WATCH: Katy Perry’s ‘Witness’ Manila concert highlights
Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo ( - April 3, 2018 - 5:20am

MANILA, Philippines — There was never a dull moment at Katy Perry’s “Witness” Manila concert on Monday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The American pop icon may be unable to kiss anyone during the concert, but she did not fail to surprise.

Here are five reasons why Katy’s Manila concert was so “extraterrestrial.”

New spin on ‘quick change’

After astounding fans for rapidly changing costumes during her “California Dreams” tour in 2011, for “Witness,” instead of clothes, Katy puzzled her audience with giant props and sets that despite their enormity, were magically placed on the lightning-shaped stage, quietly and in a blink of an eye.

She started the concert with minimalist costumes to neutralize the maximalist stage design.

Technological wonderland

Among the things people watch out for in a concert by pop stars like Katy, Lady Gaga and Madonna are the kinds of bras they would wear.

As a variation to her ice cream bra in “California Dreams,” for her “Witness” tour, Katy dons an LED sign for a bra.

Likewise, if in “California Dreams” she transformed the stage into a candy land, for “Witness,” she created her own futuristic pop jungle replete with a life-size Solar System, a giant metal Venus flytrap, laser beams and space-age-inspired suits, all with touches of the ‘80s in costumes, colors, projected imagery and hairstyles. It was so eclectic and unpredictable that you would not know what will pop out next.

In general, the Manila concert had been an audio-visual treat with lots of high-tech lifting and rotating stages, intricately cut confetti, giant eyeball beach balls, and all the mechanics and bravura that Katy brings with her in giant crates every day as she hops in and off a country on her tour map.

Fun and sarcasm

What is a Katy Perry show without her signature humor?

One can tell from her spontaneity in interacting with the audience and performing her hits with nonchalance that Katy is at home with what she does. Though she has thoroughly rehearsed for the show, she freely speaks her mind in between song numbers.


In “Witness,” Katy proves she deserves the National Equality Award she received last year because though the tour carries her name, she lets everyone share the spotlight with her. She introduced all her guest artists, dancers and band members onstage as acknowledgment that her performance is not a one-man show.

Her team also includes contortionists, mascots, a pole dancer and puppeteers from all races. She also did not just sing in outrageous costumes; she also displayed her guitar-playing skills, and some pole dancing.

Although Katy is an “American Idol” judge, she brought in pieces of Cirque du Soleil and other acts, making the show feel more like “The X Factor” or “America’s Got Talent” than the all-sing-off “American Idol.”

All-out party

Besides a photo slideshow of Katy's childhood pictures, the concert provided nostalgia through Katy’s hits from the late 2000’s until today.

She opened with the tour’s and her latest album’s banner song, “Witness,” followed by medleys of her current and past hits like “Chained to the Rhythm” featuring Skip Marley; “Bon Appetit” featuring Migos; “Swish Swish” featuring Nicki Minaj; “E.T.” featuring Kanye West; “California Gurls” featuring Snoop Dogg; “Hot n Cold,” “Dark Horse,” “Roar” and “Firework.”

Some fans also waited for the “hugot” song “The One that Got Away.” But since Katy did not include it in the Manila concert, Filipinos perhaps can be content with the GMA romantic-comedy series inspired by the Katy Perry song. — Photos and video slideshow by Efigenio Toledo IV

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