Share this article

print logo

Kesha seizes the spotlight with energetic set at Darien Lake

As a mid-summer streak of gorgeous weather continued to bless the region, "The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore" tour hit up Darien Lake on Sunday for a weekend encore performance.

Each set had crowd-pleasing highlights, but the party didn’t start ‘til Kesha walked in.

As Macklemore’s set ended and Kesha landed from her spaceship, it felt like she grabbed the crowd by the wrist, a devilish smirk on her face, and swept us away to a place downtown where they go hardcore and there’s glitter on the floor. Macklemore stood in the background, shaking his head with his hands on his hips, like a disappointed dad.

Kesha opened with a liberating, vengeful “Woman,” an indignant protest of the patriarchy and presumably her former producer, Dr. Luke, whom she sued over sexual harassment and threatening control over her music career.

“Boogie Feet” and “We R Who We R” both featured gritty rock ’n’ roll undertones not as prevalent in studio versions by virtue of a live bassist and guitarist.

Kesha could have easily been confused for fellow Nashville-bred blonde bombshell Carrie Underwood in passionate, heartfelt acoustic style change-ups of songs like Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.”

Whether a well-timed dual-finale or coincidence, fireworks closed out the park’s operations and Kesha’s set as she belted out a soulful “Praying.” Time was up as “TiK ToK” served as a party-hard encore closeout.

Eric Nally stole the show during Macklemore’s set-opening “Ain’t Gonna Die Tonight” and “Downtown.”

The Foxy Shazam frontman’s golden pipes consistently hit goosebumps-inducing high notes in each of his two appearances and left me wanting more of him while wishing the other guy would Mackle less.

Macklemore had plenty of fun on stage at the Darien Lake Amphitheatre. (Photo by Don Nieman/Special to The News)

Macklemore’s antics-filled set skirted the line between music and entertainment. He could have managed well more than just 10 songs in his hour-long set had he not spent so much time telling a way-too-long story about a time he Ubered to a show in a 1996 Nissan Altima, preaching political banter, throwing hot dogs into the crowd, hosting on-stage fan dance-offs, and blow-up mattress lounging.

Kesha is on a hellbent, rebounding rise to pop-stardom. Macklemore’s latest release can probably be copped at your local thrift store for 99 cents.

[Related: Smiles before Macklemore and Kesha's performance]

Set lists


"Ain’t Gonna Die Tonight" (with Eric Nally)

"Thrift Store"

"White Walls"

"Same Lover"


"Willy Wonka"


"Can’t Hold Us"

"Downtown" (with Eric Nally)




"Boogie Feet"

"We R Who We R"

"Good Old Days" featuring Macklemore


"Jolene" (Dolly Parton cover)


"Die Young"

"Your Love Is My Drug"

"Take It Off"



"Tik Tok"

Story topics: / / /

There are no comments - be the first to comment