A Prismatic Anniversary: Katy Perry Live in the Philippines
“Is this, what, thirty thousand Filipinos here tonight?”
The Philippine Arena roared their assent right back at pop superstar Katy Perry as the Prismatic World Tour kicked off in what was sure to be the venue’s biggest international event yet.
It was no secret that a high-voltage show awaited Manila’s Katycats, and visit number three immediately fulfilled expectations.
Lasers of every color pierced the darkness and the show began with an LED-lit rendition of Roar, with even Katy herself clad in neon lights from ponytail to shimmering skirt hems.
The show then shifted from a laser party to a regal Egyptian theme with a silver moon rising on the giant screen backdrop. Dark Horse and E.T. were next in the set, with the crowd unsurprisingly knowing every word of the two recent hits. Katy then brought things all the way back to the beginning. Flanked by wrapped up dancing mummies (that shall we say appeared to have been under a knife that certainly didn’t exist in 3200BC,) I Kissed A Girl had everyone up on their feet to sing about the taste of a mystery girl’s cherry ChapStick.
“Listen, I know some of you don’t understand me right now, and unfortunately I don’t know much of your language either. I wish we could speak the same language, right?” Katy addressed the fans immediately around her, “I wonder if there’s anyone here who could help me speak your language.”
Volunteers from the floor all the way up to the Arena’s boxes waved and jumped in hopes of being chosen, but the definition of luck came in the form of 20-year-old Marty. Dressed in his own version of Katy’s fish dress, the Rizal resident taught her the basics: hello (“I came all this way and ‘hello’ is just ‘hello’?!”), salamat (“Ooh, I like salami too!”), and mahal kita. Marty left the stage seemingly in tears and well rewarded for his mini Tagalog lesson- a dozen selfies, Katy’s own water bottle, and several big hugs from the singer herself.
“This song goes out to all of the Katycats tonight. I know that you’ve waited a long time for this evening.”
Now in a sunflower themed gown, Katy took to her equally embellished guitar to perform By the Grace of God, followed by a mashup of The One That Got Away and Thinking of You.
“Guess what,” she told the now mellowed out crowd, “Today is the one year anniversary of this tour. One year ago I kicked off the Prismatic World Tour in the UK and 138 shows later we’re here in Manila and we feel really proud tonight.” Katy’s words spurred the thousands of fans into cheers as she continued:
“Hopefully you leave here feeling uplifted, you leave here with a little more joy than when you came. We’ve never cancelled a show. Some of us have been sick… tired… lonely… homesick… You’re gonna have to take me out in a stretcher before I quit!”
To end her acoustic set, Katy asked her fans to light up their phones to be a part of her little galaxy for the night.
“I dedicate this song to you because I love you Unconditionally.”
A Megamix Dance Party snapped Manila back into party mode as Katy left the stage for one of her many wardrobe changes of the night. She reemerged for Walking on Air, This is How We Do, and Last Friday Night (TGIF). Giant inflatable set pieces complemented the throwback set before bright neon lights heralded the inevitable finale and three of Katy’s biggest hits to date.
A California-themed party took over the stage with a sensory overload. The iconic Hollywood sign took a twist and spelled out many other Katy-isms like DOLL, YOLO, and LOL. Teenage Dream and California Gurls had the whole Arena dancing and singing as one solid voice. After a Prism Vision interval, Katy’s classic finale, Firework was met with mixed emotions. Katy’s infectious charm and connection with her fans had everyone reluctant to see her go.
Her final “I love you. God bless you!” brought the Prismatic World Tour’s anniversary to a close, leaving everyone breathless from the explosive show but grinning from ear to ear.
Most of Manila had a long trip home (starting with an appalling two-hour traffic jam in the parking lot!) but the Prismatic World Tour without a doubt left Filipino Katycats with songs in their hearts and stars in their eyes.
Written by Carla Barretto