After three No. 1 singles and the platinum-selling debut album Animal, Ke$ha is back with her first headlining tour, which kicks off February 15 in Portland, OR. And she promises to unleash one of the hottest, sweatiest, trashiest spectacles of the year. "I'm going to bring the planet an epic dance party," the pop star tells SPIN from her home in Nashville. "That's my mentality with this tour - party as hard as we can and make it as infectious as possible. It's unlike anything anyone else in pop music is doing."
For her 20-date Get $leazy trek, Ke$ha will deliver sets focused on songs from her debut Animal and follow-up Cannibal, but she's also planning to perform plenty of covers like the Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)" to give the show a more rock'n'roll edge. "I've been on this Iggy Pop kick - he's just so inspiring to watch as a performer," she says. "I'm trying to do something like that, minus the heroin and the stabbing myself part."
Pre-show ritualswill involve dousing herself and her hard-partying dancers in glitter and baby oil. "Werub each other down and then we give high fives with each others'butts," she says, adding that she spends about two grand a month onglitter for the show. "By the end of the concert, I'm goddamneddetermined to have everyone covered in the stuff."
Ke$ha & Co. will transform theaters and auditoriums into anarchic basement rave-ups, which go back to her early days growing up in Tennessee. "We used to have parties in Nashville and we'd play and set shit on fire until the cops came," she says. "It's not scripted. It's pretty trashy. And it's genuinely fun."
That kind of wild behavior may result in her spontaneously leaping into the crowd, like a recent gig where she was touched inappropriately by an audience member. "This guy shoved his finger into my butthole while I was crowd surfing," she says. " I was like 'Dude, that's really not OK! I appreciate the gesture, but please pull your finger out of my butt!'"
And Ke$ha, who was criminally overlooked in the pop category for this year's Grammys, will be playing actual instruments throughout the show, including synthesizers, guitars, keytars - and a theremin: "I'm a fucking theremin master. I've been playing it for six months but only now have I felt ready to showcase to the world my theremin skills."
She may be going for a more D.I.Y. aesthetic, but she's also bringing some over-the-top theatrics that would befit a slick arena tour. She hired the designers behind Daft Punk's light shows to create her own retinal-burning visuals. "I have this cool, intergalactic spaceship thing going on," she says. "It's got a post-apocalyptic Mad Max vibe."
Once the tour wraps, Ke$ha says she'll begin working on material for her next record. She's also been working on co-writing a new Britney Spears track titled "Till the World Ends" with executive producers Dr. Luke and Max Martin, which is set to appear on Spears' next record Femme Fatale. "That song is me imagining her and any female musician touring the world," she says. "You know, when you got out, and you're having an amazing, magical night and you don't want to go to sleep and you want it to last until the world ends."
Ke$ha's Get $leazy Tour Dates:
2/15, Portland, OR (Crystal Ballroom)
2/16, Seattle, WA (The Showbox SODO)
2/19, Denver, CO (Fillmore Auditorium)
2/20, Kansas City, MO (Uptown Theatre)
2/22, St. Louis, MO (The Pageant)
2/24, Chicago, IL (House of Blues)
2/26, Detroit, MI (The Fillmore Detroit)
4/05, Dayton, OH (Wright State University)
4/06, Toronto, ON (Kool Haus)
4/12, Boston, MA (House of Blues)
4/13, New York, NY (Roseland Ballroom)
4/16, Clarion, PA (Clarion University)
4/19, Charlotte, NC (The Fillmore Charlotte)
4/20, Atlanta, GA (The Tabernacle)
4/22, Orlando, FL (House of Blues Orlando)
4/26, Dallas, TX (House of Blues)
4/29, Houston, TX (Verizon Wireless Theater)
5/03, Reno, NV (Grand Sierra Resort & Casino Grand)
5/04, San Francisco, CA (Warfield Theatre)
5/06, Los Angeles, CA (The Wiltern)