Making it rain
Glitter in places you should never find glitter:
The morning of 107.9 The End’s 2011 Endfest arrived with chilly winds, thunderclaps and hailstones the size of M&M’s (plain, thankfully, not peanut). Hours before last Sunday’s outdoor concert featuring Ke$ha, T-Pain, Far East Movement, the Ready Set and Hot Chelle Rae, the same family squabble occurred in living rooms throughout the Sacramento region. Moms begged their teens to wear sensible jackets, and said teens stalked defiantly into the hailstorm in short shorts, ripped tights and homemade T-shirts with handwritten Ke$ha-isms like, “I’m not gonna stand here while you circle jerk it and work it.”
Hence, the 2011 Endfest demographics breakdown: 10 percent parental chaperones withstanding the wind chill in lined coats, and 90 percent shivering teenagers pulling their arms inside artfully shredded tees and wrapping themselves in quilts they’d brought to sit on.
I did not accompany a minor to Endfest, but I did wear a coat and hat. I also carried an emergency poncho and earplugs, which I’m pretty sure makes me officially old. Whatever. I was there to see Ke$ha. Neither sleet nor snow nor the realization that I’m many years past Endfest’s target age demographic would stop me.
I love Ke$ha with an inexplicable fervor, despite the fact that I do not support excessive drunkenness, barfing in closets or forgoing pants in public. When it comes to dance music, the booty wants what it wants. Mine wants Ke$ha’s irresponsible party anthems at top volume, with plenty of glitter.
I arrived at Raley Field in time to catch Far East Movement running onstage, clean pressed and charming in ties, button-down shirts, sunglasses and suspenders—a style they call “business fresh.” They blasted through their radio hits (“Like a G6,” “If I Was You (OMG),” “Girls on the Dance Floor”) like a deejay-fueled pop rocket. They were fantastically entertaining, jumping, stage-diving and shouting more hype than an infomercial host.
T-Pain followed, accompanied by a crew of backup dancers, and signaled his deejay to play a series of his custom “T-mixes.” He spent the first third of his set just getting down with his crew, including a jaw-dropping group display of old-school popping and locking that might have been lost footage from Breakin’ 2.2: The Forgotten Boogaloo. (Sadly, no such film is in production at this time. Get on that, Hollywood!)
T-Pain auto-crooned his 2007 smash “Bartender,” dropping whole choruses and looking thoroughly over it, before intensely attacking newer songs like “All I Do Is Win” and “Booty Work (One Cheek at a Time).”
Despite repeated lyrical references to “making it rain,” T-Pain’s set brought the sun. By the time Ke$ha took the stage, a circle of blue sky had opened over Raley Field. Ke$ha marched onstage, pants free, laced into a sparkling garment that was more carapace than corset. The self-appointed “dance commander” led a band of dancers and musicians who looked like Thunderdome escapees through popular hits from “Tik Tok” to “Blow.” She turned cartwheels. She drummed so vigorously she had to dive behind a monitor and tuck her breasts back in her corset. She threw a malfunctioning mic at a roadie and called him a douche bag. Through it all, she looked like she was having a blast, and the glitter never stopped raining. It burst from cannons, guns, grenades, bottles and the hands of fans who tossed it in the air.
“I want you to wake up tomorrow finding glitter in places people should never find glitter,” Ke$ha told us. The next morning, I was still picking sparkles out of my teeth. Mission accomplished, dance commander.