Review: Katy Perry & Noah Cyrus Kick Off Their 2-Night Stay at Chicago’s United Center


Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

Moments ago, Katy Perry closed things out after her and supporting act, Noah Cyrus, delivered a memorable night one for Witness: The Tour‘s mini two-night Chicago residency at the historic United Center.

There exists a fine line between a concert and a performance, but tonight was undoubtedly a performance as Katy Perry brought an amazing spectacle full of platinum and diamond hits, five entertaining costume changes, fireworks, lights and an elaborate set design that fans will never forget. And with support from emerging pop star, Noah Cyrus, fans were in for a treat from the very beginning.

Up first for the night was the diversely talented 17-year-old singer/actress, Noah Cyrus. If you couldn’t guess by the name, Noah is the younger sister to Miley Cyrus and the daughter of country legend, Billy Ray Cyrus. But just as Miley made her own name for herself, stepping out of her father’s shadow, Noah is quickly doing the same.

Not only is Cyrus making her arena tour debut, but the Nashville native has already celebrated her first platinum-certified single with ‘Make Me (Cry)’, her music video for ‘Stay Together’ has already amassed over 50 million views on YouTube, and she is only months away from the release of her anticipated debut album, NC-17.

While Cyrus put together one of our favorite performances from B96′s Summer Bash concert, just months ago and only a few miles away, her live performance clearly improves with a supporting performance, when compared to a radio gig. Performing seven songs, just under a half hour, Cyrus previewed a number of tracks from her forthcoming debut LP and gave a memorable performance of Selena Gomez’s ‘It Ain’t Me’ and Lady Gaga’s ‘Million Reasons’, a performance which earned her a big co-sign from Gaga weeks ago. And when Lady Gaga comments on your bright future, and your cover “warms her heart”, you must be doing something right.

Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

Personal highlights of Cyrus’ set came at the beginning and end, as Noah opened with her fun and addictive single ‘Stay Together’ and closed with her Labyrinth-assisted hit, ‘Make Me (Cry)’, two tracks which are night and day in their feel but together help show the range of content that young Cyrus can sing about. Although Noah Cyrus’ supporting performance won’t quite compare to Perry’s, with the experience and monumental production that Katy Perry brings to the table, Cyrus still gave fans a million reasons to get to the arena early and to catch an inevitable headlining tour that will come through in the relative future.

With the mood set from Noah Cyrus’ supporting set, it was time for Katy Perry to great her Chicago fans. Opening with the title track from her new album, Witness, Perry’s 4th major label album and where the tour also get its name, Perry submerged from the sky on a giant star, in the biggest Katy Perry-fashion imaginable. But that was only the beginning as a number of props, wildly dressed backup dancers, giant puppets and expensive production elements would complement her throughout the hour and 45-minute performance.

For Perry’s second song of the night, ‘Roulette’, the Santa Barbara-native sang atop two huge dice and confetti began to fall from the sky. Although tonight’s performance was dominated by the biggest single’s of Perry career, which mostly precede her new album, it was the fun and eye catching production of the tour that made Perry’s performances from her newest LP (which she performed just over half of), not only bearable but equally entertaining.

For Katy Perry’s Witness single ‘Swish Swish’, Perry performed an extended 10-minute version of the track and took time to pick out a dad from the crowd for a little shootout. Their may not be a bust of the dad displayed next to Michael Jordan at the UC’s stadium for all to see, but in that moment he was the coolest dad on the planet.

Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

A personal highlight of Perry’s set came midway as the infamous Left Shark, from Perry’s 2015 Super Bowl performance, blessed the stage to bust out it’s perfectly imperfect dance moves at the end of the catwalk, as Perry performed her track ‘California Gurls’. Left Shark remained on stage as Katy Perry used a huge telephone to make a call home to mom, which actually may have been real. That sequence paved the way right into Perry’s breakout track, ‘I Kissed A Girl’, where KP was hoisted onto a huge set of red lips.

To cap things off, Perry closed her set with her 2013 hit, ‘Roar’, a track which reminded us of the huge voice behind all the glitter and glam. But the night wasn’t quite over, as Perry returned to the stage atop of a huge hand, to perform her Teenage Dream record, ‘Firework’, complete with confetti, applause, and real actual fireworks.

Tonight’s performance was wacky and fun and everything you needed on a Tuesday night. Perry does anything but mail-it-in when it comes to her tours, so much so, that you wonder how she even turns a profit with all the production and theatrics that her tours offer. If you wanted entertainment, you got it. If you wanted the hits, she brought them. If you wanted cuts from the new album, you got that to. And even if you wanted a raw display of Perry’s vocals, she gave you some of that as well. Tonight was nothing short of a spectacle, and we say that in the best way possible. Perry brings so much to her tour, but most importantly, not at the expense of anything else.

If you missed out tonight, you’re in luck, because Katy Perry and Noah Cyrus return to the United Center tomorrow night.

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