“Shut up and put your money where your mouth is..”, not only lyrics in Katy Perry’s ‘Waking Up In Vegas’, but also road tested by the artist herself. Since her rise to popularity over the past few years, originating from the shock-value instigating ‘I Kissed A Girl’, Katy Perry has certainly captured the attention of the public. The question of whether she was more sizzle than substance was answered to the over 11,000 audience members at XL Center on Tuesday night. She is not only an entertainer but also a performer and singer (something that cannot be said of many artists in pop culture today).
FOUR things stand out to anyone who witnessed this, or any other performance by Perry; she can actually sing, she sincerely appreciates her fans and engages with them, she is an entertaining performer and she loves to dress up.
Her performance was an absolute ‘Teenage Dream’ often crossing the lines between teeny-bop memories of youth (which came out during a medley of 90’s pop music “I Want Candy”, “Tootsie Roll”, and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”) and her Jessica Rabbit-esque ‘I’m not a bad girl, I’m just drawn this way’ attitude. She knew her audience was full of tweens and teens and played to them, but also allowed for an undercurrent of naughty behavior, quite obvious to the older crowd, who was often accompanying their young ones to the event.
Since I am not one to re-invent the wheel or repeat news, you should really read Michael Hamad’s (Hartford Advocate / CT.com) review of the concert as it truly captured the feeling of the show from performance to social implications and the idea of ‘lifestreaming’, or sharing their experiences with others on the spot using social networking. Along with Hamad, I also sensed this incredible sociological wave of how the world has changed and we want to connect to not only others we love who are not there but also with the stars themselves. Social networking has made our world shrink to the point of being intertwined almost. But, that’s another story for another day.
To me, the biggest impact I witnessed from the night was seeing mothers and daughters both dressing up together and sharing a memorable experience. We are so often NOT connected to ones we love the most, it was refreshing to see. Who would have thought by going to a Katy Perry concert there would be such a feeling of family? I did NOT see that one coming.
The Katy Perry concert is just one of a line of incredible events at XL Center this year, who is having a banner year. In fact, this is the strongest season XL Center has had in 10 years, since back in the Civic Center days. Recently Pollstar announced its ‘Top 100 Worldwide Arena Venues’ based on ticket sales totals to entertainment shows, through the third quarter of 2011 and XL was ranked in the Top 40 venues in the United States for the first time since 2002. Events have ranged the spectrum also, including Katy Perry, Cirque du Soleil, the ‘World’s Largest Paint Party’, Professional Bull Riders Hartford Invitational, UConn and Big East basketball and CT Whale games, among many more.
Upcoming events include this weekend’s Phineas and Ferb LIVE show, Trans Siberian Orchestra: Winter Tour, Hot 93.7 Presents: Jingle Jam 2011, Jeff Dunham, WWE RAW Holiday Tour, Disney On Ice, Harlem Globetrotters and Michael Jackson: THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil. For details and tickets visit www.xlcenter.com.