Katy Perry delighted fans at Glastonbury and caused havoc among Pyramid Stage security staff by ending her set with a freewheeling crowd surf. The pop star, with 6.5 million record sales and 14 US top tens under her belt, earned the biggest cheer of her performance by leaping into the arms of those hardened fans who had spent all day waiting by the barriers to watch her show from as close as possible, all while yellow confetti blew over the crowd.
Perry, making a boisterous debut at the festival, finished her set in silence as a rapt crowd watched the screens to see when she would return to the stage side of the barrier. As a result, her closing song, Roar, ended with a somewhat muted thud.
But Perry's irrepressible energy prevailed during a performance that was marred by technical problems; the sound cut out repeatedly across the Pyramid Stage speakers.
The 32-year-old, who recently split from actor Orlando Bloom, was performing at Glastonbury two weeks after the release of Witness, her fourth album. In a maelstrom of publicity, she has recently described her new record as a graduation from the frothy pop with which she made her name in 2008 with her debut single I Kissed A Girl.
But Perry wasn't short of the kind of lacquered, Californian sheen that we've come to expect from her. Wearing a skin-coloured catsuit dotted with tiny mirrors, she was accompanied by backing dancers who, in typical Perry style (she made international headlines after an incident at the Super Bowl with a dancing shark), changed into increasingly preposterous headdresses with each passing song.
A bombastic medley of hits Teenage Dream, Firework and Dark Horse might have been the greatest 12 minutes the Pyramid had seen so far on Saturday, with Perry's crystalline vocals unaffected by her relentless charging across the stage. A charming rendition of Thinking of You, her first hit, was a small marvel, and doubly intriguing for its similarity to early material by her well-documented pop star rival, Taylor Swift.
But some of Perry's new songs lacked the familiarity - and glittering pop heft - to truly move the crowd, meaning her set never quite hit the dizzy stratospheres some of her guitar-solo-infused wig-outs hinted at.
Furthermore, for all of her claims of authenticity (she told the crowd she was "just like us" and asked, somewhat awkwardly, if she was "cool now" due to her Glastonbury performance), there was a sense of hollowness to her stage persona. She may have fascinated us with her stage dive, but perhaps that was because Perry had previously felt so out of reach.