Venue: Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield
Following the release of her fourth studio album, America’s California Girl-Next Door sets out on the UK leg of her Prismatic World Tour, stopping by South Yorkshire’s Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield.
Surrounded by mini-Katy Perry’s, with blue Smurf hair, green highlights and her characteristic adopted ‘cat ears’, the crowd of all ages had flocked to see the pop superstar. This was certainly a safe family audience in attendance.
The concert support came from Swedish house/ dance duo Icona Pop, who bounced around the stage with their brand of “we’re a girl band with attitude”. Whilst I had assumed this act was probably one for the kids, the slightly adult themes and occasional language wasn’t entirely appropriate and expected. Nevertheless they churned out their hits I Love It along with new single Girlfriend and made way for the star of the night.
The cleverly crafted, triangular Prism stage was starting to take shape as the lights went out and the strobes pulsated around the arena. With acrobatic and gymnastic displays the music started and Katy Perry arrived in fine voice, emerging from a large pyramid centre stage.
Opening with Roar, the singer energetically joined her troupe of dancers dressed in neon, glowing, tribal costumes. This wasn’t going to be a just a music concert, it was clear that every inch of this spectacle had been precisely choreographed with care.
As the different parts of the stage contorted and twisted, it lifted Perry onto a higher platform as she belted out the ballads Part Of Me and Wide Awake. Though just as soon as the prism on stage had taken shape it was time to change set into the Egyptian-themed part of the show.
Featuring the worldwide hits E.T. and I Kissed A Girl, the stage filled up with caricatured female Mummies, wrapped in bandages with more than ample assets, dancing around the singer. At this point the show took on a spooky cinematic experience as spooky video animations and stories were played out on the huge video screens behind.
It wasn’t long before the show morphed into a foray of Perry’s characteristic feline friends singing a big band, swing version of Hot N Cold.
After all the bright lights and dance routines, Katy Perry, her backing singers and a select few musicians from her band joined her right at the front of the stage for a chilled out acoustic set, which was a particular highlight of the evening.
She joked with the audience “Boyfriends come and go, but you’re always there”, before posing for a selfie with one lucky member of the crowd and exclaiming she nearly lost her wig in the process!
Joking aside, she took this opportunity to serenade the arena with simple arrangements of By The Grace of God, The One That Got Away and most notably Unconditionally and actually picked up a multi-coloured, glittery guitar herself.
Paying homage to her host city tonight, the singer bravely sampled a pint of local Bradfield Brewery bitter along with taking the time out to thank everyone for coming to the gig (particularly the boyfriends who’d been dragged there to please their partners).
More hits were to follow with her latest single Birthday, the anthem Teenage Dream and the fun California Gurls, Perry had not only exceeded but totally surpassed all expectation with an evening of immense variety, great pop songs and an amazing array of dance and stage craft. It was certainly a sight to behold with a great soundtrack, which left her excited and loyal fans shouting for more as she closed the show with the unmistakable Firework.
– Charlie Barker
View full set of live gig images: click here.