When it comes to live events, London really is the place to be. Take last weekend for example, at literally the same time as Katy Perry performed her second sold-out show in the O2 Arena, Ed Sheeran performed his second of four shows at Wembley.  Tomorrow night, you can catch The Rolling Stones at Twickenham or sign up to see Taylor Swift later this week, also at Wembley. And these are just the concerts, we’re not even mentioning anything about what’s happening on West End at the moment. It really is a good time to be alive!

To ensure we don’t miss out on the action, we decided to sign up for two live performances at the O2 Arena – Trevor Noah and Katy Perry. The O2 Arena is situated on the Greenwich Peninsula in south-east London and is very similar to the Dome in Johannesburg with a capacity of around 20,000 depending on the stage and seating configurations.  So let’s start with Trevor.

Trevor Noah – 19 May 2018

When Elaine and I lived in South Africa, we saw 2 Trevor Noah shows, both of which were held at Monte Casino and mostly consisted of racial and political jokes – in good taste of course. When we found out that Trevor is coming to London, we were the first to buy our tickets but I must admit, I’ve never been more curious about his show. British audiences are very different to South African audiences and don’t necessarily share the same humour – but Trevor nailed it!

It takes a special talent to tackle the big subjects in a comedy show, issues such as racism, apartheid, the British Empire, slavery, gun control and the inevitable Trump. He dismantled it all without any heat or bitter criticism but delivered his comedy with gentle teasing. I once again realised that Trevor is a brilliant storyteller when he told us in detail about his recent trip to Bali and how he was disciplined as a kid. He also moved on to illustrate the difference between British and American rap music and his impersonations of these rappers almost had some audience members fall out of their seats with laughter.

There’s no doubt that Trevor is one of South Africa’s best exports, I mean, how many foreign (or even local) comedians can pack 16,000 fans into the O2 for a 2-hour stand-up comedy show?

 

Katy Perry – 15 June 2018

Katy is currently on her worldwide “Witness” tour and on Friday we joined 19,500 other fans to see her second show in London. If there’s one thing to be sure of when going to a Katy show, it’s that you’re about to witness a spectacle like no other. Katy started her show at around 21:00 and from the first moment, fans were treated to a feast for the eyes with extraordinary set designs, costumes and captivating visuals galore. Her powerful voice effortlessly filled the arena and her band was indeed exceptional (I mean with the brilliant Tony Royster Jr on the drums, what’s not to like).

Katy performed all her major hits from Teenage Dream, Last Friday Night, California Gurls and I kissed a Girl to E.T, Hot N Cold, Roar and Firework. For almost 3 hours straight, Katy, her band and her dancers managed to keep energy levels sky high. When she finished up, no one wanted to go home.

She is currently touring through the UK but will be heading down to South African next month. If you have a ticket for her show in Johannesburg, have an expectation – she’s a fantastic entertainer!