The last time we saw Katy Perry take an awards show stage with a new performance, she was draped in pajamas and surrounded by somewhat infantile fairy tale elements. But what a difference a year makes: maturing quite a bit in the construct of her music and in her character altogether, Perry takes to the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards stage with the first live performance of “Roar” — perhaps the most impressive showcase of her career.
Utilizing a boxing ring setting, Perry trades in the childlike “Wide Awake” persona for an empowered, energized fighter — someone who commands strength and vigilance. Bouncing around through the ring with her sweat-drenched backup dancers, Perry offers a truly emphatic, inspiring, and altogether fun number. Although it might take more than one enthusiastic hit to strip Perry of her googly-eyed connotations, we are encouraged by “Roar.” More sophisticated in tune and in theme, and teamed with a performance that is at once inventive and accessible, the ordeal gives us a glimpse into a promising future for Perry. And we’re very much looking forward to witnessing the lot of it.