Like a UFO beamed down from Planet Pop, Katy Perry abducts audiences with an otherworldly pop concert full of uplifting music, eye-popping visuals and the kind of stardust only a mega-star of her calibre can sprinkle.
Performing the first Sydney show of her Prismatic Australian tour at Allphones Arena last night, the US singer jumps from spectacle to spectacle, hit to hit, all anchored by her happy-go-lucky persona.
It's two hours of pure #YOLO: why not fly above the crowds on a bunch of balloons? And why not have glow-in-the-dark jump-rope skipping to 'Roar'? Hell, there's even a giant inflatable turd floating around the arena during party jam 'This is How We Do'. And yes, she spells out the word "YOLO" in neon Hollywood sign letters at one point too.
Katy literally walks on air for euphoric '90s-style dance highlight 'Walking On Air', while an Egyptian set piece has Queen Katy riding a mechanical horse to 'Dark Horse'.
'Wide Awake' gets an inspired reimagining as a dark, laser-beam-filled trance number, while a jazz version of 'Hot N Cold' is more cold than hot. But Katy's back catalogue of hits is so impressive that there's barely a down moment she puts as much energy into older hits like 'I Kissed A Girl' and 'Teenage Dream' as she does with her newer Prism material.
Katy Perry roars to a crowd of 16,000 fans at Sydney's Allphones Arena. Image: Getty.
"Some days are not all bubblegum and rainbow hair," Katy reminds us before dedicating her ballad 'By The Grace of God' to the "KatyCats who've been keeping me propped up". It's a rare moment of candour from a star who keeps her wide-eyed, shiny veneer firmly intact.
While her on-stage banter appears slightly rehearsed (she's made the speech about being allergic to gluten at overseas concerts for months), Katy's sassiest moment comes with a barb all but naming frenemy Taylor Swift.
When Katy invites an 11-year-old girl on stage for a quiz, she asks, "Who is your favourite pop star?", to which the girl predictably responds, "Katy Perry!"
Katy squeals, then adds with massive side-eye: "Sometimes I get so nervous they're going to say that other girl." Oh yes she went there.
Refresher: TayTay has a song on her new album about an unnamed female pop star who hijacked her arena tour. A day after Taylor told Rolling Stone about the track 'Bad Blood', Katy tweeted: "Watch out for the [Mean Girls'] Regina George in sheep's clothing."
But in the spirit of all things #YOLO, Katy is enjoying herself too much to care. She's at the top of her game with Prismatic, winning audiences over with her mix of strength and vulnerability and her ability to create at least a dozen magical moments in one night.
Be sure to stay for the encore, it goes off with a bang.
Katy Perry performs another five Sydney shows on November 22, 24 and 25 and December 12 and 13. She returns to Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena at 4, 6, 7 and 10 and hits the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on November 27, 28 and 30 and December 1 and 15. For tickets, go to ticketek.com.au or call 132 849.
Author: Adam Bub.
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