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Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009

Perez Hilton Talks Inaugural Tour

Will the blogger appear at tonight’s free show?

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After a spectacular onstage breakdown that Perez Hilton himself might have appreciated if it had happened to somebody else’s tour, Perez Hilton Presents headliner Ida Maria has dropped out of the celebrity gossip blogger’s traveling road show. That’s the bad news. The good news is that, in her absence, the tour’s stop at the Turner Hall Ballroom at 8 p.m. tonight is now free. Electro-poppette Ladyhawke and Brooklyn rockers Semi-Precious Weapons headline.

The loss of the tour’s blog-acclaimed headliner is a major set back for the blogger turned impresario, especially since Hilton has expressed hopes of making his inaugural tour the first of many.

“I’m not making any money off of this show, because I’m throwing it all into the show, in to the production, in surprises that we put in there for concertgoers to thank them,” Hilton told the Shepherd in an interview earlier this month. “I’m looking at this as an investment. I want people to go and tell their friends about this show.”

So could Perez Hilton Presents become an annual tour? At least before the Ida Maria fiasco, Hilton was dreaming big.

“Maybe even twice a year,” he said. “Who knows? Maybe it could have different shapes. I could do a tour, and different festivals in different cities over a year.”

Though the tour benefits from Hilton’s name recognition, for some, Hilton’s involvement is a liability. He’s a divisive figure, beloved by some for his cheeky look at celebrity culture, loathed by others for disreputable traffic-baiting ploys, like outing celebrities who’d prefer to remain in the closet. Hilton has harsh words for those who dismiss his tour just because of his reputation.

“Even for this tour, I know that there are people that make comments like, ‘I don’t want to go because its Perez Hilton’s concert,’” he says. “Well, you know what? Get over it? Because the matter of the fact is I’ve got some amazing musicians on the bill. If somebody else would have thrown it but not me, you would have gone, so get over it.”

What Hilton says is not in question is his love of music. He dedicates part of his website to music, and boasts of a long history pushing unknown artists.

“I don’t like to take credit for breaking anybody, but I’ve helped people around the way,” he says. “Lady Gaga, I mentioned her way before anybody else did, and I had her perform at my Fourth of July part last year. Katy Perry I first mentioned in March of 2007, a whole year and a half before her album came out. Even artists like Amy Winehouse, I was writing about before anybody else was.”

Hilton says he’ll make in-person appearances at certain stops of his tour, though he won’t say which ones. Milwaukee does have one big plus going for it, though, he says.

“I love the Midwest,” he beams. “Lots of hot guys; I love it.”