Katy Perry @ Bell Centre – September 19, 2017

katy-perry-7-2000Watching the opening show of Katy Perry’s Witness World Tour last night you can understand why even the cheapest of tickets cost $70. The entire operation is huge. Huge stage, huge eye shaped screen, many costume changes, huge props like Left Shark, two big pink flamingos, and planets suspended in the air, and several things that carried the mega pop star off the ground and over the crowd. Everything going on during the near 2 hour show was big and glitzy. It was a pop princess version of Pink Floyd and their giant floating pigs. Excess was the name of the game, but you never felt like it went too far or there was too much of it. There was nary a dull moment to be found much to the delight of her mostly female and largely youthful crowd.

Another thing that the show proved to me is how many hits this woman has accumulated in a relatively short period of time. It almost felt like a Best of tour rather than one supporting her latest album, Witness. She did sprinkle in songs from that album like “Witness”, “Roulette” and “Hey Hey Hey” but the rest of the setlist was populated by her multitude of Top 10 songs like “Dark Horse”, “Chained to the Rhythmn” and “Teenage Dream”. It is pretty impressive when heard laid out one after another.

Obviously obsessed with the 80s (a musical decade she also would have thrived in with her bigger than life persona and zaniness), the influence of that period is on show full force in this tour. You see parts of Madonna with the cone bras and Cirque du Soleil male dancer impressing on a flower or the more obvious one with the intermixing of the 1986 Janet Jackson hit “What Have You Done for Me Lately” with the Perry ditty “Bon Appetit”.

katy-perry-2-2000What threw me off a little and I’m still not sure I enjoyed it was her tinkering with arrangements to some of her biggest hits. Songs like “I Kissed a Girl”, “California Gurls” and “Hot and Cold” sounded quite different and, in my opinion, suffered a little. They did not have the fun and spunk of the originals. When you have songs that are as light and fluffy as cotton candy trying to add some punch via the music often does not work. I say, stay with what made them (and you) popular.

That being said, Perry gives it all during the show. She is a consummate professional who is there to entertain you and make you feel good. Working hard at all times and visually stimulating you with all the large props, confetti, fireworks, and many costume changes, she obviously wants everyone to have a good time at her shows.

katy-perry-5-2000Nothing about Katy Perry’s music or shows involve you having to think deeply. Everything is big, bold and simplistic. Nothing complicated going on here. This is just to be enjoyed rather that thought about or dissected.

The opening act was Miley’s younger sister, Noah Cyrus. She is a pretty brand new artist and I don’t know that much about her. This is a huge stage and venue for her to be cutting her teeth on and as a result she looked a little lost at times. Her country lite sound was an odd choice as an opening act for a pure pop act like Katy Perry.

Setlist:

  1. “In The Space” (Video Introduction)
  2. Witness (Shortened)
  3. Chained to the Rhythm (Hot Chip Remix outro)
  4. Last Friday Night (Shortened)
  5. Bon Appétit (Contains elements of What Have You Done For Me Lately)
  6. Roar (Contains elements of “Hard Knock Life”)

Encore:

22. Firework

 

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