Live: Katy Perry Explodes Out of A Cake at Roseland Ballroom
Katy Perry, making bad jokes about big guitars. Photos by Lauren Duffy.
Monday, November 8
Better Than: Pretty much anything else you could do on a Monday night in NYC, give or take the Odd Future show.
Last night, brazenly over-sexed singer Katy Perry--just back from her European tour and a recent wedding--took on Roseland Ballroom for a concert to promote the newly released Windows 7 phone. The Candy Land-themed stage glitz was enough to get the teenagers in the audience riled up before the show even began, soliciting shrill screams from the girls and wildly inappropriate catcalls from boys who were probably too young to be out on a weeknight anyway. The theme for tonight was bubble-gum pink--dancers in fluffy tutus, back-up singers donning cotton candy wigs, with Perry's arrival marked by a gigantic cake rolled onto stage. The thing exploded, of course, shooting a million pounds of confetti into the air and revealing the starlet squeezed into a purple dress, covered in cupcakes.
The show wasn't a far reach from her albums, save an especially sultry, down-tempo intro verse of "I Kissed A Girl." While hits like "Hot N Cold" and "California Girls" are just as successful in the raging dance party of a concert, they barely feature Perry at all live, her vocals drowned out by the chanting of the band behind her. Surprisingly, it was the slower "Not Like the Movies" and the acoustic onset of "California Girls" that showcased the range and depth of her voice. Don't take her seriously though--any hint of shyness is just her being coy. At a Katy Perry show, even the act of grabbing a guitar comes with free zingers. "I have sprinkles on my nails so it's hard for me to grab anything," she notes quietly. "Unless it's big, of course." (Cue: Shocked parents eyeing their uncomfortable sons and lots of nervous laughter.)
Sassy stage banter is just the thing that we'd expect Perry to excel at, and it quickly became the running highlight of the evening. Quips were hurled at the sponsors ("Is this free? No? What the fuck! Isn't this Microsoft? Don't you own half the world?") and propositions slung onto the audience ("Show me your boobs!" / "You're sexy, yeah you."). Her bottomless pit of sultry innuendo is tempered by a dose of awkwardness-- turning the mic to the audience for a chorus sing-a-long of "You're so gay and you don't even like boys" was too much for even the diehard fans next to us. But the slightly wearisome moment was redeemed by another round of stand-up. "I let my mom be my friend on Facebook for Christmas," she said, a line that led to a slideshow of drunken photos that played above a quick round of "Last Friday Night." She rounded the song out with overzealous hype mechanisms, a hip-hop inspired "Come on now" with the white-girl bounce to match. It works to her favor--everyone loves when a hot girl gets dorky.
The show ended almost exactly as it started. Screaming teenagers, a new flurry of confetti, and two gigantic beach balls that bounced on top of the head of the now frenzied crowd. "Those are some big balls," noted Perry as people started to head out. "You have some pretty big balls," mumbled an old guy standing next to me.
Critical Bias: Girl power.
Overheard: "For a girl with big hoo-hahs, she's smart."
Random Notebook Dump: Only a handful more "Show us your boobs!" than a Neko Case show.
Hot N Cold
I Kissed A Girl
UR So Gay
Last Friday Night
Not Like the Movies
Thinking Of You