Katy Perry and Robyn take a sweet-toothed teenage dream tour to New Jersey


Image Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Katy Perry brought her sugarcoated psychedelic dreamland to New Jersey last night, using her California Dreams tour to tell the story of a young lady who follows her feline companion Kitty Purry into a circuitous Candy Land-esque setting filled with hallucination-inducing brownies, a slutty slot machine (ha?) and a cavalcade of Top 10 hits.

Say what you will about Katy Perry—sure, she has a weak singing voice and her songs are mostly devoid of substance—but as a courier of frothy delights and eye-catching effulgence, she’s become one of today’s most-satisfying pop stars.

Her stage show—which boasted airborne mimes, floating cotton candy clouds and a gingerbread man kick-line—was a visual feast that brought to mind a tweenage version of Cirque du Soleil. And make no mistake: this stage show was a dream constructed for, and occupied almost exclusively by, teens. I doubt more than ten percent of the crowd was over twenty, and most of those adults were chaperoning fist-pumping teens in blue wigs and candy-button dresses.

Nevertheless, the saccharine spectacle—not to mention the fact that Perry has 8 to 10 truly durable radio hits—was so flawlessly synchronized and aurally enveloping that everyone in the enormous Newark arena was obviously having a blast (speaking of ‘blast,’ Perry thankfully did not spray anything from her bosom). It was one of the rare concerts by a radio hitmaker that was easily worth the not-inconsiderable price tag.

The only drawback was that Lady Katy doesn’t quite have enough substantial material to fill a two-hour set (yet). Certain songs (“Not Like the Movies,” “Pearl”) are always going to sound half-baked no matter how “special” that brownie tastes. On the plus side, her oddly eclectic collection of covers—Rebecca Black, Jay-Z, Whitney Houston, Willow Smith and Rihanna—was a welcome, albeit pitchy, curiosity.

As for opening performer Robyn, Sweden’s primary dance-pop export/expert delivered an incredible and under-appreciated set. In spite of her valiant energy, charmingly retro moves and flawless singing, the teenage crowd was mostly indifferent.

But that certainly has more to do with familiarly than any value judgment: As two of few concertgoers actively dancing for Robyn, my friend and I overhead several comments to the effect of, “Hey, those guys seem to know who she is!” Well, someone in the pit had to represent for Stockholm’s indestructible Fembot.

Readers, have you seen Katy on tour yet? Or are you planning to? And if you do go, will you be there mostly in support of Katy or Robyn?

Read more on EW.com:
Amy Winehouse falls apart on stage in Belgrade: Watch the video here
Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ controversy: Video production company says it was ‘blindsided’ by YouTube removal
Katy Perry’s ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)’ video welcomes Rebecca Black, Corey Feldman, Hanson to the party of the year: Watch it here

Comments (30 total) Add your comment
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  • QJ201

    Robyn is amazing, but she doesn’t have Perry’s pop-tart persona (or boobs on display).

  • Jose

    I love Katy, but I’d pay to see Robyn.

    • Graceland

      Thanky Thanky for all this good inofmraiotn!

  • Yiyi

    Robyn all the way!

  • Ronnie

    Saw them at the Opening Show in Atlanta. I mostly went for Robyn, but it was clear as you said that most of the crowd didn’t know her. Robyn danced the whole time… it was awesome. Katy surprised me as well, but definetly could have done without a few songs. At one point she started singing a song from her first album called “Ur So Gay” and screamed “sing it” at the crowd while putting the mic out, and it was SILENT…. LOL.

  • commentor

    The tastemakers of America! It’s a sad state of affairs when schlock like Katy Perry gets more attention than Robyn.

  • googie

    I’m over twenty and I love her shows!

  • Martin Haro

    I saw Robyn at the Fillmore in Miami Beach last November and she was amazing (not to mention the most perfect birthday present as well). The theater wasn’t being utilized in full, and even then it was at 50 percent capacity (if that). It was unfortunate because she’s tremendous. My friends and I had an absolute blast, but it was kinda sad that such talent went underappreciated (even some of the folks there were there just to be there – you just could tell). Lots of acts can’t hold a candle to a Swedish sensation who writes and sings her own songs so well.

  • slangwhoflora

    Katy Perry! I want to see her in concert!!!

  • Mckenzie

    I went to see Katy Perry in Raleigh NC last week and it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. I thought Katy was pitch perfect and had a very strong voice. There were a lot of theatrics and it was very entertaining especially for the price, unfortunately I heard Katy Perry is involved in holding tickets back to be sold on secondary sites for double and triple the price. It’s sad to hear she stooped to that level. It was a great show for what I paid anyway, however I didn’t care much for Robyn. I do recognize that she had great stage presence and dance moves but I couldn’t relate to the music. Over all it was a fantastic show.
    (The merch was way too expensive though!)

  • mrs b

    seeing her July 19 in Vancouver. I cannot wait. I used to like Robyn when she first came out in the late 90’s so looking forward to both singers.

  • JayGo

    Was at Newark last night. It was really good. I’m 54, go to a lot of shows, and bought tickets because Katy kind of goofy, fun and sexually edgy without the gay thing which I’ve had enough of. nevr heard of Robyn but was impressed to the point I downloaded lastest album this morning. Katy puts on quite a show and enjoyed people gazing at the tweenagers dressed up with blue wigs and bright dresses. Not a dull moment with all the dancing, costume changes, sets, video, lights and fireworks. I want to see her again now that I know what to expect. She has real talent but does need more material to break through to a wider audience. That said, she has stage presence, humor, sex, a good enough voice, catchy tunes and a very loyal sing-along fan base which made for a very good time. I wish all concerts were this entertaining.

  • Ethan

    I want to protect Robyn’s awesomeness from Katy Perry fans, they don’t deserve her!

    • Jena

      So right ! Plus Robyn has been doing her thing for years so she has got staying power.

  • BJohnson

    I had bought a ticket to Robyn’s show before she joined up with Katy but got terribly sick and missed it. I knew she was coming with Katy but I didn’t wanna waste the money for just Robyn. Glad I didn’t cause I would have been irritated if people just talked through Robyn like she hasn’t been out there making music longer than Katy.

  • Stephanie

    I went to the concert last night in Newark with my best friend Sam and can honestly say it was one of the most spectacular spectacles of a concert I’ve ever witnessed. We were on our feet the entire time and loved every minute of it.

  • Keagan

    I went last week in Columbia, MD and I was in the pit. No one paid attention to Robyn…half of the seats were empty because people were buying stuff and everyone in the pit (including myself) were just talking and were on our cell phones. Robyn just isn’t going to be a huge thing here in the US.

    • PN

      I think people still know Robyn for her 1997 hits of Do You Know and Show Me Love when she was once a teen singer. They aren’t as familiar with her later albums that have done so well overseas and in other countries. Her last album got great reviews. But putting Robyn on Katy’s tour will make people rediscover her again and purchase her latest music.

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