Katy Perry @ Sydney Entertainment Centre, May 4, 2011. Review by Adam Cubito.
When I walked into the Sydney Entertainment Centre the other night I had no idea I was about to be transported to a magical sugary wonderland. Everything, everywhere was bright, glittery and looked delicious.
Even though openers Zowie & DJ Skeet Skeet had the audience up and pumping there was no denying they were just the sweet fillers for the candy-coloured crowd who were chanting Perry's name. Nothing could prepare me for the squeaks, squeals and screeches that were unleashed when Perry’s extravaganza finally began. They were so loud in fact I wondered if the roof of the Ent Centre might just crumble apart from the sheer joy of it all.
A fairytale Wizard of Oz video intro started the show off with Perry’s nightmare – she was being forced to work at a butchers and her beloved cat, Kitty Purry, had gone missing. The dream sequence began with Perry rising from the stage – as did thousands of iPhone and camera screens – in a sequined love heart dress and launching into "Teenage Dream."
Even though the stage looked like one big Willy Wonka playground – it was pretty clear that this wasn’t a concert just for kids – especially when songs "Hummingbird Heartbeat" and "Waking Up In Vegas" had everyone celebrating the excesses of life.
From one slightly risqué song to another, Perry’s choice to sing "UR So Gay" – the song that first launched her into the spotlight - made me wonder exactly what the rows of mothers I had seen complaining about the lights being too bright, were doing now. My guess? Probably scrambling for ear plugs.
If they were jamming fingers in ears, they’d be missing out – the adventure only ramped up in speed and brightness with dancing mimes, spiked brownies, peacock feathers and a very energetic band. It was like Alice In Wonderland on crack.
Quick costume changes continued through the night, and it was sexy lounge-singer Perry complete with feather boa that asked the audience asked to take their shirts off. 17-year old David was pulled from the crowd by the temptress and given a kiss on the lips as a reward for taking his shirt off. He kept his socks on though as Perry announced to the crowd “F*ck shoes!” before starting a jazzy laidback version of "I Kissed A Girl."
The next 30 minutes were both a visual and musical feast – a fake collapse, a black catsuit, E.T with a laser show and then emerging from the floor dressed like a gay Jesus with a bubble machine, singing "Not Like The Movies." Another highlight was Perry’s stripped back audience monologue where she spoke of her love of Tim Tams and Summer Heights High and her hate of Vegemite, before doing covers of "Friday" by Rebecca Black and Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair."
The show drew to an end with "Hot N’ Cold" and a visual gag of changing outfits, a cover of Whitney Houston’s "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," a indoor pyro display for "Firewor"k and then the big finale, a big glittery rendition of "California Gurls" complete with Gingerbread men can-can dancers.
The show was amazing. It promised a dream on the poster and it delivered just that. Staging, fireworks and dancing aside, you get the sense that Katy Perry doesn’t ever take herself too seriously. She's just a big kid having a whole lot of fun.