Kylie may have the glittery old school glamour sewn up, while Lady Gaga has the subversive art couture angle covered but chief cheerleader Katy Perry wants a piece of the dress-up doll action too, throwing everything at the extravagant staging of her latest show in a confident and pretty convincing bid to be the girl with the most cake.
Katy Perry - Hydro, Glasgow
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The Prismatic tour is a thundering Disney theme park ride in six mega-budget, mid-concept movements with Perry as the feisty, mischievous heroine, braving a succession of high-end designer costumes, six “hair changes”, a series of spectacular entrances and exits and 13,000 Glaswegians chanting “down it” as she did battle with a pint of lager.
The bright, playful and often downright silly production design incorporated pyramids, inflatable cars, tap-dancing cats, illuminated mohicans, Egyptian mummy fat suits, moving butterfly hats, fluorescent skipping ropes and lashings of neon, while the attention deficit action was propelled by athletic, acrobatic, at times almost gladiatorial choreography.
How did an aerial routine in a 3D diamond structure relate to the song E.T? Who knows? Who cares? Best to abandon all hope of drawing any meaningful connection with the (mostly generic) music and bring on the flying guitarists instead.
The show was studded with moments of ridiculous but entertaining pop theatre such as Perry riding a bling Warhorse-style contraption around the stage during Dark Horse, while rapper Juicy J made an onscreen cameo as Pharaoh, and the entirely bonkers “Cat-oure” portion of proceedings, with Perry recast as Katy Purry, surrounded by freaky feline friends.
The token intimate acoustic section, where all the mawkish ballads go to die, still involved a Valentino-designed princess outfit and gigantic sunflowers. But even a dedicated maximalist like Perry understands the value of a (relatively) unshowy singalong, following the dayglo fun of Walking On Air with the carefree bubblegum pop numbers Teenage Dream and California Gurls. These songs didn’t require much theatrical assistance, only some space to run free.
As two hours in the company of the world’s most expensive children’s entertainer drew to a close, it was impossible not to smile at the sight of Perry floating above the crowd on the end of a cluster of balloons while birthday boy Matthew, plucked from the crowd, became the cherry on top of his own revolving birthday cake. Sweet, but thankfully not sickly.
Seen on 17.05.14