September 10 at the KFC Yum! Center was a night I had impatiently been awaiting since early in April. It was the night I would get to watch one of my favorite artists perform a concert that had been long-awaited by many: Katy Perry’s California Dreams tour.
Among the exciting things about the concert, besides the fact that I love Katy Perry’s music, was that a few weeks before the concert I realized a number of people were acquiring backstage meet and greet passes to meet her beforehand. Even though I, unfortunately, wasn’t one of the lucky few, this showed me how personable a celebrity she is, and how much she appreciates her fans. One of my best friends Charlotte Alexander (12) did get the privilege to meet this musical icon, and she had only optimistic things to say. “I had never met a goddess,” Alexander said. “Then I met Katy Perry.”
On the night of the concert, when the lights began to dim around 9:10 p.m., the huge monitors hovering over the stage were illuminated with a video starring Katy Perry in her fantasy world. The video told a story, which continued to progress every few songs to maintain the theme and make the audience laugh. Perry introduced herself to her audience of 14,000 with her very popular song “Teenage Dream,” opening up the concert with an abundance of energy, and keeping that energy up until the concert’s end.
During the concert, Perry confirmed all of my thoughts about how personable of a singer she is. At one point during her concert, Perry invited her audience on the floor to come on the stage and dance, gave one very lucky teen a kiss on his cheek in front of the whole crowd, took a Facebook profile picture with an extremely thankful fan, and even brought out her first Moonman from the VMA’s (Video Music Awards) and let admirers around the stage touch it. She made it very clear that her fans were the number one priority, and that she wanted to make connections with her audience. A lot of performers just perform to raise their popularity and raise money, but Perry made her audience members feel loved, and it was easy to tell performing was something that she loved; she put her heart into it.
Perry’s voice was delightful and heartwarming, to say the least. She didn’t shy away from throwing everything she had into every note of every song, and there was no doubt in my mind that by the end of the concert my voice would be gone. She joked with the crowd, and also repeatedly expressed her pleasure at having so many caring fans, even though we lived so far away from her. Every time Perry opened her mouth, audience members had no choice but to either laugh at one of her sassy comments or belt out one of her awe-inspiring songs. “She said she was sick, but she sounded amazing, and she was really funny!” said Sarah Tomlin (12). “She was more genuine and entertaining than Lady Gaga.”
Another exciting component of Perry’s performance was her elaborate costumes and the concert’s advanced theatrical effects. She changed her outfit at least ten times, ranging from a cat suit to an elaborately feathered peacock leotard to several sequined, sparkly dresses. During the “Hot n’ Cold” performance, to go along with the lyrics “You change your mind like a girl changes clothes,” Perry walked behind several random objects and props such as sheets held up by her dancers, and in seconds reappeared in a completely different ensemble.
Perry also incorporated intricate dance routines performed above the stage on ropes, at one point singing while on a cloud floating above the audience, and at another singing the song “Pearl” on a podium elevated above the stage, at least 50 feet into the air. Visual enhancements to the performance included mimes, dancers jiving in gingerbread man costumes, and huge pieces of steak hanging from the stage. During the encore performance to her song “California Girls,” enormous beach balls were bounced around in the crowd, Perry began shooting her audience with a hose filled with sugar water, and gallons of glitter were dumped from the ceiling. With this, Perry made sure that her audience could visually connect to the music, and that they certainly would not be bored.
Clearly, it’s very hard to sum up how unbelievably wonderful Katy Perry’s concert was, but I can say that my California Dreams came true.