Sunday, February 6, 2011
Photos and review: Nelly, Ke$ha, and Pitbull at the Bud Light Hotel (February 5)
Love 'em or hate 'em, this was the concert of the night.
DALLAS If the Bud Light Hotel's primary goal was to pack the cavernous tent outside the Aloft Dallas with 20- and 30-year-olds ready to party, dance, and drink beer – and we think that was the goal – Saturday night was a raging, boozy success.
Those who got their hands on tickets waited in a line that snaked around the tent and back again. It was a much larger crowd than the two nights prior. The excitement and intrigue built when loud sound checks thundered inside the tent, making the ground vibrate with booming bass. Once inside, crowds found a ridiculously packed house (“elbows to assholes,” I heard it called) there to soak in a free concert on Super Bowl weekend.
The crowd got its first experience to cheer for cameras for Jimmy Kimmel Live during Pitbull's set. (It, ironically, was not being taped live, as it was Saturday night.) The Miami rapper got the place heated up with a high energy set hampered only by technical difficulties about three-quarters of the way through. Still, the set felt too long and the crowd seemed ready for Ke$ha. Pitbull ended with probably his biggest two hits, “I Know You Want Me” and the current song Pitbull shares with Enrique Iglesias, “I Like It.”
What came next none of us were prepared for. Ke$ha, wearing torn fishnets, sequin bikini bottoms, a light-up sash of “ammo,” and a flag hanging from the back of her briefs, thundered onto the stage for a set that can only be described as dirty and delicious. During first song “Take It Off,” she placed a video game-looking console over her crotch, lowered herself to the floor, legs spread, and “fired” at us by repeatedly pressing on the square box so scantily placed. And that was only the beginning. What followed were zombie dancers, confetti guns, the playing of the cowbell (with purpose, I might add), and the beating of a glitter drum.
Ke$ha's band, all wearing mohawks, did a good job of seeming occupied with their respective instruments, though the band's job was certainly not to provide music. The show drifted between a raunchy version of Britney Spears circa 2003 and a present-day Lady Gaga, with more glitter and even more monster weirdness. Just before she played “Blah Blah Blah,” she spat, “This is a song about guys that talk too much. Just show me where your d*ck's at.” Then she played a guitar that looked like a rifle. Or was it a rifle made to look like a guitar?
She of course played the favorite, “We R Who We R,” and ended with “Tik Tok.” The crowd was, by then, electric. It was as if we'd entered into Ke$ha's sick, twisted world, and none of us wanted out. “Who cares if she can't sing?” someone yelled. And Ke$ha finished the set as only she could: “Thank you Dallas. Get drunk, and get laid.” And then she was gone.
The real props of the night go to Nelly, who finished the show with an exciting and totally not-lame rap performance. If you have ever been to a live rap show (or seen one on TV), it's often a bunch of back-up rappers making the rounds on-stage to music that sounds nothing like it does on the radio. Nelly's set was truly a crowd pleaser: He sang hit after hit – so many, in fact, we forgot that he's been hot since Country Grammar, the album he released more than 10 years ago that still gets regular radio play. They made fans laugh with a fun rendition of “Grillz” in which one of the back-up rappers cheesily put on a grill and marched around the stage, smiling big. Nelly also rapped a capella with his brother, showing that their crowd-appeal doesn't end when the DJ stops spinning.
If anyone could have topped Ke$ha's performance with the class and musical talent missing from her act, Nelly was it.
On the way out, Bud Light handed out $25 cab vouchers to those who might need a ride. “We ask people as they're going out, 'hey, do you have a safe ride home?'” said Aurelio Ruelas, region director of corporate social responsibility for Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. If the crowd's energy matched the Bud Light they drank that evening, lots of people were going to need rides.
Pegasus News Content partner - Pretty Cool Images
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