Katy Perry holds tight to her inner-Peter Pan on splashy arena tour

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From the August 7, 2014 edition

Katy Perry turns 30 in October, yet up until recent years her bubbly media persona existed in a Peter Pan-like state of perpetual adolescence.

The grown-up world finally encroached with the 2012 dissolution of the pop singer’s brief marriage to British comic Russell Brand, a traumatic event that reverberated through songs like “By the Grace of God,” a swollen-hearted piano ballad that closed out her 2013 full-length Prism and doubled as a tale of survival. These moments of naked introspection are still rare for the pop star, who prefers to spackle over any visible cracks with glitter and cherry-flavored bubblegum.

Perry’s current arena tour, in turn, has universally been described as an over-the-top pop spectacle, incorporating multiple costume changes, elaborate fantasy sequences and a bevy of parade inflatables, including one depicting a smiling poo emoji. Looks like growing up will have to wait a little bit longer after all.

Kacey Musgraves also performs.

Photo by Jake Bailey