7 Things To Know About Katy Perry’s Perfectly Outrageous Vegas Residency

7 Things To Know About Katy Perry’s Perfectly Outrageous Vegas Residency
Video katy perry play

Katy plays the hits…

Play’s 95-minute runtime might not seem incredibly long, but Perry packs a lot of punch into that limited run. The set list is the same every night, and it’s packed with all the hits, like “Dark Horse,” “I Kissed A Girl” (in which Perry bumps and grinds on a sexy frog), “Swish Swish,” “Teenage Dream,” and “Roar.” She closes with “Firework,” complete with heart-shaped confetti, because of course she does. She also gets a few semi-deep cuts in, like 2008’s “Hot N Cold” and “Lost,” as well as her latest single, “When I’m Gone” and a cover of “The Greatest Love Of All.”

…and she sounds fantastic

Lest anyone think Perry’s occasionally cartoonish affect means she isn’t a serious artist, Play is here to remind you that it’s possible to have fun and still sing your goddamn heart out.

Perry’s voice has never sounded better, thanks in part to the incredible L-Acoustics sound system installed in the Resorts World Theatre. It’s something Perry could never really take with her on an arena tour where she’d have to worry about rigging and rafters, and it allows for an immersive 360-degree sound design that’s not dissimilar from what you might hear in a movie theater or on an amusement park ride. The sound seemingly comes from everywhere, including below your seat, and Perry’s voice is as clear and lovely as a bell.

Perry understands the Vegas mentality

There’s a part of the show where Perry stops to tell the audience a story about how the Resorts World Theatre was built where the Stardust hotel and casino used to be. It was there, she said, that her grandmother and aunt worked decades ago, as a seamstress and showgirl, respectively. How wild, she muses, that she’s come back to work on the same plot of land, blending and manifesting the work that they had sought to do.

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It’s a very sweet moment, but it also reminds us that Perry straight up understands Vegas. Just like her grandma, she knows that Sin City is about hard work, and that travelers come expecting a show. She’s enlisted the very best dancers, directors, musicians, and crew to help her make all of that a reality, including three fashion designers — Zaldy, Johnny Wujek, and Heather Picchiottino — who are experienced in both the ballroom and drag worlds. These are people that understand what Perry’s going for with Play, which is not just entertainment but whimsical fanaticism. She’s there to put on a show with a capital S, and she was clearly willing to do the work to make it a reality.

Perry’s hive has assembled

If you go to the show, get there early, because Perry’s audience is perfect for people watching. There are decked out superfans in Perry-inspired red mushroom hats who have clearly seen the show more than a few times, and there are older people who are clearly just there because they wanted to see a show, no matter what it was. There are kids and there are bachelorette parties. There are drag queens, and there are dudes on dates. Perry’s audience encapsulates a wide swath of society, but in the Play space, everyone lives and sings together in harmony.

Play is the future

While Perry has certain advantages with Play — a stationary space to build the show around, for instance — it’s hard to see how the show won’t affect the live music world at large. As ticket prices rise, audiences want to see more and more of a show. They want lights and video and once-in-a-lifetime experiences that feel spur of the moment.

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Perry’s show delivers all of that, and it sets the bar high not just for future Vegas residencies, but also for future arena tours. The way Perry plays with video to create depth of stage is inspiring, as is the creative way she’s staged her band in stacked boxes to the side of the stage. Perry is playing outside the box here — no pun intended — and the industry would be wise to learn from her example.

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