Last night’s We Can Survive concert at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl ended with a bang — literally. After all, Katy Perry singing “Firework” without a little pyro ain’t how she rolls — and this show was all about Perry’s prerogative.
The all-female bill was as wide-ranging into all corners of pop as Perry’s latest effort, Prism, out this week. So not only was the benefit concert Perry’s creation, it also served as a celebration of all things Prism and lady power. Thrown by Radio.com and our L.A. station AMP Radio 97.1, We Can Survive raised funds for the Young Survival Coalition, an organization supporting young women battling breast cancer.
MORE PHOTOS: We Can Survive Show With Katy Perry & Pals
Given the cause, there was a certain emotional energy in the air, as each artist — Ellie Goulding, Sara Bareilles, Kacey Musgraves, Tegan and Sara, Bonnie McKee and Perry — ran through brief back-to-back sets. Perry’s Prism ballads — from “Unconditionally” to “By the Grace of God” — worked well in this context, but it wouldn’t be a Katy show without big pop hits.
Her ability to switch so effortlessly between not only tempos but distinct moods is perhaps Perry’s biggest asset; she’s a million different women in the course of one night, yet when she opens her mouth to address the crowd, there’s no denying there’s a distinct personality behind those relatable hits.
Kacey Musgraves rocked a red fringe dress. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Kacey Musgraves delivered an impressive and well-paced set of easy swinging country tunes with a pop twist. With echoes of southern rock like the Allman Brothers in some of her band’s extended arrangements, the emerging Texan singer-songwriter introduced a flair for reggae with her song “Step Off,” which segued nicely into a breezy cover of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ classic “Three Little Birds.” She ended her set with “Follow Your Arrow,” the third single from 2013’s Same Trailer Different Park, making a point to point out the song’s references to same-sex marriage and smoking marijuana with the disclaimer, “well, we are in California!”