Katy Perry’s World Prismatic Tour stopped at the Bell Centre last night to serve up a smorgasbord of visual effects, colorful costumes and crazy concepts, up on a stage that seemed inspired by the Star Destroyers from Star Wars. Oh, and some ridiculously catchy pop songs too.
Appearing on stage slightly past 9, to the delight of the sold out crowd (mostly female, judging from the Beatlemania-esque high-pitched screaming that was heard throughout the evening and the deserted men’s restrooms), Katy Perry kicked off her show with Roar, from her latest album Prism.
Trying to describe in a few paragraphs the visuals of her show would be an exercise in futility: if you tried to cram the entire Las Vegas strip into a two hour arena show, you’d get this.
If there’s a line between glamourous and kitsch, Katy Perry straddles it without any shame. From Egyptian princess to kitty cat to an 80’s flashback, her many costumes (nine in total) set the stage for the various segments of the show. While the interludes dragged down the pace (they were needed to cover her costume changes), each segment in itself was high energy, with almost every moment choreographed. She interacted often with the crowd and knew how to get a reaction out of the very young fans (more popcorn than beer was sold for sure) in attendance. Whether taking a selfie with a fan (fast becoming a concert cliché), or assuring the crowd that Montreal was “the best crowd of the tour” (she did tweet that Montreal would be hard to beat), or remarking that for the next two hours we’d be breathing the same air, all her words drew a barrage of shrieking cheers. She could have trimmed back her long winded monologue before The One That Got Away that went on and on, and where she even gave a pizza to a fan to share with everyone though (Ms. Perry should take note that Montreal has much better pizza to offer than Domino’s).
The singer also demonstrated how strong her voice is. While she was often helped by a large amount of backing tracks, many songs (especially the “acoustic” segment) were done without any help, and were flawlessly executed. Her setlist was filled with hit after hit, showcasing the amazing repertoire she has built over just three albums. She allowed herself some liberties with a few songs, notably her early hit Hot N Cold that was re-arranged in a jazzy musical style, and during International Smile, when she even sang a little bit of Madonna’s Vogue.
She concluded her main set with Birthday, where she had a fan come on stage to sit on some sort of throne, while she flew around the Bell Centre on big balloons. For her encore, fans were instructed to put their Prism Vision glasses that were handed at the door. The glasses would split the light, making the big pyrotechnic display look even more trippy during Fireworks.
Her last album was a little more mature than her first two, and I had feared her show might have toned down the bubblegum visuals, but I didn’t need to fear. The glitziness and kaleidoscope visuals were in full force. Great pop show from one of the best in this genre.
Ferras (pronounced Fer-AHSS according to Wikipedia) was the surprise opener, as I never saw him mentioned by promoter Evenko. The first artist signed to Katy Perry’s Metamorphosis Music, he offered by-the-numbers pop, and got preferential treatment in being allowed a theatrical entrance and use of the big screens.
They were followed by Capital Cities who thrilled the crowed with their 80’s styled synth pop that included a nice cover of Madonna’s Holiday. They ended their set by walking around the stage high-fiving people and dancing to the sound of a remix of their hit Safe & Sound, before asking people to put up their lighters, I mean cell phones, for a startling effect. Good set from a good band.
Katy Perry Setlist
• Part of Me
• Wide Awake
• This Moment / Love Me
• Dark Horse
• Legendary Lovers
• I Kissed a Girl
• Hot N Cold
• International Smile (with an excerpt of “Vogue” by Madonna)
• By the Grace of God
• The One That Got Away / Thinking of You
• Walking on Air
• It Takes Two
• This Is How We Do / Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
• Teenage Dream
• California Gurls
Capital Cities Setlist
• Kangaroo Court
• Center Stage
• (Madonna cover)
• Safe & Sound
• I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo
• One Minute More
• Safe And Sound (Tommie Sunshine & Live City Remix)
More of Jean-Frederic Vachon’s music reviews and photos can be found at his site musicadict.ca.