For the next two hours, Transformers-esque CGI pyramids, smiley-poop emoticons and dancers dressed as cats prancing around giant scratch-toy sets filled the arena as the reigning pop queen, in various outfits and wigs, bounded from song to song. The set list, as you might have guessed, drew heavily from her most recent album, Prism, a collection with the unenviable task of building on her unstoppable 2010 disc, Teenage Dream. Regardless, it’s hard to imagine anyone leaving disappointed: This is Katy’s world and you know what you’re getting into.
Amid the lasers and inflatable props, a surprisingly moving acoustic mini-set broke up the show’s larger, more bombastic set pieces. As part of that, L.A.-based singer-songwriter Ferras—a signee of Perry's new Metamorphosis Music imprint, who opened the show along with Capital Cities—joined her to perform their duet, “Legends Never Die.” For a minute, dancing and pyrotechnics took a backseat to singing, and Perry seemed to go (at least a little bit) off-script while introducing the ballads, referring to her divorce in so many words and asking the crowd to promise that they’d support her forever. For all her roaring, that last bit seemed like a subtle lowering of the Disney-princess facade. It was part sweet, part sad: You kinda just wanted to give her a hug. Alternately, some kids near us took the interlude as a chance to rest, before perking up for the final volley of birthday cake, sparkling confetti explosions and California sun.
Katy Perry plays July 11 and 12 at Prudential Center, and July 24 and 25 at Barclays Center.
Here’s the full set list from the perfomance:
“Part of Me”
“This Moment” / “Love Me”
“I Kissed a Girl”
“Hot n Cold”
“By the Grace of God”
“Legends Never Die” (duet with Ferras)
“The One That Got Away” / “Thinking of You”
“Walking on Air”
“It Takes Two”
“This Is How We Do” / “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”