Katy Perry’s charisma, extravagant stage design add flair to concert

As pop star Katy Perry swung above on a pink cloud suspended by metal rafters, it seemed as if a Barbie had truly come to life. Fans stretched out their arms and sang along to a bittersweet love song until her chariot made its return to a stage decorated with candy and glitter.  
On her one-night stop in Austin, as part of her California Dreams Tour, Katy Perry turned the Frank Erwin Center into a shrine to all things girly. A sea of miniature Perry replicas, in blue wigs and peacock getups inspired by the stars’ heavily-costumed performances, covered the area Saturday night.
While some of the more risqué material in the show might have soared clear over the younger fans’ heads, what did translate was Perry’s aim to connect with her audience: whether it was professing her love for Texas (in particular, queso) or inquiring where her Texas boyfriend was in the crowd, one could tell she was pulling away from the narrative of her live show to create a more personal environment.
The pyrotechnics, multiple costumes changes and dancing gingerbread men might have seemed over the top and plastic had they not been paired with Perry’s sincerity toward her fans. At the end of the night it was the stars’ personality that left this strong dose of pop sugar without a sour aftertaste.