Katy Perry comes to Orlando, looks hot, acts dumb

click to enlarge Photo courtesy of EMI Music
Photo courtesy of EMI Music

Pop megastar Katy Perry, who recently embarked on the U.S. leg of her world tour, has gotten a lot of press from respectable mainstream magazines since the release last summer of her second album, Teenage Dream. One of the overriding themes of this middle-brow coverage is that Perry is an intelligent gal, unfairly pigeonholed into the stereotype of a sexy, but ultimately talentless airhead. “Perry is Dolly Parton of pop,” writes Vanity Fair’s Lisa Robinson. “The cartoon exterior belies a smart, serious songwriter.” It’s sad that this that intelligence rarely surfaces in her songs. Take “E.T.,” her newest single featuring Kanye West.

Your so supersonic Wanna feel your powers Stun me with your lasers Your kiss is cosmic Every move is magic

Yet due to some savvy production (such as an addictive bassline on “California Gurls”) her knack for a jingle, and her sheer biological pull, Perry can become a quirky obsession for even the staunchest pop-haters, including yours truly. And in this world of massive entourages, hyper-production, and layers upon layers of PR people, who’s to say how much of Katy Perry truly is Katy Perry? Could she be just a down-to-earth girl playing the fame game for a little while, waiting to ascend to the highest point in pop culture, only to bring it all down, somehow? Why not? So, with an EMI Music-supplied ticket in hand, this idealistic reporter ventured inside the University of Central Florida’s arena last night, into a sea of soccer moms and 12-year olds waiting to see Perry perform—but not before rushing the concession stands, where T-shirts of Katy ranged from $35 to $40, lip balm was $10, and lollipops were $7. Once inside the arena (where glowing cotton candy was sold for $10), the crowd witnessed DJ Skeet Skeet hype the arena for the opening act—Robyn, who had been mentioned in 8-point font beneath most advertisements for the concert, if at all. Though the short-haired Swede played a strong set, ranging from the clattering, industrial “Fembot,” to the mainstream hit “Dancing on My Own,” the crowd surrounding the Weekly simply thumbed through their iPhones throughout the set, faces blank. “This isn’t a good arena for her,” said Watermark’s Erik Caban, who says that Robyn is a popular selection at gay bars. “I only know of like, three gay people here.” As an aside, do check out Time Out New York’s recent interview with Robyn, which ends like this:

And are you a fan of [Katy Perry]? You know what? I have to go now. [Giggles]

Really? Yeah! I do. But it’s nice to talk to you.

When it was Katy’s turn, the curtain was pulled, and a headache of a stage was unveiled, designed like the set of “California Gurls” video—that is, a candy land, with staircases fashioned of gumdrops and banisters made of candy canes. Evidently, this land of frosting and fructose refers to the sun-kissed life of young, vivacious Californian living a post-teenage dream. The connection never made much sense then, and it still doesn’t now, but in Perry fan doublethink, it’s still a forgivable offense on her end. After all, how much control does Katy really have over the set? And sure, there’s the 45-page concert rider leaked to The Smoking Gun—in which Perry’s dressing room needs are laid out in exacting detail: “perspex modern style” coffee tables, “French ornate style” floor lamps, cream-colored egg chairs --but what’s to say that it’s not the work of some queen of a publicist imposing his snobby version of reality upon Katy’s modest existence? So it was of obvious excitement to yours truly when, after Perry’s first few songs and a mind-numbingly stupid skit featuring a maniacal butcher overseeing Perry cutting a steak, the 26 year-old star finally spoke to the crowd. This would be the true Katy Perry, the unedited, unproduced, the intelligent Perry, the one who had been made to look dumb by being misquoted by reporters, and savagely edited by conceited producers. “Did you know that I love all Floridians?” she squeaked. It only got worse after that, with these lowlights, among many others:

“I’m so excited to bring you some party tonight.”

“Does anybody else love YouTube?”

“There’s someone I love so much, and is my best friend: Minnie Mouse and Snow White. They are like the epitome of perfect, in my world.”

“Excuse me, Mr. Mime, do you think I can try a little of your delicious-looking brownie?”

With the last remnants of Katy Perry as some sort of secretly artistic, intelligent woman shredded to pieces, this heartbroken reporter couldn’t stand to stomach the last half hour of her two-hour set, and left early, with the cold realization that America is a free country, and Ms. Perry is free to act as dimwitted as she pleases.
Scroll to read more Orlando Music News articles
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.