Music News & Reviews

Kesha and Macklemore delight fans with glitz, love and a dash of the ‘Good Old Days’

Macklemore and Kesha performed Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at the Sprint Center.
Macklemore and Kesha performed Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at the Sprint Center.

A duet featuring the co-headliners of the "Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore" tour provided the most charming moments of a wondrous concert at the Sprint Center on Tuesday.

After Kesha sang “someday soon your whole life's gonna change” on “Good Old Days,” Macklemore rapped “I’ve got some scars, I’ve been around, I felt some pain.”

The acknowledgment of the wisdom that comes with age was repeated throughout the show that was attended by about 10,000 pop and hip-hop fans.

More than half the audience consisted of an uncommon mix of children, teenagers and members of the LGBTQ communities. They were showered with gales of confetti and cheerful messages of inclusion.

Kesha, born Kesha Sebert in 1987, and Macklemore, born Ben Haggerty in 1983, are embattled stars fighting for artistic integrity and commercial viability. The careers of both artists have been caught up in plenty of drama.

Kesha addressed the legal wrangling with a former producer that made her a symbol of the MeToo movement after she belted out “Praying,” a defiant brush-off of her alleged tormentor. She said that the song “always brings me back to a time when I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be singing new music again.”

Seemingly intent on reclaiming material she says she recorded under duress, Kesha and her backing band completely overhauled a few of her early hits.

The dance-pop song “Take It Off” was given a hair-metal makeover as Kesha encouraged admirers to hurl their undergarments at the stage. Wearing a rainbow flag as a cape, Kesha dedicated “We R Who We R” to her LGBTQ fans and told them that “I will always stand by you.”

Kesha’s revealing costumes, glitzy set that included a spaceship, campy stage antics and outlandish sense of humor evoked another gay icon — she is the modern-day Cher.

Macklemore endeared himself to the gay community with his endorsement of same-sex marriage on “Same Love.” The emotional response to this rendition made the 2012 hit feel like a cherished hymn delivered at a megachurch.

Most of his 60-minute outing was devoted to less consequential material such as “Thrift Shop,” the novelty song that explained the presence of hundreds of children.

He didn’t address the accusations of white privilege that have bedeviled him since he won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album in 2014. Macklemore suggested in his duet with Kesha that “maybe these are the moments” that are most precious.

For fans, Tuesday night was truly an indelible part of “The Good Old Days.”

Kesha set list: Woman; Boogie Feet; We R Who We R; Good Old Days; Bastards; Jolene; Timber; Die Young; Your Love Is My Drug; Take It Off; Blow; Prayer; Tik Tok

Macklemore set list: Ain’t Gonna Die Tonight; Thrift Shop; White Walls; Same Love; Otherside; Willy Wonka; Dance Off; Can’t Hold Us; Downtown; Glorious