“Rough, tough and ready to rumble” is right. Katy Perry delivered an uproar-worthy rendition of her hit single “Roar” underneath the Brooklyn Bridge in an epic closing performance to this year’s Video Music Awards.
“I like to have the last word,” Perry told MTV News’ Christina Garibaldi earlier Sunday of having the honor of closing out the show.
And it was one heck of a last word.
Perry rode into New York’s Brooklyn Bridge Park in the back of a golden semitruck — yes, the one that takes up the better part of a city block and has her name, album title and release date painted on the side — wearing a maroon silk boxing robe with “LIONNESS” splashed across the back.
Of course, the whole ensemble was topped off with cornrows and the gold-plated microphone — brass knuckles included— that Perry unveiled on Instagram this week. And, since we all know that no boxing workout is complete without a little rope-skipping, there was a jump-roping interlude. Never one to disappoint fans, Perry brought ring girls as well, clad in skimpy maroon bikinis and holding up “Game Over” signs to signal the end of another VMA year.
Before the show, Perry told MTV News that she wasn’t shy about showing a more fierce side of herself now. Her fans, she said, had grown up as much as she had in the three years since the candy-coated “Teenage Dream” era.
“They’re like, ‘eww, Katy, cotton candy, gross.'” she said. “I can’t do that anymore.”
Of “Roar,” she explained that that foe she was facing in the performance’s boxing ring may as well have been herself.
“It’s a song about standing up for yourself, who can be the biggest bully in the equation — yourself…[It] can get in your way,” she said. “It’s a song about speaking up for yourself and having the strength to do that.”