Katy Perry invited some of her closest gal pals to share the stage with her at a charity fundraiser last night (October 23) at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. We Can Survive, an initiative to raise money for breast cancer, drew an impressive line-up. Bonnie McKee, Kacey Musgraves, Tegan And Sara, Sara Bareilles and Ellie Goulding enthusiastically warmed up the crowd but the event was all about the girl-kissing pop star — and she delivered a spectacular set befitting her status as the new queen of pop.
But let’s start at the pre-show Q&A that Katy held for fans and media. The most consistent hitmaker in music walked on stage in the late afternoon sun, holding a cup of tea — she later confessed to being under the weather — and promptly charmed everyone by answering tweets while a plane circled above the famed venue wishing her a happy birthday. (She turns 29 on October 25). It was a surreal scene that speaks volumes about music promotion in the modern age.
The Prism creator spoke freely on a number of topics in between acoustic performances of “Roar”, “Unconditionally” and “Firework”. She confided that the forthcoming “Unconditionally” video is inspired by the films Dangerous Liaisons and Anna Karenina (expect historical costumes), declared ’90s Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston as her go-to karaoke divas, confessed that album highlight “Spiritual” is heavily influenced by Portishead and Morcheeba and told us she wants to act in Tim Burton‘s Beetlejuice sequel. Katy then waved and left.
Bonnie McKee took the stage first (Ke$ha wants her act back), Kacey Musgraves seemed a little out of place but made up for it with sheer charm, Tegan And Sara were typically solid and Sara Bareilles swore a lot but sang her heart out. Ellie Goulding looked a little confused and suffered from two audio malfunctions. Nevertheless, she endeared herself to the sold-out crowd, which erupted when the headliner appeared a little after 10pm.
Wearing a Jetsons-inspired translucent — one could say prismatic — ensemble, the superstar looked more like the glam “E.T.” alien than the earthy diva from “Roar” — proving that Teenage Dream era Katy survived that cruel wig-burning incident. At least in the live arena. She took it way, way back with “I Kissed A Girl” before performing Prism buzz track “Dark Horse”. Juicy J was there to deliver his rap, while the pop icon danced up a storm. It’s a shame this wasn’t saved for a single release. It holds up as the most immediate track on the new LP after “Roar”.
“Part Of Me” always sounds great live but the warm reception Prism ballad “By The Grace Of God” received was a surprise. Maybe KatyCats are more willing to follow their queen on her path to enlightenment than first thought. That song really showcased Katy’s incredible vocal development, while “Walking On Air” reminded fans that she still knows how to have a good time. Speaking of which, hearing the chart-busting diva belt out “California Girls” — mashed with “Teenage Dream”, no less — in California was a rare treat.
After wowing with a gorgeous rendition of “Unconditionally”, Katy closed the show by singing “Firework” while they erupted over the Hollywood Bowl. It was a special moment and a reminder that the hitmaker already has enough iconic tracks for a greatest hits compilation after a mere three of albums. Not bad.
Katy closed the show by inviting the other performers back on stage to sing “Roar”. The enthusiasm with which they belted out the recent chart-topper is a testament to Katy’s standing in the music world and the catchiness of the song. Money was raised and people were well and truly entertained. Mission accomplished.
Katy Perry’s We Can Survive Setlist:
I Kissed A Girl
Part Of Me
By The Grace Of God
Walking On Air
Were you there? Let us know what you thought of the show in the comments below.