The Arena was plunged into darkness and then the Icona Pop logo was displayed on the screen. Now Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo are a Swedish DJ duo that formed back in 2009. I have been a fan since 2011 and I really like the dance/ synth pop tunes that they sing. Supporting Katy Perry is a big deal but they haven’t made in the UK. Yes they achieved a #1 with I Love It and they sold out Koko back in March only to have that three day tour cancelled because they were support for Miley Cyrus back in the States. Even though the début This Is Icona Pop is an amazing record it massively under performed as it only charted at #86 which was a great shame. Now the set was a showcase from that record and it was All Night which kicked off proceedings. This was a short snippet but this track had them singing “We could do this all night”. Even though it was short I found this to be ridiculously catchy with infectious lyrics which also get you moving. It was then infused with We Got The World which served as the follow up to I Love It. I have to say this was a luscious synth pop number which was spectacularly delivered. We Got The World was a cheerful number about embracing life, love and fun “They say, “You’re a freak,” when we’re having fun /Say, “You must be high,” when we’re spreading love/ But we’re just living life and we never stop/ We got the world”. The end then morphed into Ready For The Weekend and this is one hell of a song. At first it started off as a chant then when the backing track kicked in the energy was turned up a notch. It there is a song that you could go crazy to then it was this one. The energy was full flowing. “London, Are you ready to jump” Caroline said mid point through this contagious number. Ready For The Weekend was a feel good pop track which was delivered to perfection.
“London, How you doing tonight. We are Icona Pop” Aino said before they went into In The Stars which was a slow paced luscious track aided by lyrics which had been perfectly written. This was very euro pop and the chorus was super catchy “Skies open, where we going/ It’s in the stars, it’s who we are/ Don’t you worry about the morning/ It’s in the stars, it’s who we are”. After mentioning that London is their second home it was then onto On A Roll which was faultlessly delivered. Everything about this was amazing. On A Roll was a thumping synth pop tune which easily got you moving. Following on was Girlfriend which incorporates lyrics from Tupac Shakur’s “Me and My Girlfriend”. I especially adored the fact that they twisted the original and turned it into a girl power anthem and that is exactly what it is an anthem. “All I need in this life of sin/ Is me and my girlfriend”. Now I found this to be a feel good number which was completely flawless plus it was delivered with plenty of gusto. “So we’re from a small place called Stockholm, Sweden. Do you like making out? Do you like spreading love?” Aino said before Caroline went onto say “Well good because that’s healthy and we love it, you love it and Katy Perry kissed a girl and she liked it”. Following on was Then We Kissed which started of with Hjelt playing a kazoo. Now this number was completely phenomenal. It was uber catchy and had a punchy chorus which oozed plenty of energy. This fast paced tune was stunning live and it was perfectly delivered. Just like Girlfriend this is another anthem. Straight after it was It’s My Party which borrows lyrics from the original Lesley Gore version. I am surprised this didn’t feature on the This Is Icona Pop LP instead it featured on the self titled record released in Sweden in 2012. I must say this was simply spectacular and what ended the set was the well known I Love It.
All Night/ We Got The World
Ready For The Weekend
In The Stars
On A Roll
Then We Kiss
I Love It
Now this was a show. The set by Katy Perry was 20 songs long which was then divided into 6 different acts. First up you had the Prismatic act. Things kicked off with the first single to be lifted from Prism and this being Roar. Now Perry is known for her flamboyancy and this performance was just that. First you had neon Spartan soldiers then you had Perry who was wearing a futuristic outfit which lit up (She even had lights in her ponytail). Also there was a skipping segment which was very trippy. As for the song Roar was infectious, it was a right crowd pleaser and it was a fierce song to open up with. Next up you had Part Of Me which was taken from the re packaged version of Teenage Dream and this being The Complete Confection. This was both contagious and had a punchy chorus. As soon as Perry reached the tip of the cat walk that is when there was a short dance breakdown. The one thing I adore about Katy Perry shows is the actual performance is completely theatrical and this song certainly was that. Wide Awake followed on and then ending the first act you had a mash up of This Moment and Love Me both taken from Prism. “Welcome to the Prismatic World Tour” Perry then said before playing the song. I must say This Moment is one of my favourite songs from Prism and it sounded phenomenal live. Now this was uplifting and left me with a warm feeling inside. Love Me which was infused to This Moment was extremely different as it was more upbeat and uptempo.
Next up was act 2 and this had an Egyptian theme. This act started with the current single and this being Dark Horse. Perry made her entrance riding a horse. Dark Horse was one epic song and the performance left me in in a trance. Even Juicy J performed his rap on screen as the Sphinx. This was a funky number which had the crowd going wild. Straight after was E.T which was the Kanye West version. I adored this upbeat number but I cannot help think why it was included in this act as it felt out of place. When it was nearing the end Katy’s body was hoisted off the ground making it look like her body was floating. Legendary Lovers was a complete cracker and very uplifting at the same time. The second act then concluded with I Kissed A Girl it was both infectious and it oozed rock vibes.
Act 3 Cat-Oure only consisted of just two songs. Now this was extremely weird you had dancing cats and a cat’s playpen. So Katy made her entrance wearing a spotted pink cat suit along with cat ears. The song in question being the oldie Hot N Cold which had been transformed into a version that would be well suited to any Jazz Club. Then you had Prism track International Smile which was very euro pop. Incorporated into this song was a snippet of Madonna’s Vogue.
A sun flower dressed Acoustic set kicked off with By The Grace Of God which was soothing ballad which was beautifully delivered. The One That Got Away was infused with Thinking Of You. Both of these beautiful ballads were delivered perfectly by Katy Perry who played the acoustic guitar. The lyrics were hypnotising and slightly emotional at the same time. Unconditionally was a power pop ballad which was delivered to perfection. It was a lot gentler live than what appeared on the album.
After the dance cam it was then onto the next act. When Katy Perry graced the stage she sported Green hair. This act was to be a triple whammy of Prism tunes. First up was Walking On Air which felt like a 90s eurodance number. This number itself was incredibly catchy. It Takes Two saw Perry wearing a massive Ying and Yang dress for this hypnotic track. The act came to a close with another mash up and these being This Is How We Do (which was up upbeat funky track which easily gets you moving) infused to Teenage Dream song Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F) which is literally my favourite Katy Perry songs from the 2nd album.
The final act was Hyper Neon. It kicked off with Teenage Dream and was then followed by California Gurls. Perry was wearing a skirt which resembled Palm trees. Both were phenomenally delivered. Both of these going the crowd moving. Katy then left the stage only to return moments later to perform the current single Birthday. Perry asked if there was anyone who was celebrating a birthday. When the guy was chosen he was then placed on a throne which was on top of a rotating birthday cake. A showering of balloons and confetti turned this into one epic performance.
Once over people were leaving the venue. It had already past 11pm but there was 1 song left remaining. There was a video interlude mentioning that people should put on the PRISM VISION glasses if they had purchased them from the merch stand. Firework ended what had been a stunning evening. This was infectious, uptempo and involved plenty of jumping up and down. Also there were even fireworks on stage!!!!!
Part of Me
This Moment / Love Me
I Kissed a Girl
Hot N Cold
International Smile / Vogue
By the Grace of God
The One That Got Away / Thinking of You
Walking on Air
It Takes Two
This Is How We Do / Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
OVERALL: The difference between shows and gigs is that with shows it is a full on production. This most certainly was that. Katy Perry was on form and the new songs from Prism were brilliant. I loved every second of it also it was nice to hear oldies from Teenage Dream and One Of The Boys. The Jazz spin on Hot N Cold was extraordinary and the fireworks right at the end was simply wow.
As for Icona Pop my advice for them would be to announce a headline tour of the UK. Yes they recently played XOYO last year but that was it. It was ashame that the 3 day mini tour was cancelled but supporting Miley Cyrus is a big deal. This duo are amazing if you adore dance pop. Supporting artists with a large fan base is always a good thing as you can gain more fans from it. The fact that the album did not chart in the top 40 was disappointing because I think it is a right cracker