Kesha

Kesha performs at Stir Cove in Council Bluffs.

Kesha was in force.

And the pop singer’s fans, her loyal animals, were right there with her.

Thursday’s show at Stir Cove marked the first time she performed since announcing new music, her first in five years.

And it was the first time she performed any of those new songs.

When it came time to play “Woman,” Kesha got emotional, stepping away from the microphone as tears streamed from her eyes.

Fans chanted her name and boyfriend and backup singer Brad Ashenfelter gave her a hug. She returned to the microphone to address her fans again.

"It’s been so long since I got to perform new music,” she said. “We’re gonna probably do it. Here’s the thing: It could suck.”

But it didn’t.

Along with her band, The Creepies, Kesha wailed through her empowerment anthem, singing “I buy my own things, I pay my own bills/these diamond rings, my automobiles/everything I got, I bought it” and the chorus of “I’m a (expletive) woman, baby, that’s right” as fans shouted the words right back at her.

The “Tik Tok” pop singer has been embroiled in lawsuits with former producer, Dr. Luke, but after he was removed as head of her record label, Kesha emerged with news that she’d have a new album, “Rainbow,” coming next month.

Performing “Woman” for an audience of thousands marked a triumphant return.

It was exciting, most of all to Kesha.

She gushed to her fans after, asking how they liked it and grinning ear-to-ear when they cheered.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever performed it. Ever,” she said. “I know that it seems silly I cried… This is a very special night for us.”

Thousands strong, her fans wore glitter and bright colors. They came in groups of girls ready for a night out and crews wearing matching glitter and face paint. They sang every word to songs such as “We R Who We R,” “Dinosaur” and “You Don’t Own Me.”

And when Kesha prepared to perform “Take It Off,” she welcomed fans to take off whatever clothing and toss it onstage. Bras, panties or “whatever,” she said, were welcome.

And they came. Kesha hung bras from her bandmates’ instrument stands and attached a rainbow T-shirt to her mic stand.

As usual, Kesha’s show felt like a big party. On a stage covered in Christmas lights and tinsel, Kesha pranced around and excited fans in a fringed western outfit while her band, The Creepies, played rock versions of her hits behind her.

Only a few songs felt like their original recordings. The Creepies gave “Blow” an almost country vibe and “Boots & Boys” had a thick, funky feel.

When it came time to close the show, Kesha welcomed her fans to get loud, so she could determine exactly how many songs to play.

The Creepies kicked into the keyboard melody of “Tik Tok,” and young fans rushed to the stage as she sang the words, “the party don’t start til I walk in.”

Kesha’s singers ran around the stage in mascot animal costumes, confetti and fog blew into the air, and the song’s final chorus came with a shower of glitter and confetti.

She did indeed return for an encore that included “Timber,” her hit collaboration with Pitbull.

Kesha was all smiles as her band played songs both old and new — especially new.

“I want to thank you for sticking with me,” she said.

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