In a nutshell, I was completely entertained.
Not to mention thoroughly impressed with the individual effort from Katy Perry herself.
Monday night, Perry brought her Prismatic Tour to Energy Solutions Arena. The big budget production had so many elements, it’s hard to write about all of them in one review. There was something ALWAYS happening on the stage – and not just Perry’s singing.
For more than two hours, Perry roared through 20 songs, playing hit after hit in a seemingly non-stop, high energy show that featured everything from big synchronized dance routines and flying guitarists with fireworks coming out of their instruments, to a bevy of costume changes, fireworks, a large floating taco and life-sized cat toys.
The massive stage had a triangle, or prism, theme including two cat-walks (kat-walks?) that met in a point about three quarters down the arena floor. Part of the catwalks included treadmills that Perry and her dancers incorporated into their routines. In the rear were giant prism-shaped high definition video screens. And, you never knew when someone, or something, was going to rise out of the floor.
Perry opened with “Roar,” in a kind of jungle/Amazon/Mayan/ancient civilization theme. Her dancers took the stage first with their tribal outfits and spears that glowed bright colors. Some of them were hooked onto a wire and “flew” onto the stage. A giant prism rose from the floor and opened, which of course revealed Perry inside to the deafening shrill of mostly female fans in the audience.
Dressed in a tank-top and skirt, both of which lit-up in the dark, with her hair in a ponytail, Perry jumped right into her synchronized dance routine.
In fact, Perry was non-stop movement for the first ten songs. There are some artists who stand on stage and sing while everyone else around them are busy moving.
But not Perry.
In tightly choreographed numbers, Perry rolled through a number of hits, including, “Part of Me,” “Wide Awake,” “This Moment,” “Dark Horse” and “E.T.”
Perry and her dozen dancers frequently moved about all parts of the stage, making sure nearly everyone in the arena got a close up look at her.
A band didn’t rise out of the floor until the third song. Whether Perry got some help from a vocietrack (probably) was unknown. But for how physically active she was on set, it was easy to let it slide.
By “Wide Awake,” the stage had taken on an Egyptian theme. Perry rose from the floor riding a horse that looked like a smaller version of Broadway’s “War Horse.” It was the first of many costume changes for the night for Perry.
For “E.T.,” three of Perry’s dancers performed a cirque del soleil-like routine on a prism-shape cage high above the stage floor.
The costume changes and set themes continued as Perry dipped into her older material, first with “I Kissed A Girl” which took on a kind of haunted house theme complete with Kim Kardashion-figured mummies.
“Hot N Cold” turned into almost a modern version of Cats, right down to the Broadway-style jazz shuffle rendition of the song. The backup dancers all put on their cat costumes, Katy herself wore a skintight pink cat outfit. And life-sized cat perches were brought on stage.
Other pop stars have come through Salt Lake City with tightly choreographed stage shows that left little to no room for spontaneity. What I liked about Perry’s show was midway through the show, she walked out to the center of the arena, slowed down the tempo, interacted with the crowd and really seemed to just say whatever was on her mind in an unscripted format (Monday night, she talked about her garden, Kale is gold, she observed).
At one point, Perry picked an 11-year-old boy out of the crowd to come on stage and receive a pizza.
“Hello,” Perry said as the boy walked up.
“S’up,” responded the obviously nervous but still trying to play it cool boy, to the delight of both Perry and the crowd.
“S’up” Perry repeated several times after.
Compared to some of her provocative music videos, Perry’s stage show was toned down and for the most part all-age appropriate. Perry, aware of her fan demographics, even asked how many people in the audience had to get up and go to school the next morning. The arena was filled with Perry’s diehard fans, known as Katy Kats, of all ages. Bright blue, green, purple and pink wigs were common sight throughout the audience. Mini-skirts, leggings, cat ears and tulle skirts were in abundance at the ESA. In addition, at least one woman in the crowd came dressed in an entire cat suit.
The center court acoustic version of the show included “By The Grace of God” and “The One That Got Away” which found Perry strapping on an acoustic guitar herself.
Perry ramped up her stage show again at the end of the main set for “It Takes Two” and “This Is How We Do” which included a sample of “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.).” Giant balloons of a purse and a taco, among other items, floated around the stage as Perry and dancers got into a giant inflatable old style convertible T-Bird and walked out to center stage again.
“Teenage Dream” and “California Gurls” turned into arena sing-a-longs and rounded out the first set.
For the first encore, Perry performed “Birthday” with more over-the-top stage props, including a large cake and Perry again being strapped into a harness and lifted to nearly all parts of the arena. The stunt was to give the illusion of Perry being lifted in the air by a bundle of balloons and floating around.
Perry finished the night with “Firework,” performing the majority of the song with only herself on stage, and flanked by actual fireworks going off behind her, in addition to the numerous lights around the arena and the giant screen showing firework videos.
Overall, a very entertaining and energetic show. I have to admit, I became a bigger Katy Perry fan after seeing her concert.
Also worth noting was the short, but solid set of Tegan and Sarah. Yes, everyone knew the Lego Movie song, “Everything is Awesome,” even if they didn’t know Tegan and Sarah sang it. But songs like “Drove Me Wild,” “Closer” and “I Couldn’t Be Your Friend” really made for a great set, even if the arena acoustics at that point weren’t awesome.