BY Von Bacani

Pop superstar Katy Perry returned to Sydney for a week’s worth of shows as part of her fourth concert tour, Witness: The Tour. The singer played four shows at Qudos Bank Arena, with music producer Zedd joining her as the opening act.

Zedd opened the show with an impressive set consisting of EDM-pop hits from throughout the 2010s, from the heartbreak masterpiece Clarity to the club sounds of 2015’s I Want You To Know which features vocals by Selena Gomez.

It was a chilly Thursday night, and crowds of diverse ages and music tastes were delighted to see the pop hitmaker herself. Katy Perry opened the show with a stunning red-and-black ensemble, donning a hoodie and a bodysuit ready to sing the title song from her latest album, Witness. The entire show was the usual Perry-esque get-up: epic stage sets, bright lights, colourful costumes and instantly recognisable pop hits. The Australia and New Zealand leg is set to be the last before the performer wraps up her Witness tour.

After Perry performed her 2014 hit Dark Horse, the stage transformed into a vaporwave-inspired set, with number-ones Teenage Dream, California Gurls and I Kissed A Girl making members of the audience get up and dance. The show was a visual feast and an entrance into Perry’s wild imagination. Of course, the show could not go without an appearance by Left Shark, who performed a brief comedic act with the singer. Perry is known for her quirky, playful persona which are often accompanied with a backdrop of animations and interactive stage sets.

Perry’s most empowering songs dominated the show’s second half. Along with several songs from her latest album, it would not be a Katy concert without a mashup of old and new tunes. E.T. and Bon Appétit saw a monochrome themed segment, with props such as oversized salt and pepper shakers amusing the audience. The dark theme inundated with roses and thorns was the perfect companion to Perry’s more sultry, alluring compositions.

As the stadium filled with darkness during the acoustic set, a sea of smartphone lights emerged as Katy re-entered, perched on a planet, strumming a bejewelled guitar and softly singing Wide Awake. The crowd made a resounding roar as Katy’s own Roar filled the arena with its booming percussion and guitars. Her frequent interactions with the crowd were a personal standout; In the spirit of her most recent era, she was able to make her audience feel witnessed and seen, even from afar.

The crowd erupted into cheers as Perry personally thanked the audience for giving their Thursday night to see her. She ended the night with what is arguably her signature song, Firework. It was a feel-good fest fitting for a finale.

It was delightful to see the audience jump up and dance to songs that were written to empower and inspire. She had promised to sing all her number-ones that night, and she did just that. Katy Perry brings unusually light-hearted and bubbly performances which seem to set her apart from her peers. After watching her live, it came as no surprise as to why she can bring people together regardless of individual music tastes. Her songs are well-known across the globe, and when she’s on the road, she comes ready with songs for everyone to sing.

Photo credit Kevin Mazur.

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