Kesha plays the Anthem with Betty Who on Sept. 8
Photo courtesy of the Anthem

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Kesha and Betty Who 

After a year and a half of TikTok and staying home, it’s time to hit a place downtown where the freaks all come around—a hole-in-the-wall, a dirty free-for-all—to experience the original “Tik Tok” party queen herself. With an assist from fellow dance-pop artist Betty Who, Kesha returns to the District on Sept. 8, for a long-awaited stop on her eastern U.S. tour after the pandemic spoiled plans for North American shows to promote her 2020 album, High Road. Expect the Anthem’s cavernous general admission area to transform into an electro-pop dance floor, as Kesha performs bops and ballads from High Road for her sweaty, club-deprived worshippers. Last year’s record saw a return to Kesha’s Animal and Warrior roots of the past decade—the 2010s albums that turned her into an earworm machine. Previous setlists have included a good mix of classic Kesha and her more recent soul-inspired work, such as “Praying,” “Bastard,” and “Hymn.” Mixed with whip-smart lyrics and head-rocking synth beats from new songs like “Little Bit of Love” and “Raising Hell,” Kesha is sure to deliver a cathartic night out after a grueling (and in some cases, disappointing) #HotGirlSummer. Then there’s the additional layer of Betty Who’s synth-forward melodies and heart-tugging lyrics—don’t be surprised if you cry a few times before the curtains close. Come in your best bedazzled gear and remember to bring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test from the previous 72 hours; the Anthem, along with other IMP properties, is now implementing more stringent pandemic mitigation measures to keep this spiritual experience safe. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Sept. 8 at the Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. $55.