Categories: Arts

Pop queen Katy Perry illuminates in San Jose

One could never accuse Katy Perry of being chintzy. Production values on her “Prismatic World Tour,” which hit San Jose’s SAP Center on Monday (the first of two gigs), rivaled the best in the world. The two-hour extravaganza was a crazy mix of Disney, Cirque du Soleil, Ringling Bros., Burning Man, the Macy’s parade, Hello Kitty and a Jazzercise class.

The capacity crowd, filled with pumped-up youngsters staying up way past their bedtimes, reveled in Perry’s picture-perfect, two-hour pop fest, not to mention her voluminous wardrobe and enduring gratitude for her followers.

Her music — nearly two dozen megahits and regular hits — was in there, somewhere.

Emerging from a huge, flashing triangle-pyramid-prism, clad in a top and skirt that lit up, and surrounded by spear-wielding dancers that looked like anime Trojan warriors, Perry opened with “Roar” and followed with “Part of Me,” “Wide Awake,” “This Moment” and “Love Me” in an aerobics-video-like segment. Things got even wilder in the next, Egyptian-inspired numbers (“Dark Horse,” “E.T.,” “Legendary Lovers”) in which she rode a huge puppet horse, wore Cleopatra-ish garb (with hip-length boots) and cracked a whip.

She was an odd superheroine in “I Kissed A Girl,” cavorting with dancers wearing big-boobed, big-bottomed bodysuits.

Did we mention the guitar players careening through the air on wires?

Plentiful cat videos, and Kitty Purry, her feline persona, came out in “Hot N Cold” and “International Smile.”

A slower interlude in which she sported rainbow hair, a flowing gown and stopped to take a selfie and serve pizza for a few lucky audience members featured her most lovely (real?) singing, in “By The Grace of God,” “The One That Got Away” and “Unconditionally.” Her backup singers were dressed as sunflowers.

She literally was back in the air for “Walking on Air,” complete with a wind machine and billowing sky of blue fabric. For “It Takes Two,” her upper body peeked out of an amazing, room-sized hoop skirt.

Massive parade-style balloons — a taco, a tube of lipstick and more — flew in “This Is How We Do It” while a disturbing video of Perry in a straitjacket played during a costume change nearing the big finish, with “Teenage Dream” and “California Gurls.”

The most invigorating, inspirational stunt came with “Birthday,” in which Perry, after bestowing onstage birthday wishes (on a big platform cake) to Rebecca from the audience, perched in a big bunch of balloons and flew around the arena’s perimeter to greet fans.

For her closer “Firework,” the audience donned 3-D glasses to better appreciate the bursts of color emanating from their idol, a California girl herself, who clearly fulfilled a midshow promise to make them smile.

lkatz@sfexaminer.com

SF Examiner
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