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Review: Katy Perry’s Witness The Tour

Perry Performs in Perfect Pop Production!

by Louw Mulder

I am all for the underdog. More so, am I all for being proven to be wrong, especially if I get to see how wrong I can be about people, and stand amazingly surprised to have my eyes opened. When I initially heard about Katy Perry bringing her Witness The Tour production to South Africa, my digging on the internet all referred to the high quality productions Perry brings to stages around the world. Due to my love and total obsessed interest in these types of productions, I attended Perry’s show on Wednesday evening at the Ticketpro Dome.

Being one of about 12 000 other concertgoers to witness Katy Perry in her first ever performance on a South African stage, I was set to have my eyes opened yet again. Touring with Perry, are her warm-up acts, Elle B, and The Dolls, who did an amazing job to get the crowd revved up, some of whom were already waiting since earlier that afternoon…

Witness The Tour, proved to me that there are three elements to a successful Pop Concert. The bigger the degree of effectiveness in these three elements, the bigger the success of the concert. Firstly, it is your surroundings, and your environment that can make or break the mood. I think that Big Concerts did a phenomenal job once again, to logistically provide the perfect event for this showcase.

Secondly, the artist needs to have a world-class repertoire of material. Songs that were made famous by chart topping hits around the world, as well as content that can reach more than one age group. The numerous hits of Katy Perry did just that, with some of her famous songs over the last decade, powerfully echoing throughout The Domes vast expanse.

Lastly, it is the world class production that artists use in order to show respect to their fans and audience in attendance. I can honestly say that Witness The Tour is the best production I have ever experienced in the Ticketpro Dome, and very close to the best I have ever attended.

When you have these three elements perfected, no matter who you are, you have what it takes to win someone over, like me, who left a huge fan. I can honestly admit that I went from liking Katy Perry, to being a great admirer, and not only because her whole concert provided an amazing experience full of Goosebumps and thrills, but also because she poured the person who she really is, into her passion for what she does.

With an astounding technical theatre and stage production , the crowd was entertained with a massive wardrobe and scene-settings throughout the two hour spectacular. With more stagehands under the stage, ready to setup the next jaw-dropping act, than actual performers on the stage, I thought this production is worth its raving reviews all over the internet, and proved to be a well-oiled machine I have to mention too.

One highlight for me, was when the ramp was set with massive giant roses, which introduced Perry’s song, Tsunami. Showing that she is not there to take all of the spotlight herself, she was singing in the background, giving the front to the well-toned pole dancer, adding a subtle touch to the theme of the song. The next three songs, included a giant dragonfly, in a musical battle with Perry, until she got trapped, and the jaws of a huge Venus Fly trap closed around her. Small little themes in Witness The Tour like these, will make you believe that you have to see it more than once, just to make sure you Witnessed the Tour, and everything it has to offer.

The character of Katy Perry came through brighter than the biggest laser presentation, LED extravaganzas or thousands of cell phone flashlights coming from the crowd, when she, in perfect fashion, delivered her message to the Johannesburg crowd. “No matter what it is that makes you lose control; life, relationships, you have the power to take back that control,” and with that, she thanked the crowd for their warm reception, breaking away from her fixed set list and serenaded the Dome with an acoustic version of Unconditionally, as special thanks.

Perry also emphasized what an honour it is for her to perform live in South Africa, on the day we celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 100th Celebrations.

Now to balance things out; the day after the concert, a lot of criticism did its rounds on social media, where people ranted about Perry lip-syncing, and how unfair it is to a paying member of her audience. I personally did not think for one moment that this was the case, as all these people, who were not even at the concert, suggest. Even if it was so, if you look at the whole production in its entirety, you can believe, and fully understand that any artist will become somewhat exhausted and tired doing everything Katy Perry does, to justify some backup plan in order to keep the Music the main attraction.  I do think, that on a stage, with more than 12 thousand fans, the whole, was indeed bigger than one alleged critique and accusation, because being there, every fan in the crowd, was singing along just as audibly…

For me, Perry perfected Pop productions, and in my humble opinion, delivered a production South Africa will remember for many years to come.

This review contains amateur video material, taken with a permissible cell phone device during the concert in Johannesburg:  Permission was granted from the The Publicity Workshop.
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