There is no way a Katy Perry performance at this time in her personal life isn’t going to be interpreted as some kind of Russell Brand analogy. Probably didn’t help, then, that Katy started out with “E.T.,” which if you’ve lost track of Katy Perry’s singles, is the alien-sex track which has five separate kinds of subtext, including the subtext about falling in love with a wacky British guy like Russell Brand. It sounded and was staged essentially like “E.T.,” and the biggest bit of suspense was whether Kanye West would arrive late to do his verse (he and Jay-Z didn’t show up to accept their “Otis” award earlier in the night.) But no, it’s just “E.T.” sounding like “E.T.”, and we’re dreading the verse it’s heading toward, and then… and THEN…
THE SOUND DIES! By which we mean it “dies,” a crackle that reverberates throughout the sound system, and there’s Katy Perry, suffering from realness by singing a cappella inside a glass cube she later punches out to perform what looks like a prototype for Black Eyed Peas’ futuristic videogame if the Black Eyed Peas were pop-rock. The song’s “Part of Me,” a cut from her Teenage Dream re-re-release, and sound and staging, it’s very Xtina in “Fighter” but also very effective. This is probably the best Katy’s sung on stage, and we’re not even going to qualify that with a “…but that’s not saying much.” The track is fantastic, will probably be her seventh single and has a better shot than “The One That Got Away” at being her chart coup.
Oh, and one line is “you can keep the diamond ring, it don’t mean nothing anyway,” if you’d really like to read into things.