Katy Perry New Zealand Prismatic World Tour 2014 [Review]
currently: listening to 'Must Get Out' and 'Sunday Morning' by Maroon 5, just cause it's a classic.
Katy Perry (who came 19-20 December 2014) has one of those concert tours that, no matter whether or not you like her, you know you'll get a big show - which was pretty much the reason I bought a ticket. After hearing how great her California Dreams tour was last time she was in Auckland, I wanted to experience her show for myself, and I was lucky to do this not only once, but twice for her Prismatic World Tour in New Zealand.
Katy Perry is at the same pop star level as Beyonce and Taylor Swift, so I expected her show to be just as polished and packaged as any of theirs. The strength about tours like this is the sense of equality between each show of the tour. Every show will get a similar set, a similar performance, and nothing becomes watered down just because New Zealand is New Zealand. But then again, at the same time it becomes a weakness, because what will make one show unique from the others?
We skipped opening act Tove Lo on both nights and had our seats dead centre back of Vector Arena - which is not what I would have picked myself but on reflection I think it was the best view to have. The Prismatic stage is quite spectacular and throughout the night there were all sorts of big elements on stage. From Katy's trapeze prism, to her giant sunflower umbrella, to her spinning platforms on top of platforms. The centre back was the best place to soak in all the atmosphere, and all the laser lights.
"You ready to be under the same roof, breathing the same air for the next two hours?"
- Katy Perry [Auckland, night one]
What I loved about Katy Perry's concert were the different scenes and themes she had. Opening with her song 'Roar', the first chapter was the prismatic 'space tribal' set, costumed with glowing LED trims, and supported troop of glowing space tribal men. She then followed up this set with an Egyptian themed stage, much like her music video 'Dark Horse', striking an entrance upon a massive golden mechanical horse. The theme then blended seamlessly into another hit, E.T.
Katy Perry is probably one of the few artists able to pull off a performance in a literal cat suit too. Performing a jazzed-up 'Hot & Cold', she swung her cat tail around with her gang of tabbies, mixed in a bit of Madonna's 'Vogue' and finished with a milk shower in the style of the Flashdance water scene. No one can really make sense of some of the scenes in between (like why there's a mouse chasing for cheese around a group of cats) but it's still entertaining. Her concert feels part circus, part school production, and part kid's birthday party.
"All of a sudden, there are many sheep. There are many sheep on deck... I've never had sheep thrown at me before."
- Katy Perry [Auckland, night two]
The time Katy Perry had the most interaction with the audience was during her acoustic set. Dressed with rainbow hair and a sequined butterfly dress, she addresses the crowd, asking who's been to her show before and if she could "live up to your expectations". After seeing the first show, I already noticed when she repeated some of what she said on the second night. She again took a selfie in the reflection pit (the first night was with a girl who gave a kiwi backpack, second night was with a girl who threw sheep), and gave someone a free pizza (but gave an extra kiss on the cheek to the young 12-year-old boy too). However, it was a nice surprise to see some unique stuff on the second night. For one, she did throw some of the props she was using to the audience, as well as free merch - just to celebrate the end of the 2014 Prismatic World Tour.
Katy's strength, other than having a ridiculous amount of hit songs, is definitely her antics and personality. She can go from a vulnerable ballad, like the song By the Grace of God, in one scene and then come out the next with smiley faces on her bra and jumping over the audience. It's not to say that other artists can't manage the emotional change but with Katy there's just a better sense of playfulness about her that other artists can't pull off.
"I know I should be a perfect pop star, but I ain't!"
[Katy Perry, Auckland, night two]
And of course, as it drew to the end, it finally came to the part of 'prism vision'. When we entered Vector Arena, everyone was given these special 'prism vision' glasses, and for a long time we didn't really know what to do with them. We occasionally put them, just to see what would happen, and they would reflect the lights and make everything look like a kaleidoscope. So when they finally came out during the finale Firework, the glasses turned the lights into these prism-shaped patterns kinda like, well this. To be honest, it wasn't really that exciting to wear the glasses. For one, it was annoying to keep hold of them for an entire concert - once you dropped them don't expect to find them in the dark. And it's also a bit hard to focus with them. It's not as if she needed them anyway with actual sparklers on stage. But if she wanted to find a way to make it memorable (and make kids take home paper sunglasses as tokens), well I guess this was one way to do it. And at least the song Firework did make a fantastic finale (even if I'm not a fan of the song too.)
So while Katy Perry isn't a spectacular dancer/performer like Beyonce, and she isn't as theatrical as Taylor Swift, Katy knows how to hold her own when it comes to bringing the bang and making sure people have a good time. It's visually exciting, musically catchy, and it honestly does live up to every expectation people say. Too bad it couldn't have smelt like Candy Floss like the last tour because that's all everyone talked about the last time too.