Katy Perry Prismatic World Tour
Sydney 25 November 2014
Katy Perry is certainly one of the busiest pop stars in the business. In the middle of the Australian leg of her Prismatic World Tour she has managed to tweet her annoyance with Australian paparazzi, pick up 3 gongs at this week’s American Music Awards and land the Half time entertainment spot at next year’s Superbowl grand final.
So I went to Allphones Arena in Sydney last night with fairly high expectations. The first thing that struck me was her demographic – 12 year old girls and gay men. And let’s be honest, the tastes of the 2 audiences are often similar (Disney and pop divas). However, halfway through the first number I felt like my ears were bleeding from the screeching of the pint sized diva wannabes who surrounded me with their bad blue wigs, ruffled skirts, light wands and Katy ears.
Opening with her current hit Roar, Perry emerged from a hydraulic prism and the crowd went wild as soon as they caught sight of her light up hair and costume. Vocally, she was not at her best (and in fact earlier yesterday, tweeted that she was drinking camomile tea and chicken soup to soothe her sore throat. I suspect that the only set she sang completely live last night was the acoustic set and she sounded a little pitchy and gravelly.
Her interaction with the audience appeared forced for the most part. Her script was clumsily written and her delivery gave the impression that she is a bit of an odd ball. I suppose it’s a new sort of girl power which related to the young girls in the arena but for this seasoned concert goer, she lacked the public speaking polish of Kylie.
I did not feel warmth from, or any sort of connection with Katy who seemed to be more concerned about “being Katy Perry” rather than connecting with her fans. Her presence did not command the space and she largely got lost amidst the production that was happening around her.
Perry’s show is extravagant and over the top – almost too much so. It appears her special effects people decided to use every special effect they had in their prismatic arsenal – strobe, pyrotechnics, fly wires, acrobatics, moving catwalks, lasers, smoke machines, wind machines and giant inflatables. Funnily enough, one of the most effective “effects” was when she asked the audience to hold their phones up and sway to By The Grace of God. The result was stunning as Allphones Arena was lit up brighter than the Myer Music Bowl on Christmas Eve.
The show also used projectors and high def video to great effect – at one part I felt like I was watching an MTV clip. A lot of shows are using video and projectors these days, but it’s use in this show was very impressive.
Katy was costumed by 10 designers including Valentino, Marco Marco, Roberto Cavalli and Di$count Universe but it was the hot pink, blinged up catsuit by The Blonds (who also now have a range of designer Barbie dolls to their credit) that stole the show for me in the costume department.
Her encore was “Firework” and just before returning to the stage, the audience was instructed to don their Katy Perry Prismatic Glasses which gave a very trippy view of the finale as she strode onto the stage in a stunning Todd Thomas fire-work print crinoline as multi coloured fire works shot from the stage perfectly choreographed to one of her biggest hits.
Prismatic was a visual spectacle. I think that’s the way that a lot of these international arena tours are heading these days – they rely on a massive overdose of special effects but unfortunately in this case, lost their headliner a little in the process.
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