Katy Perry in Concert
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Special guests: Ferras, Tegan and Sara
Prismatic World Tour 2014
Merchandise purchased: T-shirt, program
Songs performed: Roar, Part of Me, Wide Awake, This Moment, Love Me, Dark Horse, E.T., Legendary Lovers, I Kissed a Girl, Hot N Cold, International Smile, Vogue, By the Grace of God, The One That Got Away/Thinking of You, Legends Never Die (with Ferras), Unconditionally, Walking on Air, It Takes Two, This Is How We Do/Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.), Teenage Dream, California Gurls, Birthday, Firework
Comments: Katy Perry showed all the facets in her prism in a fantastic show at the Staples Center this past weekend. You name it this show had it… great staging and lighting, outrageous costumes, dancing, fireworks, acrobatics and more! Did I mention that she sang hit after hit after hit? In 6 short years, she has racked up an amazing 13 Top Ten hits, including 7 number ones.
Katy came on around 9:15 PM. She emerged from a pyramid near the front of the stage. She launched into her #1 smash “Roar”. Her dancers were dressed as pseudo Mayan warriors in neon colors with lighted mohawks and lighted spears. There was a huge screen at the back of the stage, and 2 video screens on the sides. The front of the stage formed a “V” which went to about the middle of the arena. People were standing in the party pit, like at other recent tours by Lady GaGa and Madonna. She was dressed in a short party dress, with a crop top — it reminded me a little of Sporty Spice from the Spice Girls. She even had a jump rope break down, where the lights went done and you just had the accents in color on the costumes.
“Part of Me” and “Wide Awake” quickly followed the opening number. The version of “Wide Awake” was a dance remix of the original. She fit in 12 songs from her most recent album “Prism” into the night. During “Part of Me” she used the sides of the V — which had moving platforms on it. So she looked like she was running in place.
There was an elevated triangular platform that Katy performed on during “Wide Awake.” Two new songs “This Moment” and “Love Me” closed out the first portion of the show. The band was hidden for the first few numbers, but then was shown near the back of the stage later on.
The next segment had her adopting an Egyptian look and feel for “Dark Horse”— another of her #1 songs. She came out riding a mechanical horse operated by 2 people. The video screen showed Juicy J doing the rap for the song. “E.T.” from “Teenage Dream” was up next. There were 3 of the dancers, 2 women, and 1 man, doing some acrobatics in a rotating apparatus over the stage. It looked very cool. And Katy ended up being suspended and rotated under near the end of the song (like she was being abducted by an alien spacecraft). Some of the songs on the “Prism” CD definitely have world music influences. One of these “Legendary Lovers” had her considering some hot male dancers (one black and one white) who were dressed in Roman skirts with bondage inspired harnesses. She definitely had quite a choice between those 2 beautiful men. “I Kissed a Girl”, her first hit, closed out this segment of the show. She did a dance routine with a bunch of women dressed as mummies with exaggerated butts and breasts. The guitar players flew over the stage on wires near the end of the song shooting fireworks from the ends of their guitars.
Kitty Purry… had the lead on the next segment. We were treated to a video of cats doing interesting things… and then Katy and her crew came out in cat costumes (reminiscent of “Cats”) for a Broadway style version of “Hot N Cold.” There was a giant ball of yarn and scratching posts on the sides. Another new song “International Smile” got combined with Madonna’s “Vogue” with Katy and the dancers having costumes on top of their cat costumes… strutting the runway back and forth down the V. Madonna has clearly inspired her among others, so it was cool that she had that in her show.
Finally taking a break from all the uptempo numbers, Katy came down front for a stripped down segment. She talked about her early days performing at Hotel Café. She also talked about her love of music, and seeing other shows at Staples over the years and sitting in the cheap seats. She performed “By the Grace of God” which talks about going through a tough time in life and getting past it. She was accompanied by one keyboard player. A few more of her ballads followed: “The One That Got Away” and ‘Thinking of You.”
Ferras, one of her opening acts, came out and performed one of his songs with Katy — “Legends Never Die.” He is the first act signed to Katy’s new record label. He has a nice voice and they sounded good together. For “Unconditionally”, Katy put on a hat with a butterfly opening and closing its sings on it. The dress she was wearing become very large, and had her elevated above the stage. It had a ying yang pattern to the dress. Crew members came out and were flying colorful butterfly kites on wires as she sang the song. It made for a beautiful visual.
To get us into the home stretch of the show, she had a DJ spin some classic 90’s dance tunes (Everbody Everybody, Gonna Make You Sweat, Pump Up the Jam, Finally and more). Audience members were encouraged to get up and dance for the dance cam that focused in on various crowds and individuals that were having a good time. The song she came back with was “Walking on Air” — her tribute to 90’s dance songs. She even did a little walking on air too , with Katy rising over the party pit on wires, while the dancers waved a big sheet of fabric over the crowd. She also had the dancers wrap sheets of fabric around her body, as large fans helped to create interesting shapes with the fabric. The costumes were all sort of day-glo and funky during this number.
For “This is How We Do,” the latest single off of “Prism”, she had an inflatable car that carried her and her posse around the perimeter of the V. Large balloons (6 in total: dookie, lipstick, taco, purse, and 2 others) were shown around the arena for added flavor. A small portion of “Last Friday Night (T.G.I. F.)” got mixed in the middle of the song.
It was all hits all the way to the end… “Teenage Dream” followed by “California Gurls”. The crowd was singing and dancing along the whole time. The letters of the Hollywood sign were used as part of the stage decoration for “California Gurls”.
“Birthday” off of “Prism” was the first encore. Another high-energy number, that had Katy pulling one lucky fan out of the audience whose birthday was this month, and having her sit on top of a huge birthday cake. The dancers had large candle sticks, that they were doing acrobatic moves on. Then, Katy flew all around the arena holding a handful of balloons — it was an excellent visual trick. Balloons fell down from the ceiling near the end of the song. What a fun number this was!
I can’t believe the song wasn’t a bigger hit. I have a theory why she has had only 2 #1’s off of “Prism” versus the 5 from “Teenage Dream.” Radio is still playing hits from “Teenage Dream”! I hear “Firework, “Teenage Dream” and “California Gurls” all the time still… and there is only room for so many Katy songs with radio’s tight playlists these days!
“Firework” was the finale song. I am thinking she wants this to be her signature song, and what a good choice for one. I love this song and what it says, and it has touched so many people’s lives who didn’t fit in growing up. It was presented in “Prism-Vision”… you were given some special glasses when you came in. They gave you an extra sparkle or starburst as you were watching all the lights and fireworks. I tried them during some other numbers and it worked then too. Katy went back in the pyramid and it closed back up on her… signaling the end of the show.
Katy had 2 opening acts: Ferras and Tegan & Sara. Both LGBT recording artists. Ferras is the first act signed to Katy’s imprint label on Capitol Records. I missed most of his set, but thought he had a nice voice. Interesting personal style w/ his haircut and clothes. Tegan & Sara have had a couple of hits this past year, “Everything is Awesome” (from “The Lego Movie”) and “Closer.” I look forward to hearing more from both acts.
Of all the recording artists from the last 10 years, Katy is the one I probably identify with the most and feel an emotional connection with. (I still love Lady GaGa and Rihanna, but I can’t say I feel the same connection to them as I do Katy). Thanks to Katy, her band and dancers for a fun, fantastic and memorable evening. I know this is the show of the year… I can’t see anyone topping this event.
KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.