Perky Katy Perry finds sweet spot between rock and R&B
Perky Katy Perry gave fans at her sold-out KeyArena show Wednesday, July 20, her trademark blend of rock and R&B with a touch of sarcasm.
Special to The Seattle Times
Concert Review | During her sold-out concert Wednesday at KeyArena, Katy Perry brought a hunky guy from the crowd on stage for some theatrical flirting and cheek-kissing, drawing out the moment and making him blush.
It was a move from the world of contemporary R&B — with Perry playing the role of Usher, who did the same thing at KeyArena last year. Following the foreplay was Perry's thumping pop-rock hit "I Kissed a Girl" (2008), which peaked when she ran across the floor and slid like a baseball player underneath her guitarist's legs, while he wailed an electric solo overhead — a move from the '80s hair-metal handbook.
Perry owned the moment like a rock star. In those moments, the crowd might have noticed the way Perry finds a slamming center between rock and R&B. But there probably wasn't that level of analysis going on. And really, it would have been a bummer if there had been. Most of the songs Perry performed were about male heterosexual fantasies played like female independence — depressing, when you think about it.
Nevertheless, Perry put on an entertaining show with a lot of energy. Fireworks exploded, platforms raised and lowered, and the speakers sounded great. Unlike fellow big-budget pop star Britney Spears a few weeks ago at the Tacoma Dome, Perry was alert and full of life, singing loudly and moving freely. She changed costumes more than a dozen times — though the first was the best, a white dress with pinwheels spinning on concealed motors.
She delivered everything with a sarcastic tone that seemed to suggest she was one step ahead of herself. She added jokey flavor to '90s hip-hop dance moves Jennifer Lopez used to do seriously and cartooned Rebecca Black's "Friday," a song famous on the Internet for how bad it is, into an epic acoustic guitar anthem.
Perry's fans — 80 percent female, with lots of kids, but mostly ladies in their 20s and 30s — love laughing with her. She's a greatest-hits parade from their two favorite genres, and makes sarcasm feel like wit.
The Morning Memo
The Morning Memo jump starts your day with weather, traffic and news
The Seattle Times Store
Shop The Seattle Times Store for books, videos, keepsake pages and other unique gifts
Autos news and research
Dive into history in Now & Then