It’s now July and I’ve already been to a handful of concerts. Sadly, a couple of them were a bit of a let down for me but my concert going ways were redeemed with Saturday’s Katy Perry show in Calgary during the Stampede.
Unfortunately I missed most of opener Janelle Monae, who I am unfamiliar with and unsure I was into her uber-jazzynes for such a poppy occasion. DJ Skeet Skeet definitely helped to get the party started though. I enjoyed having a DJ spinning tracks in between sets. It made the wait for our beloved Katy seem a little shorter!
The stage set up was like a Candyland board game come to life and the show started with the story of a doe-eyed Katy looking for her lost kitten and the love of her life. The video playing across three large screens behind the stage was much like a candy store version of Alice in Wonderland and continued throughout the two hour show.
Katy kicked things off with the title track from her new record “Teenage Dream” and followed through with a good mix of singles and slower tunes from both her hit records. I got giddy excited when she played one of my favorite songs from her first album “One of the Boys”, a song that my best friend and I dedicated to another close friend of ours in fun, ‘Ur So Gay’.
Then it was time for the skimpy bodysuit complete with a huge peacock tail for the appropriately titled song, ‘Peacock’, another catchy, favorite of mine from the new album. It was then Miss Katy declared it had been a long tour and she was looking for a cowboy, whom she chose from the crowd and invited on stage as long as he lost his shirt. With some playful cheek kisses she kicks the poor cowboy off stage, pretending her husband showed up and she was going to be in a mess of trouble. Coincidentally the song that started her career, ‘I Kissed a Girl’ was the follow up to the little flirtatious side act.
Katy’s onstage persona definitely brought her entertainment value higher. At one point she came out in a pink cowboy hat, talking about the previous night’s activities at the Stampede. She exclaimed she felt like a beached whale after the plethora of midway goodies she consumed, listing off an impressive array of consumed foods, a list that rivals my Stampede food experience. Other highlights included the drunk karaoke break in which Katy did a medley of acoustic covers including Rihanna’s ‘Only Girl (In the World)’, Jay-Z’s ‘Big Pimpin’, Willow Smith’s ‘Whip My Hair’ and god forbid the horrific Rebecca Black song ‘Friday’. Katy’s quirky personality and sense of humor made the karaoke a silly, fun way to break up the concert before getting back into another five songs to close the show.
While Katy may not be the strongest vocalist or most creative songwriter, she has all the elements necessary to put on one hell of an entertaining show. Just like her stage set up, her personality and charisma are too sweet not to love and if that doesn’t get ya, one bat of those eyelashes from her innocent doe eyed gaze will have your heart melting. All the stops of a theatrical performance were pulled complete with multiple outfit changes including several in one song, ‘Hot N Cold’, alone. The back up dancers were by default extraordinary, letting their own personalities shine in their introduction interlude. The lights, the water gun, the confetti and the dancing ginger-bread man all helped contribute to the Katy in Candyland party for this California Dreams tour stop.
I was lucky to have seen Miss Perry when she first broke out in 2008 at the annual Warped Tour in Calgary – on a small stage in the heat of the summer. Of course it was before the glitz and glamour of being a pop star, just Katy and her band. I was not overly impressed with the talent, or lack thereof, but for performing an outdoor festival show such as Warped Tour, she still entertained and I still enjoyed watching her. I had anticipated seeing her play in a larger scale show and finally four years later she made it back to Calgary to show off her growth. I had the same opportunity with Lady Gaga. It’s experiencing big stars in those small intimate moments that really make me fall in love with an artist and I feel lucky for those moments.
Favorite Katy Perry Songs to Check Out:
- I Kissed a Girl
- Ur So Gay
- Not Like the Movies
- Circle the Drain