Gig Review: Katy Perry, iTunes Festival - the candyfloss era isn't over just yet
Tuesday 01 October 2013
The UK's first live glimpse of Katy Perry's third album PRISM comes just two days after the pop princess's fairytale took its darkest turn yet. Echoes of a Billboard interview in which she discussed suicidal thoughts following the end of her short marriage to Russell Brand might be heard reverberating around a venue distinctly free of the candyfloss scent pumped into venues on her kitschorama Teenage Dream tour.
Former cupcake Perry has become adept at drawing publicly and deeply on her love and life turmoils. It's a seasoned pop tactic, but one that fits her particularly well, lending a graphic personal power to the self-helpy survivalist streak that's always been her strongest suit.
Perhaps it's about connectability; more so than, say, Beyonce, you can buy struggle and survival from Perry, an indefatigable trier who made it good on her third shot at a pop career, and whose dancing suggests she'd wade through a lake of blood and berkish comedians to get where she's going.
And that destination is here-to-stay pop maturity. The 90s-toned, hi-NRG house-pop of new track "Walking On Air" is followed by a sharp one-two of "California Gurls" and a ravey "Teenage Dream". Things darken up with second new track "Dark Horse", a dubby, moody thing akin to Rihanna's "Russian Roulette" where our sugarlump-snaffling frisky pop pony attempts to flash a sexy dangerous side with questionable credibility. Tonight's only previously unheard Prism moment, "By The Grace Of God" is a more genuine moment of shade, a darkest-hour piano ballad with hints of early Tori Amos ("Looked in the mirror and decided to stay/I wasn't gonna let love take me out that way").
Perry's never downbeat for long, though. "I need nothing to complete myself," she asserts during "Wide Awake", bending down to face an insufficiently self-valuing fan and bellowing "You know that!" with terrifying motivational vim before erupting confetti up to the ceiling from her hands before everybody’s even finished eating out of them.
She closes with an explosively inspirational double whammy of "Firework" and comeback single "Roar" (a slow-burning slice of genius acclaimed by none other than fellow fallout specialist Stevie Nicks as a feminist anthem). Katy and her dancers do their Rocky routine, punching all their burgeoning self-worth into that fantastically Phoenix-like chorus. Short but sweet set over, Katy hurls her glittering skipping-rope into the crowd and strides off to survive another day, leaving her London adorers to the most empowered Monday night tube ride imaginable.
The best TV shows and films coming to the servicetv
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
- 2 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 3 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
Spectre: Director Sam Mendes teases clips from upcoming James Bond movie
Indian Summers recommissioned: Channel 4 confirm a second series of British Empire drama
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
The Casual Vacancy finale review: Superb cast, luscious cinematography - shame about the confused ending
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut