It’s summer, and at a Los Angeles high school on Monday, class was out and Katy Perry was in session.
The Grammy winner wrapped up her weekend-long “Witness World Wide” live-stream with an intimate show at Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts. The concert for approximately 1,000 fans was hosted by YouTube and followed Perry’s eventful long weekend, which had been continuously broadcast on the site.
Among the activities Perry participated in during the stream were an emotional therapy session, newsworthy podcast recordings, aerobics, and much more. The ambitious promotion for Perry’s new album Witness concluded with a performance in the public high school’s courtyard. After spending several days indoors for the video stream, the singer emerged for a sunny afternoon, wearing a sparkling silver outfit (even the mic was flashing some bling). “I should come out more often, shouldn’t I?” she said to the crowd.
Read on for the highlights from the dazzling show.
Katy goes old-school
Perry may have been promoting her latest album (her first in four years), but that doesn’t mean she didn’t play her past hits. While the audience of “Katy Cats” was loving everything Perry was laying down, things went up a notch for beloved tracks such as “Teenage Dream,” “Firework,” “Dark Horse,” “E.T.,” and the show’s electric conclusion of “Roar.”
Stars — they’re just like us! Early on, Perry twice complained of getting a wedgie. That would soon be the least of her wardrobe issues. “I ripped my pants,” she announced, blaming it on her dance moves during “Swish Swish” (Where are you, backpack kid?). “I really am just letting it all hang out now. I literally have a hole in my pants. But I’m wearing underwear, don’t you worry. So I just want everyone who is watching to brace themselves. I probably shouldn’t have said anything, but I just know the internet sees everything.” Adding, “We’re all human,” Perry managed to make it to the end without any further ripping.
The show slows down for a “song that hurts to sing”
While Perry kept the atmosphere upbeat for the majority of the 12 tracks she performed, jumping around and joining the crowd throughout the concert, the one exception was “Save as Draft.” She stood behind a mic stand at center stage during the personal track. “I want to sing a new song from this record Witness,” she said. “It’s the reason for all of this eccentricness. I mean, this exoticness. I’m going to sing a song that hurts to sing, but I guess I can sing it because I have you.” With almost the entire audience within 50 feet of Perry, the emotional performance became that much more powerful.
“Swish Swish” gets an update
As soon as “Swish, Swish” — a diss track with lyrics like “Your game is tired / You should retire” — came out, people immediately assumed it was about Taylor Swift, with whom Perry has been involved in a years-long feud. Although Perry told Natalie Morales on Today this weekend that the song “is not about anyone in particular,” she did seem to call out someone specifically during the concert when she changed the lyric “Don’t you come for me” to “God bless you on your journey, oh, baby girl.” The revised lyric echoes what Perry told Morales about Swift, which is, “All I need to say to her is I love her, and God bless her on her journey.”