I feel like I need to start with some kind of disclaimer. I am, after all, a 36 year old woman who voluntarily paid for tickets to a Taylor Swift concert and was not accompanying a minor. I have to say, it did occur to me to see if we could maybe borrow a kid from someone just to justify being there. But no, we didn’t. And why did I pay for tickets? No, I am not a card carrying member of the Taylor Swift fan club – I only own one of her albums which I purchased after buying the concert tickets (since singing along is a mandatory requirement). But, when I saw her tour announced I thought to myself – she will put on one hell of a show and I haven’t been to a concert for ages so why not? Hence, I joined thousands of excited young girls pouring into Vector Arena last night. And did I get one hell of a show? You bet ya.
Taylor kind of has the peppy, clean cut, catchy, romantic, slightly country angle of the pop market cornered – and her fans tend to be young and female. They were out in force and she did everything, and I mean everything, she possibly could to give them the night of their lives. Given the delight on the faces of those surrounding us, I would say she did a pretty good job, and probably even converted a few parents to her cause. Let’s just say, if you can get Guy Williams singing along and waving his hands in the air like he just don’t care – you are putting on a good gig (no idea why he was there – maybe just to look like a really tall, slightly dodgy, moustachioed geezer who really likes Taylor? Who knows…).
The show started loud and colourful and kept that up throughout. They spared no expense on the spectacular sets and supporting dancers – to me it was almost like a musical except there is one star you already know and you definitely know all the words to most of the songs. Of course the backing dancers were extremely talented and provided good scenery but at the end of the day it was the Taylor Swift show. I did realise just how much of an ego you would need to have to anchor a concert like that around just one person. But I guess Taylor is more than just a person now – she is a massive commercial entity. And marketing is something she is particularly good at.
She definitely got points for ensuring everyone in the crowd got some Taylor Time. Not only were there around 5 small screens and 2 jumbo screens (so you didn’t have to miss anything) but she also had a circular stage that went right around the outside of the mosh pit, plus another stage at the very back – so everyone back there (like us) could get up close. And the stage also lifted up high into the air, so people in the nose bleed seats could also get a good glimpse of the real thing. Very cool indeed. Points also for the massive number of costume changes – I counted around 8. If any of the tweens had a preferred Taylor look – a white ball gown, a t shirt and shorts combo, a wedding dress, a circus outfit – they almost certainly went home happy (and probably inspired to go to Supre and try and replicate the look…). She looked amazing and combined with the spectacular sets, the falling love heart confetti at the end, and the fireworks (yes, fireworks) there was no mistaking this for a low key Neil Finn gig that’s for sure.
But, at the end of the day all of this was just icing on top of the main cake – which is her songs and her voice. Say what you want about the state of pop music today – but Taylor Swift can really belt out a tune, no doubt. I didn’t hear a bum note all night which, considering she was also dancing, being carried around by security guards, playing guitar and/or drums and/or piano, being lifted high in the air and almost breaking down in tears (she is either a really good actress or her show is great therapy for her), was pretty impressive. She brought out most of the tracks from her new album (Red), as well as the old classics like Love Story. By the time she led the crowd in a rousing chorus of ‘Never Ever Ever Ever Getting Back Together’ as the finale – our throats were hoarse and arms sore from waving them in the air and clapping.
And really, if you can get a couple of thirty somethings jumping around, singing and laughing when they would probably usually be at home watching DVDs, then you are worth the ticket price. Well done Taylor 🙂