Katy Perry gave her Katycats a sneak peek on Sunday afternoon (November 24) at the flowery opening performance coming up later in the day at the American Music Awards. The singer tweeted a shot of her holding a white microphone covered in cherry blossoms.
“A clue to the theme of my AMA performance this evening!” she wrote. “I will be OPENING the show & taking you on a trip!!!”
And she wasn’t kidding. Standing behind a screen, Perry struck a series of poses in silhouette as a musician plucked some notes on a traditional Japanese banjo-like samisen instrument to introduce her kaleidoscope take on the big Prism ballad “Unconditionally.” When the screens rolled away the singer emerged in full kimono belting out the emotional ballad inside a lush Japanese garden hung with glowing lanterns backed by videos of sky lanterns rising up into the rafters.
A 🌸clue🌸 to the theme of my AMA performance this evening! I will be OPENING the show & taking you on a trip!!! pic.twitter.com/axoV5COKZV
— Katy Perry (@katyperry) November 24, 2013
Perry, taking slow, halting steps stopped mid-stage and struck a pose as a group of female dancers surrounded her and unfurled giant red fans. Each step revealed another part of the colorful tableau, which also included a series of taiko players striking giant drums in unison and a pair of dancers waving towering costumes that mimicked crashing ocean waves as they waved them back and forth over their heads.
The stunning musical trip ended with her spinning around with a paper umbrella as paper flowers rained down all around and she hit the song’s powerful chorus amid a crowd of spinning umbrellas. And the, poof! Perry disappeared at the end in a puff of smoke.
Perry got some instant love from her peers, including homegirl and “Roar” co-writer Bonnie McKee, who said, “Watching @katyperry live on the #AMAs! You’re killing it girl! #Proud.”
— Bonnie McKee (@BonnieMcKee) November 25, 2013
Hookmaster Skylar Grey
was also feeling it, writing, “Loved the ’memoirs of a geisha’ snow dance reference!!!!! Beautiful performance! @katyperry”
Loved the "memoirs of a geisha" snow dance reference!!!!! Beautiful performance! @katyperry
— Skylar Grey (@SkylarGrey) November 25, 2013