5 things parents should know about Katy Perry’s ‘Prismatic’ concert

     A view from above the stage during last week's Katy Perry concert at the Wells Fargo Center. (Jen Bradley/for NewsWorks)

    A view from above the stage during last week's Katy Perry concert at the Wells Fargo Center. (Jen Bradley/for NewsWorks)

    Throwing my nagging hesitation to the wind, I took my three kids to brave the tween masses and strobe lights to see Katy Perry’s Prismatic Tour at the Wells Fargo Center.

    Katy roared into Philly (pun intended) for back-to-back sold-out shows on Aug. 4 and 5. Although a large part of Katy’s fan base can be found roaming the halls of elementary schools, I wondered just how kid-friendly her concert would be while deciding whether to pull the trigger and buy the tickets.

    The answer: It was pretty kid-friendly.

    A brief recap

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    Although Katy’s songs are catchy enough to instantly cheer up distraught toddlers, some lyrics might be more appropriate for the high-school locker room.

    Despite this musical vs. lyrical tension, Katy’s tour strikes a delicate balance between the hopes of her younger and older fans.

    If anything, it felt to us like Katy’s show fell more on the side of the younger fans, as evidenced by the very short renditions of both “Peacock” and “Last Friday Night.”

    Suggestive dancing aside, the show was visually spectacular.

    The enormously big lighting and stage effects, and the sheer quantity of huge radio hits, rolling out over the two-hour performance was impressive.

    Katy starts the night all aglow in a light-up gown, opening with “Roar,” and she belts out one hit after another until the finale including monster hits “Firework” and “Birthday.”

    Still, there were certainly times when I had to fight the urge to cover my kids’ ears or eyes.

    My top five “Mom Moments”

    1. Covering up. Many older fans (and, frankly, some younger ones, too) were creatively(?) dressed. Lots of highly accessorized undergarments worn as outer-garments both in the crowd and on the stage.

    2. Song selections. Though many of her huge hits have tricky lyrics for young listeners, “Peacock” and “Last Friday Night” are the most cringeworthy. Thankfully, Katy limited the performance to one quick verse of each. I imagine some fans were annoyed by this, but I’m pretty sure the moms in the audience were doing the happy dance not having to watch their tweens singing along to “I smell like a mini bar, DJ’s passed out in the yard. Barbies on the barbecue, Is this a hickey or a bruise?” at the top of their lungs.

    3. The mummy scene. I’m not sure whether they were mummies or something else, but whatever the dancers were wrapped up in with super padded and exaggerated body parts, it was definitely disturbing. Even the kids thought it was bizarre backdrop to “I Kissed a Girl.”

    4. Dark horsies. The large, manned horse puppet was a fair distraction during the song “Dark Horse,” but there was definitely a bondage theme crackling on stage.

    5. Poop balloon. Ok, the poop balloon is totally innocuous. I was jokingly referring to it as a poop balloon, even though I assumed it was meant to be a chocolate chip. Apparently, it wasn’t. It’s a “poo emoji.” So there’s that.

    In closing

    Mom moments aside, it was a spectacular concert with plenty of kitten videos, rainbows, acrobatics and smiley faces to woo the youngest of KatyCats.

    All three of my children absolutely loved the experience from beginning to end. Their recollection included Katy’s rainbow hair, the blow-up convertible and the stadium all aglow with phone flashlights. With so much going on, my mom moments flew under their radar.

    I do think they may be ruined for life, but it’s not because of the twerking or racy lyrics.

    I’ve been to a ton of concerts over the years, but never one with that much glam.

    The next concert my children attend will undoubtedly fail to put up anywhere near that number of top hits, and it will certainly lack the magnitude of entertainment.

    It was simply … prismatic.

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal