MUSIC REVIEW: Katy Perry, opening of the Prism world tour @ Odyssey Arena, Belfast
The pop mix of kookiness, gorgeousness and brilliance that is Katy Perry kicked off her Prism World Tour at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena last night (May 7) with a hoopla of mad choreography, very loud acoustics, lots of neon, naked flames and aerial feats, and a huge amount of excitement from fans who had packed out the arena.
“Belfast, I’m so excited, but I’m also so nervous,” said Perry, dressed in futuristic silver sequins, following a storming rendition of her empowering hit ‘Roar’ and then the equally rousing ‘Part of Me’.
Fans were treated to an excellent mix from the California performer’s setlist with the most colourfully vivid light shows and changes of costume and backdrop imaginable, all accompanied by a troupe of gymnast-fit dancers who variously glowed in neon or gyrated in leather - at one moment some hung from the ceiling while twisting around an iron-shaped structure. It looked perilous, but the wow-factor was incredible.
‘Dark Horse’ saw Perry astride an anamatronic horse against an Egyptian backdrop and dressed like a hugely sexy Cleopatra in a bobbed wig and lavender thigh high boots while belting out lyrics like it was the end of the world.
Perry’s vocals are formidable, and this was even more apparent in her stripped back, acoustic renditions of ‘By the Grace of God’ and ‘The One That Got Away’, during which she also displayed easy ability on guitar and an original way of connecting with her audience - at one point she got down to taking about growing kale and beets in her California garden.
It was during this quieter moment that Perry chatted affably about having spent the past ten days in Belfast during which she caught a cold - a typical Northern Irish experience, then, and asked the audience to help her by singing along.
Katy had a sip of Tennent’s before offering it to a fan in the crowd and said: “Belfast, it’s like I never went away - I’m so glad that we’re here together!” Which sent the fans wild once more. Looking at the cards many were waving, declaring their love for the star she urged them not to make her “cry her false eyelashes off”.
Perry was then suspended from high wires with a lot of balloons, then sang from inside what looked like a 15ft high skirt and ended a blazing set - immaculately choreographed and so visually gorgeous, with inflatable objects floating about the crowd - lipsticks, cupcakes, a handbag, mad footage of cats going shopping on ginormous screens, and a final rendition of her hit song Firework. Her vocals were strong and affecting and the obligatory fireworks did go off in timely fashion behind her, as Perry ended what was a hugely enjoyable night of ultra-infectious pop and sophisticated, if slightly overdone, musical extravaganza.
Katy Perry plays again tonight, May 8, at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast.