Katy Perry – [Live]
Venue: Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Photos by: Laura McKechnie
Originally Posted: April-09
“Are you the guy with the food?”
It’s a beautiful Sunday night in Philadelphia and Laura and I are on surprisingly animated South street that reminds me of a more subdued Las Vegas strip. Over the years, I’ve heard that South street has gone downhill; that the shops and the visitors have gone to a more relevant and hipper spot, but tonight at least, that doesn’t seem to be the case. The point is that we’re outside of the Theatre of Living Arts at the box office trying to get in. I’ve been informed that our names are on the guest list, and upon giving the surprisingly attractive employee my name and asking about Katy Perry’s manager, her response to me is:
“Are you the guy with the food?”
“No,” I tell her.
Mind you, I wish I WAS the guy with the food, because my daily consumption up to this point has been one almond croissant and countless espressos. So I laugh, not only because I’m hungry, but because I know my answer is going to be even more ridiculous.
“I’m the guy with the dresses”
And, I wasn’t even kidding. Under my arm I’m carrying a box with two dresses that have been sent to me by the lovely folks at EC Star for Katy. I’m supposed to drop them off and enjoy the show, and I’m as surprised as anyone of my friends that I’m there.
Their main response when they found out what I was going to be doing that night was:
“You’re going to see Katy Perry? Why!?”
Seeing as my wardrobe consists of either black attire or mainly shades thereof, and that I currently have the Crass, Iggy Pop, The Marked Men, Tom Waits, and The Dead Milkmen on my heavy rotation list, this response doesn’t come as a surprise. To my defense I have several viable responses, including that I’ve heard Katy Perry puts on a good show, or that it would be interesting going to a full blown concert for
once seeing as we were being offered free tickets to a show that had been sold out for months. But, perhaps more appropriately, I must admit that I’m a sucker for pop. What can I say? ALL and the Descendents are one of my all-time favorite bands. Regardless, my other plans that night were to watch 2001: A Space Odyssey avec commentary track. The show definitely sounded better. So, we met Katy’s manager, gave her the dresses, and proceeded to enter the theatre.
The crowd at a Katy Perry show is the epidemy of the word “varied.” The floor is packed with, obviously, mostly highschoolers and the boy to girl ratio is alarming, considered to what I’m used to (my last show was the Swingin’ Utters at the North Star bar). Case in point, from my position I was the only guy in a 20-foot radius with a beard. A look at the back of the room I spot mothers with their kids (who’s getting their wish granted?), a surprising amount of 80s attire, and one guy in a sailor’s outfit. No lie. The 21+ bar area has a more equal ratio of genders and consists of people in their late 20s, from what I could gather, all having drinks. So, having assessed the situation, and picked a spot close to the stage, where I could keep an eye on Laura who’s taking pictures by the barricade, I decided to settle in and enjoy the show.
At 8:30 PM Katy takes the stage, donning a leopard print dress with a leather bustier, and I immediately have no regrets for being there. The show itself was energetic and quite enjoyable. Katy works the stage pretty well (and got up on the speakers on a few occasions), peppers her conversations with surprisingly x-rated elements, and even picks up the acoustic and electric guitar or several occasions (earning her half a dozen cred points). All the while I was thoroughly entertained. She played the expected hits, of course (UR So Gay, and I Kissed A Girl), and included some covers that were thoroughly nailed (like Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now). And, just when the show starts wearing thin, Katy goes backstage, changes outfits, plays her magnum opus (and charmingly depreciates it by calling it “the most overplayed song of 2008”) in a cat’s outfit, and boom, the show’s over….before 10 PM! As everyone quickly leaves, Laura and I are left looking at each other with smiles on our faces. We both had a good time, and feel a little guilty about it.
After everyone had left, I trade a couple of words with the manager before I meet Katy, who is extremely friendly, especially after having had such an energetic show and having met every single person who had stayed behind to meet her. I shake her hand, and am a little short on words (blame it on the cat suit). Ten minutes later, we’re on our way back to Hershey, and I’m thinking to myself, “I could certainly think of worse ways to spend the night.”
The point is, if you have the chance, go see Katy Perry. Bring a bowl of milk and tell her I sent you. The rumors definitely are true; she puts on a good show.