Katy Perry at Lakewood High School (photos, video)By Matt Miller | October 25th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
LAKEWOOD — With cheers rising from the audience along with cell phones to capture the moment, Katy Perry ended her concert with “Teenage Dream,” a conclusion all the more fitting for a show taking place in a high school gymnasium on a Friday morning before school.
One part pep rally, another part arena pop concert, Lakewood High School students howled with excitement as the superstar ran through a paper banner and onto an enormous stage decked out in tiger stripes in honor of the school mascot.
Lighting rigs and camera crews filled the gym and pearly drums, guitars and a keyboard with a crystal shine sat on a stage that formed a walkway into the sea of students. It could have been the Pepsi Center if not for the Lakewood High School banner hanging from the scaffolding.
“It was so exciting, and to be honest, I cried twice because I was happy that everyone was so happy,” said Lakewood High School sophomore Jessica Jennett when Perry ended the show at 7 a.m.
Students won the Katy Perry concert by making a lip-dub video of the singer’s hit song “Roar,” which they entered into a national contest on “Good Morning America.” Perry chose Lakewood’s video among more than 1,000 entries from across the country.
About 2,700 LHS students and faculty shook off the drowsiness from a 4 a.m. wake-up call as Perry kicked off the show with her hit song “Roar.” Amid stops and starts for “Good Morning America” interviews with Perry and the students who made the winning video, the singer performed five songs — “Roar,” “Walking on Air,” “Firework,” “California Gurls” and “Teenage Dream.”
“Let me tell you all how much I appreciate your love and support,” Perry, wearing an LHS cheerleader outfit, told the crowd of students. They waved flags and wore matching black and orange “Roar” shirts made for the occasion.
Among the crowd, Gov. John Hickenlooper proudly watched the entirety of the concert, chatting with and congratulating students.
“I couldn’t be more proud. It’s as if they’re my own children,” Hickenlooper said. “I think it’s a jolt of energy for the community. It shows what a great principal they have and what student leadership does.”
His Twitter account tweeted a photo of him wearing a “Roar” T-shirt. “It’s a little like when I was a kid and the Beatles first came to the United States,” he said.
The crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to the pop star in honor of her 29th birthday, and even brought out a cake.
Katy Perry jumped rope, danced, sang and accepted a Lakewood High letter jacket from the students. Complete with props, her band in LHS football uniforms, dancing cheerleaders and athletes, the concert went on for about an hour.
Wearing her gifted letterman jacket, Perry spent time after the show taking pictures with students, giving autographs and meeting with the producers of the winning video.
Angelo Diaz, a freshmen at Lakewood High School, ran through the crowd yelling, “I got her autograph” and proudly showing off the singer’s looping writing on a crumpled piece of notebook paper.
Winning video producer/director Courtney Coddington, had a whirlwind of a morning and preceding weeks, taking live interviews on “Good Morning America,” going on stage in front of the crowd and taking the thanks from her peers for helping make the concert a reality.
“It was so much fun,” said a speechless Coddington shortly after meeting Perry. “She’s so pretty and I was so happy that we finally got to see her.”
Using the motto, “One World, One Roar,” LHS students created a nationwide campaign that challenges every high school in the country to raise $1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice.
“In the video there’s so much spirit and that’s carried through the last month-and-a-half,” Coddington said. “I want to see more of this in the world.”
Leading up to the big day, crews spent a week prepping the gym and school for Perry’s arrival. Among the cables running in an out of the building, the trucks and production vans, a 40-foot gold tractor-trailer with “Katy Perry” and “Prism” written in bold on the side parked behind the school.
“It is over-the-top,” said LHS Principal Ron Castagna. He spent the week proving the school’s tax exemption status for such a sizable gift, taking calls from the governor and getting help from retired assistant principals to take care of logistics.
But, Castagna couldn’t be more proud of his students.
“I wouldn’t expect anything less from our young adults,” Catagna said. “Sometimes the public doesn’t get to know that this is an incredible generation.”
Once it was over, Katy Perry tweeted “Thanks for a GREAT morning LAKEWOOD HIGH! Keep #ROARING!”