Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - TAP WEEKEND - — Piet Levy, plevy@jour­nalsen­tinel.com


Style: Pop from an artist fi­nally free to re­veal the full ex­tent of her gifts.

Back­story: Ke­sha was a gim­mick in the be­gin­ning, singing about brush­ing her teeth with a bot­tle of Jack with a bratty rap-like ca­dence. But it worked for her; she was an in­stant break­out with that first sin­gle, “Tik Tok,” in 2010. Ke­sha’s grad­u­ally re­fined hits kept com­ing, but her ca­reer came to a halt in 2014, when she ac­cused her pro­ducer, Dr. Luke, of abuse, and fought to get re­moved from her record­ing con­tract. The messy and ugly le­gal bat­tle is on­go­ing, but Ke­sha was able to make an al­bum more or less on her terms (i.e. with­out Dr. Luke’s cre­ative in­volve­ment). The re­sult, this Au­gust’s “Rain­bow,” is her great­est achieve­ment, filled with emo­tional, em­pow­er­ing, even funny songs, with­out any of that cal­cu­lated faux rap.

Why you should go: Ke­sha came to the Rave last year, re­cast­ing her cat­a­log as coun­try and rock songs, and her lib­er­ated at­ti­tude was in­fec­tious, even if the show it­self was a bit shaggy. That spirit should re­main in­tact, likely in a more pol­ished per­for­mance, and un­doubt­edly fea­tur­ing some of the strong­est songs of Ke­sha’s ca­reer.

Opener: ’70s rock-hon­or­ing Nashville band Savoy Mo­tel.

Time and place: 8 p.m. Thurs­day, Ea­gles Ball­room, the Rave, 2401 W. Wis­con­sin Ave.

Price: Sold out. Sec­ond­hand tick­ets avail­able at stubhub.com start­ing at $54.63.

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