The long lashes. The jet black hair. The space-age purple lipstick. Armed with her signature hits, Katy Perry emerged in full glory during a chilly night in Los Angeles that warmed up at every move, only to be punctuated by a fireworks spectacle that lit up the night sky.
As the Hollywood Bowl stage rotated on Wednesday night (Oct. 23), the pop star turned her torso to reveal a shimmering short skirt and top. This outing was her first at the famous venue. It was a night to celebrate Perry's new album "PRISM" and support the Young Survival Coalition in the fight against breast cancer, in a concert that united women in music. Musical guests included synth-pop singer Ellie Goulding, pop/rock artist Sara Bareilles, sibling indie act Tegan & Sara, country songstress Kacey Musgraves and pop singer/songwriter Bonnie Mckee. Each gave soulful, spirited and stirring performances to a sold-out house.
Presented by Citi, "Katy Perry's: We Can Survive" show also marked the release of the performer's third studio album this week and already positions "PRISM" as the platform for the singer's upcoming 2014 tour.
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"Katy Perry is not like most celebrities today," said fan Jeannette Valdez, 20, who with her friend Julia Ham, 22, was able to snag tickets to the sold-out event. "Katy is a down-to-earth person and she connects with her fans on a deeper level."
The sentiment was echoed by Perry's fans Wednesday during the three-hour-plus show, with each act performing several songs individually and Perry closing with a 45-minute headlining set. Earlier in the evening, a special pre-show Q&A and acoustic set by Perry gave VIP fans a chance to see their idol, who donned a dark denim pencil skirt and top with an exposed midriff. In recent days, the California-born entertainer has been traveling across the globe on a major campaign to support her new music, featuring producers Cirkut, Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald and Max Martin.
Perry, who was Billboard's Woman of the Year in 2012, has become a major force in music and continues to build on the hooks that have made the singer/songwriter a worldwide pop icon with hits such as "Firework," "Teenage Dream" and the recent "Roar," which the singer performed as the last song of the night as she was joined by her musical guests. It was a defining moment of empowerment, with Perry leading the path and also a hint of the new Perry with similar musical sensibilities, but now with a much wider outlook.
While Perry's set was a much more scaled-down version of the big and colorful stage shows of the past, her 2014 tour promises to be something special -- even "magical," as the entertainer recently noted. At the Bowl, Perry's accessible persona made the show feel intimate, while performing nearly a dozen of her hits such as "I Kissed A Girl" and "California Gurls" in addition to music from the current album including "Unconditionally" and "Walking On Air."
During the pre-show event, Perry took questions from her fans who wrote via Twitter. She gave them insights on her latest artistic moves, such as being in London recently to make her new music video for "Unconditionally." The video was partly inspired by the 1988 film "Dangerous Liaisons," starring Glenn Close. Fans, dressed in pink, tiger-striped costumes (a nod to the "Roar" video) and ballerina tutus, also wanted to know about her acting aspirations.
Perry concedes that she doesn't go to sleep until about 3 a.m. and wakes up usually by 11 a.m. It's the life of a "rock star," she said, with a slight chuckle, but if the opportunity ever came up, remakes of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" or Tim Burton's "Beetlejuice" would inspire her to wake early. Fans approved.
By night's end, Perry told her fans that she would see them next on tour, as confetti fell and as all the singers bid farewell.