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CONCERT REVIEW Katy Perry
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
2017-10-31

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Pop singer Katy Perry spared no expense to put on a show for her fans for two days at the United Center. This review is from Oct. 24, the night before she returned for her birthday gig at the same place.

Noah Cyrus—a younger sister to Miley—opened for Perry with a cover of Lady Gaga's "Million Reasons" after a few of her original songs. She is still building her catalog and feeling out how to perform in spaces this large.

Perry, on the other hand, is a seasoned performer who has had nine number-one hits because of albums such as Teenage Dream. The new fifth album, Witness, is similar to the past Prism record with tracks that seem all over the map. Trying to sell songs that are not immediately catchy live in concert is the trick and Perry struggles with that. She continually comes up with gimmicks to spice things up, and some are bound to fall flat.

She kept her eye on the prize, though, starting with a huge projected pupil and dancers wearing eyeballs. Inflatable eyes were even tossed out to the fans the throw around the venue.

"Bon Appetit" had a Venus-flytrap theme and during "I Kissed a Girl" the performer was eaten by a large lipstick mouth in the air. Talk about a Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Left Shark, from the Super Bowl halftime show, made an appearance during "California Girls," and there were trampolines with acrobatics to keep the energy going.

There was a video game-inspired rendition of "Part of Me," and "Swish Swish" had her dunked in a basketball hoop before playing a game with a daddy.

Her encore was slowed by a massive King Kong hand that needed to be inflated for "Firework." Get the connection? Don't try to make sense of it—just keep sweeping up that confetti.

Calling her mom on a large ol- school pink telephone receiver was an awkward moment, with her mother spouting Chicago trivia.

At another point, a young girl was picked out of the crowd to wish on a star. She asked to end homelessness. One gay couple became engaged right in front of me, but Perry was too busy running around the stage to notice. [Editor's note: Perry, on National Coming Out Day ( Oct. 11 ), did help a lesbian couple get engaged at her concert in Brooklyn.]

She remixed Annie's "Hard Knock Life" with her hit "Roar" and did a short version of Janet Jackson's "What Have You Done for Me Lately?" in front of Jackson's dancers, who happened to be sitting in the audience.

It has been a roller-coaster for Perry this year, as she tried comedy when hosting the MTV Video Music Awards and then reality TV by being filmed for four days straight to promote Witness. In 2017, the pop tart changed her brand, cut her hair and signed up to judge American Idol.

The hitmaker continues not taking herself too seriously, with over-the-top costumes and an unusual sense of humor—but, musically, she should. When she sat down to play guitar and just sing "Thinking of You," it showed how talented she truly is. Of course, it had to be while riding a huge prop of Saturn that floated around the arena.

The Witness Tour continues the tradition of Perry's quirkiness and fun while presenting a boatload of hit songs. She's an odd duck and that's what we all like about her. Can I get a Witness?


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