Already gracing Australia with her glowing presence by performing at the ICC Women’s World Cup 2020 Final in Melbourne’s MCG in support of women’s sport and female empowerment, Katy Perry was quick to perform again, but this time in Bright, Victoria at Pioneer Park. Road-tripping 4 hours from Melbourne to the lucky little country town, Perry was keen to shine her light in Fight On, a concert of gratitude for the firefighters and their respective communities on March 11, 2020.
Loving her themes and metaphors, Katy Perry took to the stage around 6pm in a long-sleeved fluorescent yellow dress, figuratively and literally shining bright in Bright, while accompanied with her band on a stage that was graciously left up for Perry’s performance. The stage initially used for the annual local fundraising event, Brighter Days Festival.
The 7000 attendees consisted of emergency service workers, residents, folk from neighbouring communities, ballot winning patrons of the general public, and a handful of dedicated KatyCats. I am happy to share that I was one of the lucky few that was able to attend this special concert. When Perry took to the stage, she acknowledged both those who made the trip over to Bright, some even driving 7 hours from Sydney to attend, and those who the concert was created for.
Kicking off with a song that Perry had never played in Australia before, the generous queen of pop energetically performed “Hey Hey Hey” from her album Witness, a song that admittedly, not many would recognise unless you’re a die-hard fan. This song was the only non-single track that Perry performed. Afterwards, dishing out hit after hit with the rest of the setlist consisting of Perry’s chart-topping anthems including “Dark Horse”, “Teenage Dream”, “The One That Got Away”, “Wide Awake”, and “California Gurls”, just to name a few.
Katy Perry related the terrible bushfires in Australia to the very apocalyptic fire scenes of California, affectionately sharing with the audience that Bright reminded her a lot of her hometown, and that she has always felt connected to Australians, having so much in common. Perry went on to playfully complain about a local ice-cream shop closing early to attend her concert, when she really wanted ice-cream. The songstress also shared that the next time she would return to the Alpine region, it would be as a tourist; a comment that was received with much cheer.
Not only was the audience blessed to witness Katy Perry in a rare and intimate setting, but the singer also gifted the crowd a live Australian debut of her instant classic from 2019 “Never Really Over”, which was a personal highlight for me (understatement: I lost my shit) and also provided much joy to the KatyCats that willingly travelled across Australia in support of their favourite artist.
Katy Perry is no stranger to charity, having created the Firework Foundation to help empower children in underserved communities through the arts. She is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and visited Vietnam and Madagascar to bring importance to help vulnerable children, empower young girls and support youth living with HIV/AIDS.
More recently, Perry was announced by Prince Charles last month as ambassador of the British Asian Trust’s Children Protection Fund for India, helping fight against child-trafficking and child labour. These mentioned charitable efforts are only just a glimpse of the charity work that Perry has been practicing throughout her career.
With Katy Perry donating her time to perform in the small town, it is admirable to remember that not only is she pregnant, recently publicly announcing her pregnancy via music video with her new song “Never Worn White”. But the singer also had her grandma pass away only last Sunday and shared an emotional post on Instagram in tribute, which includes a video of Katy telling 99-year-old Ann Pearl Hudson that she was expecting. I admit, when I watched the video, it brought me to tears.
Ever the professional putting personal battles aside, Katy Perry has always worn her heart on her sleeve and finds strength and joy when she gives to others.
Bringing on-stage 15 strong, consisting of Australian first responders and leaders of local communities, Katy Perry dedicated the song “Roar” to those on-stage and everyone involved in fighting and surviving the bushfires. The lucky few on-stage even had the chance to prance down the catwalk while singing and dancing with Perry, like the champions that they are.
The wonderful 75-minute concert seemed to go all too quickly, and by the end when Perry announced that she was going to perform her final song “Firework”, the comment was met with sad groans. The audience were grateful, but clearly wanted more. This can only be a good thing, as the concert was amazing.
There were many in the audience that were seeing Perry live for the first time, and I would be surprised if she didn’t convert many fans after holding the special concert, if not the whole Alpine region population.
As a long-time fan and passionate KatyCat, although I do understand that she will have to focus on her pregnancy and her pending marriage to fiancée Orlando Bloom, I would not be the only one to be relieved that this strong incredible woman is finally making some time to live her best life on her own terms and love herself.
Katy Perry may not come back to Australia after this visit for a long time, but when she does release new music and returns ‘down under’, I assure you, the wait will be worth it and I will be there with bells on (not literal bells).
Thank-you Katy Perry, for giving Australia so much love and for being you.
Photography by Grant Alexander.