Photos and Review by Jennie Book
Kesha, dressed up in glitter and resilience, took the stage at Oakland’s Fox Theater on November 17, 2023, transforming a night of pop hits into a dancey display of talent and triumph. During the “Only Love Tour,” formerly known as the “Gag Order Tour,” Kesha not only showcased her iconic hits but also addressed the legal battles that have defined much of her recent history, which you can look up if you want to but I won’t go into too much here other than to say she’s back, and she’s free, and she’s ready to share her talent with the world again.
The Fox Theater pulsed with energy as Kesha kicked off the night with “Only Love Can Save Us Now.” The crowd, dressed up and electrified to see their favorite pop idol back onstage giving it all she had, were the vibe equivalent of glitter, all sparkles and fun, and loved every second of Kesha’s energy and performance.
The setlist, a crafted mix of fan favorites and tracks from her latest album “Gag Order,” took fans through a landscape of empowerment, partying, and vulnerability. Hits like “Tik Tok” and “Your Love Is My Drug” made the crowd dance with joy, and then more poignant tracks like “Backstabber,” where she sliced through the air with a prop knife, took a more deep and thoughtful turn, while “Raising Hell” saw her wearing a nun’s habit and flinging a crucifix around for some drama and thematic depth.
As the evening headed towards its end, Kesha gave fans a two-song encore that included “We R Who We R,” and the lyrics to it kind of encapsulate everything the night was and everything a pop star should be: Tonight we’re going hard, got glitter in our eyes, don’t mess with us. Nobody left the Fox disappointed, and everybody is ecstatic that Kesha is back.