Without a doubt Katy Perry is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, popstars in the world right now. The colourful pop princess has worked her way up the charts to global success since her 2008 debut I Kissed A Girl taken from her debut major label album One of the Boys; not bad for an artist once labelled a one hit wonder! In 2013 Katy released her latest album Prism which she is now supporting with The Prismatic World Tour which sees her hitting the road and performing all over the world.
Last night she performed her third of four nights at London’s O2 Arena and there’s been a lot of buzz about the tour since it arrived in the UK. Could she possibly live up to all the hype? Katy has been a consistent live performer offering her fans spectacle that has increased as her record sales and popularity have rocketed. We still remember seeing her at Water Rats when she performed her first ever UK gig to around 100 people. How the times have changed!
For The Prismatic World Tour Katy has put together her most spectacular show to date utilising a huge stage that accommodates fans in the middle with two catwalks coming out of the main stage in a triangular shape. At the back of the main stage is a huge screen for video projections (that’s actually three individual screens) and throughout the show there are plenty of props and costume changes. The setlist is split into 6 themed sections offering something for everyone and plenty of spectacle.
The show opened with the Prismatic section that saw Katy kick off proceedings with her huge hit Roar. During this section she also performed a dance version of her ballad Wide Awake whilst standing on a platform raised up in the air at the back of the stage. Over the course of the 2 hour show, Katy pulled out all the stops to wow her audience and boy did she succeed. The themed sections worked well and we must say are preferable to the loose narrative that artists often try to weave into their arena tours.
During the show Katy arrived on a horse (not a real one!) to open the Egyptian section of the show with Dark Horse, beamed lots of crazy cats onto her video screen before a jazzy cat-themed performance of Hot n Cold which led into a mix of International Smile and Madonna’s Vogue, and enjoyed a throwback during the up-tempo Prism standout Walking On Air where Katy literally walked on air as she flew from the back to the front of the stage.
The mid-section of the show saw Katy strip away the spectacle and showcase her talent as a singer. The three song acoustic section saw Katy wow with Prism closer By The Grace of God, strap on her guitar for The One That Got Away/Thinking Of You and showcase the power of her voice on Unconditionally. This section also gave her the opportunity to engage directly with the audience as she thanked everyone for their support and indulged in some London Pride.
The last section of the show, Hyper-Neon, was a triple whammy of hits with Teenage Dream, California Gurls and Birthday rounding out the set. For Birthday Katy pulled an audience member on to the stage, sat him in a chair and gave him a birthday treat we doubt he’ll be forgetting any time soon.
For her encore, Katy returned to the stage to perform Firework which seems to have become her signature hit. Without the backing of any dancers, Katy performed in a spectacular dress whilst fireworks exploded at the back of the stage. The deafening applause by the end of the song was proof enough that Katy had more than fulfilled her promise with her latest show.
Our favourite performance of the night was the electro-beats of E.T. which saw Katy being abducted by aliens in the end section of the song. Coming a close second was her prop-filled performance of This Is How We Do mixed with a bit of Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
The Prismatic World Tour is a glorious combination of great music, vibrant colours and jaw-dropping spectacle. There isn’t much that Katy doesn’t do during the show be it flying through the air, floating around the arena attached to balloons or dancing her backside off whilst maintaining solid live vocals. Interestingly her entire show relied on good old fashioned entertainment rather than shock tactics making it one the whole family can enjoy. The Prismatic World Tour solidifies Katy’s position as the biggest popstar on the planet right now and if she keeps serving up shows of this standard she’ll retain that title for a long time to come.