Watching American singer-songwriter Katy Perry perform during her “Witness” concert at Mall of Asia recently was like, to borrow the title of one of her hits, waking up in Vegas.
From the moment Katy hit the stage, a razzmatazz of colors drew and nailed the gaze of parents and kids alike to her. She packed every moment of the evening with eye-popping spectacle peppered with choreographed dancing and blindingly bright costumes that sparkle, swing, strut and even fly.
Produced by Ovation Productions, no one dared bat an eye or at put down their cameras as doing so would’ve crashed Pinoys Instagram dream photos, as in big time.
Many of her songs had their own single-use oversized props. There’s a jungle-gym crawling with creatures like a giant pair of Chapsticked lips, lions and roses. Also a dice for “Roulette,” to basketball courts for the street-savvy “Swish Swish.” The blue shark — the most memorable thing about Katy’s 2015 Super Bowl halftime show — even joined her for “California Gurls.”
Throughout the bells and whistles, all focused on the LED dress Katy wore, projecting titles of her songs like “Hot N Cold.” A stunning video montage of her journey as an artist flashed on screen while shooting out lasers from her one-eye concept backdrop.
Katy expressed how excited she is to be in Manila. Talking to her beloved KatyCats (how she calls her fans), she said: “Listen, I don’t speak Filipino but I do wanna know a couple of things before we continue. Collaborate.”
The singer sought the help of every one in learning the Filipino words: “Mainit,” “Tahimik,” “Malamig,” and of course, “Mahal kita.” Katy was a beaming light of joy and humor that night. You could feel and see the energy, she’s sturdy in her goofiness, and fluent in froth and frill.
She then invited onstage this guy in a toga. They took a”twofie” for him to keep and brag of. Surveying the venue, we saw local celebrities like Jaya, Angelika dela Cruz, Ylona Garcia, and John “Sweet” Lapus, among others.
The hits came fast and furious: “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)” segued to “Teenage Dream,” “I Kissed A Girl,” “Dark Horse” and “Prism.” Despite using the F-word couple of times, Katy still managed to keep her show generally wholesome. Well, the singer’s appeal owes much to her ticklish and successful navigation of adult themes with kid-appropriate metaphors.
When Katy decided it was time to slow things down, she strapped on an acoustic guitar for a take on her 2009 ballad “Thinking Of You.” The set design on that number was impeccable, turning the arena into a galaxy, with planets dangling from the sky.
She followed it with a heart-warming rendition of the reggae-pop “Chained To The Rhythm,” with audiences swaying their phone’s light up high. Katy even had wings as backdrop, maybe her way of telling people that she will continue to soar above her detractors.
The fans welcomed the materials from her latest album “Witness.” It includes a pair of gloomy tracks “Déjà Vu” and “Tsunami,” complete with a hunky pole dancer in a spinning thorn-ish red rose.
After that heartfelt moment, Katy didn’t mind going back to her buoyant, loud, party-ish songs. We commend her for her brawny stamina (to spare, if ever) after almost two hours of running, splits and Zumba-like moves.
Given her bombastic vocals, the singer belted her ultimate hit “Roar” with matching lion’s head as costume then “Bon Appetit” while writhing around a giant leaf.
The show closer was “Firework,” which made the fans jump off their seats while trying their utmost to dance and sing “’Cause baby you’re a firework/Come on show ’em what your worth/Make ’em go Oh, oh, oh!/As you shoot across the sky-y-y.”
Almost two decades in the industry, the pop star remains unpredictable, explosive, whimsical — we “Witness.”
Tags: and John “Sweet” Lapus, Angelika dela Cruz, Entertainment News, Firework, Jaya, Katy Perry, Mall of Asia Arena, Manila Bulletin, Manila Bulletin Entertainment, mb.com.ph, Neon Candy, Ylona Garcia, “Witness” concert