REVIEW: Katy Perry, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

Katy Perry

Katy Perry

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This was my seven-year-old daughter Emily’s first full pop concert after a disastrous attempt last year.

We only lasted through two songs at North East Live before she complained it was too loud and we went home.

There was some risk involved in trying again, but with Katy Perry – her favourite pop star – it was worth taking a chance.

I shouldn’t have worried. Yes, it was loud, but what a difference it makes when you know all the words to the songs.

And this wasn’t the kind of concert where the artist performs a couple of their greatest hits then focuses on new material you’ve never heard yet.

Having spied the set list Katy Perry posted on Instagram ahead of her Belfast gig earlier in the week, I knew she was going to sing Firework and, frankly, that was reason enough for my daughter to go.

Katy Perry told her fans to expect something special and she didn’t disappoint.

Emerging out of a large pyramid, dressed in a neon skater outfit, accompanied by neon warrior dancers, she belted out Roar and Part of Me.

Taking inspiration from her Egyptian-inspired backdrop, and while the spectacular graphics had distracted the audience long enough for her to do a quick costume change, she again emerged, this time riding a golden horse to perform massive hit Dark Horse.

The first hour was fast and frenetic. She barely paused for breath and didn’t let her fans do so either. Hit after hit came – Wide Awake, E.T., Kissed a Girl, and Hot N Cold.

She eventually slowed down enough to take a breather and chat to the audience, even trying a couple of sips of Newcastle Brown Ale, before taking up her guitar and doing a beautiful acoustic version of Unconditionally.

By 10.30pm my daughter was flagging, so it was timely that Katy decided to turn up the tempo.  

At this point she abandoned her recent, more grown-up look to return to the cartoon persona that made her a hit originally.

Green wig, acid bright top and lime green over-the-knee socks went hand-in-hand with songs like Cali Gurls, Teenage Dream and new hit Birthday.

That left the encore to go and there could only really be one song fitting the bill.

Mimicking a firework herself, she danced round the stage with as much energy as she had started with two hours earlier.

Any thoughts of tiredness were banished as the indoor fireworks were set off behind her, brightening our night just long enough to see us home through the rain.