‘Am I cool?’ Katy Perry brings wacky pop spectacle to Glastonbury

The singer asked her Pyramid Stage crowd if she's cool, then proved she is.

“This makes me feel cool,” Katy Perry told the sprawling audience who had assembled at Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage to see her. “I don’t ever really feel cool. Am I cool yet? What is cool?”

As it turned out, Glastonbury liked her very much indeed. She’d just played opening tracks ‘Hey Hey Hey’ and ‘Chained to the Rhythm’, and followed with a third track from her new album, title song ‘Witness’. But Perry wasn’t about to disappoint the fans who were eagerly awaiting her biggest pop hits. “Those were a couple of new songs,” she announced, “but we know what you came for, so we’re going to give you everything you want.” She then launched into ‘Teenage Dream’ followed by ‘Firework’.

Perry’s stage show was just as extravagant as you’d expect from a pop star of her calibre. Performing in front of a huge pink eye that recalled her recent stint in her very own Big Brother-style house to promote ‘Witness’. She was backed by a troupe of dancers who appeared variously with: 1) TVs for heads, 2) pink fluffy clouds for heads, 3) lips pursed around an eyeball for heads. They wouldn’t have looked out of place in Shangri La or one of the festival’s other artistic corners, and added a surreal edge to her pop sheen.

But if casual fans expected just relentless pop bangers, they were in for a surprise. Perry was keen to promote her ‘real music’ credentials, referring to her own experiences at festivals and gigs. “I’ve been in the mosh pit,” she announced. “I’ve started the mosh pit. I’ve lost my shoes and found my soul.” She then went one further by picking up an acoustic guitar to play ‘Thinking Of You’, from her 2008 album One Of The Boys. She’s perhaps the year’s most unlikely guitar hero, but it showed off the range of her talents.

If anyone doubted her claim to love mosh pits and getting sweaty down at the front of crowds, she had one final surprise up the sleeve of her silver bodysuit. As final song ‘Roar’ reached its crescendo, she jumped off the stage and crowd-surfed out into the audience. Her willingness to give herself, in this case literally, to her fans made her, in that moment at least, undeniably cool.

Katy Perry played:

  1. Hey Hey Hey
  2. Chained to the Rhythm
  3. Witness
  4. Teenage Dream
  5. Firework
  6. Dark Horse
  7. E.T.
  8. Thinking of You
  9. Save As Draft
  10. California Gurls
  11. I Kissed a Girl
  12. Power
  13. Swish Swish
  14. Roar