Katy Perry is one of the most iconic and influential performers from the past decade, arguably the past century (consider, primarily, the fact that she made history with her third studio album Teenage Dream, tying Michael Jackson's record of five number 1 hits off a single album--the first female to ever accomplish the feat). Now on her fifth studio album, Witness Perry seems unstoppable. Despite her life and her music constantly being scrutinized by critics and the public eye, Perry continues to reign supreme in the eyes of her fans--selling out legs of her Witness tour and giving new meaning to the third eye (a symbol which Perry notably references--both visually and symbolically--throughout her career). On Sunday night Perry brought her tour to New Jersey's Prudential Center.
Glitz and glam are no foreign entities to Perry, who enters the arena floating down on a polygonal vessel (shrouded in sparkles of light and surrounded by her own squad of backup dancers). When Perry asks, "Can I get a witness?", the point almost seems moot--she's the center of the universe and it's hard to see much else, even in a sea of 12,000 people. Her presence, in and of itself, is a show stopper. Perry has a magnetism about her that inspires awe in her fans and admiration in her enemies. She reminds us all of her power when she plays hits like "Firework" and "Dark Horse", alongside her very first single "I Kissed a Girl".
Perry masterfully weaves her way through costume and set changes like a pro (despite a landscape of notably confused 80s and 90s pop art), interjecting thoughtful and compassionate interludes with fans plucked from the audience (signing "Roar" with one, shooting hoops during "Swish Swish" with another). There's a wholesomeness about Perry that still reads as charming and sincere even after years in the spotlight--she understands the unyielding joy her music brings to people, and that it offers assurances of happiness even in, what Perry suggests, are "dark" times.