Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Katy Perry – The Roundhouse, London 30/09/13

02 October 2013, 13:25 | Written by George O'Brien

The iTunes festival is gradually cementing itself as the UK’s premier music showcases, thanks to the biggest mainstream names flocking from all over the world to Camden’s Roundhouse to take part, entertaining an eclectic mix of competition winners every night for four weeks. From the cinematic compositions of Ludovico Einaudi to the viral, twerk-inducing Robin Thicke, the festival offers something for everybody lucky enough to catch a glimpse of these production-heavy shows.

The honour of closing such a run had to fall to someone with the popularity, star-quality and glamour befitting of such a high-profile line-up; someone who’s appeal eclipses genre snobbery and soars into the realms of someone who has achieved worldwide celebrity status through genuine talented. Oh, and of course it can’t hurt if they happen to be responsible for arguably some of the best pop songs of the last decade.

Who better then, than Katy Perry; the multi-platinum-selling artist is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable faces in popular culture. Her almost ability to embody naughty and nice in equal measure transcends fans of traditional pop music, as the words guilty pleasure become nothing more than an irritant when set against an open love for massive, memorable hits.

After an attitude-filled openings from our favourite Swedish duo, Icona Pop and the impressive, in-your-face angst of Iggy Azalea, curtains of anticipation hide the steamy, merry-go-round-clad stage. The 90′s dance piano riff and vocal sampling of ‘Walking On Air’ is a revved-up opener, the latest track to emerge from her eagerly anticipated 4th album Prism showing-off adept relevance.

Immediately the quality of performance and production is apparent; the sizeable band that flanks the stage is immaculate and a phalanx of synchronised dancers swarm, as the shows star leads the way in musical theatre fashion. The level of energy from all parties is relentless, emphasised by a seamless move through an eccentrically uplifting ‘California Gurls’/‘Teenage Dream’ medley.

It is at this point that the aforementioned diversity kicks-in, as the sugary, candied pop fizzles out and her school-girl kilt is replaced by black leather and a thick, smokey guitar-lead breakdown crunches into the seedy pop intro of her infamous ‘Kissed A Girl’ and quickly into another new and massively on-trend track, ‘Dark Horse’; with it’s R&B-charged refrain and grimy, bare chorus, it shows once again what an astute artist she remains.

Similarly, a stripped-back ballad from the forthcoming record, ‘By The Grace Of God’, emphasises this range, as well as the genuine quality of a voice that doesn’t falter throughout the breathless set (complete with skipping-rope routine).

‘Wide Awake’ saws out before the pure pop perfection of ‘Firework’ and ‘Roar’ are delivered to a quite incredible array of mobile phones and tablets, all desperate to capture the moment, the message and the essence of this greatest hits set.

It is strangely refreshing to see and feel such an intense level of enthusiasm and carefreeness from a room full of people, compared with sometimes disengaged and self-aware attendance to many live nights in the Capital. Yes it is manufactured and over-the-top at times, but there is an admirable attention to detail and you can’t help but be swept-up by the fun of it all; everyone beams back at a superstar completely in her element.

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