Katy Perry and friends dazzled at the Hollywood Bowl!

Katy Perry

Last night I was super lucky to attend the Citi Presents Katy Perry’s We Can Survive show (benefiting the Youth Survival Coalition) at the famed Hollywood Bowl, which turned out to be one of the best concerts I’ve seen in awhile, it was a truly magical (and chilly) evening.

Katy Perry

The night started out early with a very special VIP pre-event that kicked off around 5pm with Katy Perry doing an intimate acoustic set along with a Q+A session. Fans were able to submit questions beforehand via Twitter, it was quite obvious that Katy loves her ‘Katy Kats’ and enjoyed answering a couple of questions (she admitted to wanting to play Lydia in Beetlejuice 2!). Even though she claimed to be a little under the weather (she just flew in from London), her voice sounded fantastic, I really enjoyed hearing her sing stripped down versions of “Roar,” “Unconditionally,” and “Firework!”

Katy Perry

After the pre-event, we were all ushered off to a reception on the Museum Terrace which included some tasty snacks and drinks, perfect to kill some time before the sold-out show got underway at 7:30 with Bonnie McKee taking to the stage first after being introduced by Katy herself! I do think Bonnie is a excellent songwriter (and responsible for a number of Katy’s best songs), and it’s great to see her break out on her own, I love her single “American Girl” which she ended her small set with. After Bonnie, it was time for country star Kacey Musgraves who I’m not all that familiar with but she also sounded great. Next up was my girls Tegan and Sara who I completely adore (plus their latest album Heartthrob is easily one of 2013′s best releases), they had me on my feet! Sara Bareilles was next, and although I wouldn’t call myself a huge fan, she actually blew me away last night, she was awesome and super adorable, and I’ll definitely need to be giving her most recent album, The Blessed Unrest, another listen really soon. After Sara finished her set, it was time for Ellie Goulding, who I have been dying to see perform live, and she totally rocked. I absolutely loved hearing “Anything Can Happen,” “I Need Your Love,” “Burn,” and of course “Lights” which concluded her set that had everyone dancing! Once Ellie finished, it was finally time for Katy to take to the stage and the long wait was well worth it.

Katy started off her set with the song that first put her on the map, “I Kissed A Girl,” which to be honest, I didn’t care for but last night I actually enjoyed it and was the perfect song to kick off her set with. After that she brought rapper Juicy J out on stage for “Dark Horse,” one of my favorite tracks off her new album, PRISM (iTunes). Up next was another fan favorite, “Part Of Me,” followed by a new track called “By The Grace of God,” with producer Greg Wells joining her on stage playing the piano. That track is easily one of the most emotional songs off PRISM, and Katy nailed it, her vocals were top-notch, she really took us to church on that one. Up next was “Walking On Air” which is probably my favorite track off PRISM, just like her recent performance on SNL, her performance of this song was perfection, I seriously hope she decides to make that track an official single.

Katy then took us back to her Teenage Dream era again with “California Gurls” and “Teenage Dream,” two songs I can never get enough of, that whole album is just stellar from start to finish (and produced a record-breaking five number one singles). Up next was the second official PRISM single, “Unconditionally,” which is bound to be another number one single for Ms. Perry, once again her vocals were the best I’ve heard from her! She finished off her set with a rousing performance of “Firework,” which included real fireworks, that basically went off through the entire song and was probably the best fireworks I’ve ever seen at the Hollywood Bowl! After a quick break, Katy came back for an encore and brought each of the performers back on stage with her and ended the night with all of them singing her number one hit “Roar,” which you can watch for yourself below!

Katy Perry

All in all, it was a terrific night, filled with incredible performances, all in the name of charity, I feel blessed to have been there in person to witness it. Many thanks to everyone who had a hand in putting this spectacular show on (Citi, CBS Radio and Capitol Records), it was a night I won’t soon forget. I still can’t believe how big of a Katy Perry fan I’ve become (that was not the case a couple of years ago), and seeing her at the top of her game last night really sealed the deal, she’s truly amazing. Please don’t forget to pick up a copy of PRISM, I’m completely obsessed with it, now even more so!

PHOTOS | TIMOTHY NORRIS

Michael Knudsen About Michael Knudsen

MK (Michael Knudsen) first started PopBytes back in September of 2003—while trying to make a website for his design portfolio, the site quickly turned into one of the premiere online destinations for all things pop culture! A native New Yorker, he currently resides in Los Angeles with his partner Ivan along with three dogs, three cats and three parrots. Follow him on Twitter @PopBytes.

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