The girl near the gate flashes a Ziploc baggie filled with powder. “Hey!” she says. “Want some glitter?”
It’s Monday night at Wolf Trap and thousands of teens are pouring in to see Ke$ha, the 26-year-old pop star who encourages her fans to dust themselves in craft-store supplies and feel great about being alive.
It’s one of the most surprising bookings at Wolf Trap in years, but then again, maybe not. Ke$ha’s most intoxicating song, “We R Who We R,” promises “we’ll be forever young,” and the loyalty of her flock makes it easy to imagine them gathering at this tradition-friendly venue in the summer of 2043.
As the sun sets on Wolf Trap, the mood is skittish and polite. Smiley girls snap smiley selfies with smiley cops. Men wear cerulean lipstick that signals frostbite or a blue Icee habit. Near the concessions, a teenager in a “MOM IT’S MY LIFE” T-shirt walks silently alongside her mom, past a spill of gold glitter into which another teenager belly-flops. She does the worm, laughs, stands up, inspects her sparkliness, then laughs some more.