October 13, 2013 7:49am PT by Kevin Rutherford, Billboard
Katy Perry Feels Call of Jungle, Dance Floor in 'SNL' Return (Video)
Crocodiles and elephants and giraffes, oh my!
Katy Perry returned to Saturday Night Live last night (Oct. 12) to promote her new record, and though the starlet didn't appear in any sketches this time around, rest assured -- you heard her and her bandmates roar.
Perry's first set of the night was, as expected, a rendition of "Roar," her eighth No. 1 single on the Hot 100 and first single from forthcoming album Prism. In stark contrast to her VMAs performance of the song last August, during which she emulated a boxer in a boxing ring, the pop star's performance was much more in line with the song's jungle-themed music video. Donning a short, leopard print dress and looking very queen-of-the-jungle-esque, Perry was flanked by a posse of instrumentalists and singers wearing animal costumes, tropical foliage covering the stage.
But it was her performance of "Walking on Air," the just-revealed Prism tune, that really went for it. Say goodbye to the jungle animals and the Tarzan and Jane garb, and say hello to a sleek, white stage set borrowing from what the '90s might have considered futuristic. Fabric screens commandeered by backup dancers gave the illusion of flight, especially when set in front of fans placed offstage. At one point, all the lights in the studio went out, save for a strobe light against which the silhouettes of Perry and a few of her dancers flashed.
The Eurodance-inspired track, the second promotional single from Prism, cemented her new record as one with a wide array of influences and musical vibes, hitting the dancefloor running with an electronic sheen that provided a nice foil to "Roar"'s rockier sound.
STORY: Katy Perry Confirms Next 'PRISM' Single
Perry may have been the only pop star to grace the SNL stage this weekend, but her genre "rival" Lady Gaga made an appearance -- kind of. Continuing her string of music-themed talk shows that started with her Miley Cyrus impression, Vanessa Bayer whipped out a Gaga impersonation for The Lady Gaga Show, featuring backup dancers carrying in guests (Willis as Michael Kors was particularly wonderful) and a sidekick in the form of a DJ played by Taran Killam.
On deck? Edward Norton hits up SNL in two weeks, with the Electric Lady herself, Janelle Monae, as musical guest.