and state director for Humane Society of the United States. “We reached out to her and she was happy to help protect Maine’s bears.”
Opening for Ke$ha were the electronic band Semi-Precious Weapons and producer and singer-songwriter Mike Posner. Up next in the Waterfront Concert series are Saturday night’s sold-out concert from country star Luke Bryan, and Monday’s Toby Keith concert.