Taylor Swift's "1989" Tour
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The Taylor Swift "1989" Tour Far Surpasses Even Our Wildest Dreams!
By: Susan J. Yeager
For almost a year now, Taylor Swift's "1989" album has provided the soundtrack to our lives. We played it when we fell in love, tangled with our "frenemies," made fresh starts, fell out of love, fell back in love with the same person, back out of love and then finally started over again, completely "Clean." In our year of ups and downs, the songs we play have remained the same and "1989" has consistently been on repeat.
So the thought of actually watching those songs be brought to life by Taylor, live and in person, is enough to make even the most passive of fans downright giddy. That's a lot of pressure to put on a single human being. However, this is Taylor Swift we're talking about here. So she will see your expectations and then she will raise the stakes to mind-blowing, epic fun proportions that far surpass your wildest concert experience dreams!
We caught the show one Friday night in Columbus, Ohio. Taylor had played there the night before but even the repeat customers were beyond excited to be a part of the experience that was about to unfold.
At promptly 7:30, Vance Joy, a rising singer/songwriter took the stage with the dubious task of grabbing the attention of 15,000 people who were waiting to see their idol. He began a thirty minute, solid set with "From Afar" and then he and his three piece band launched into "Wasted Time."
Next up was his latest single "Mess is Mine," followed by a great cover of Sam Smith's "Stay With Me." Encouraging the audience to sing along with him, Joy proclaimed, "I love to hear your voices!" From there, he moved on to "Fire in the Flood."
Saving his best known song for last, the crowd went crazy when the singer launched into his hit "Riptide." If you weren't a Vance Joy fan coming in to the show, you were definitely one walking out.
Even the downtime at the "1989" tour was highly entertaining. Incredibly creative videos that fans' had made for Taylor were shown (you have to google the Dominoes one!) and glimpses in to Taylor's personal life came alive on big screens that hung near the stage. You couldn't help but be moved by the video of Taylor Christmas shopping for her fans and delivering one group of gifts in person (you should google that too!).
Suddenly, the lights came up, the curtain dropped, and the first few notes of "Welcome to New York," filled the arena. The excitement in the air was like nothing you could ever imagine and then there she was, popped up on a stage that was also inhabited by her band and 12 male dancers. And just like that, two hours of pure joy and excitement began.
Die-hard fans knew all the words to her second song, "New Romantics," a track off the deluxe version of "1989." That was followed by an amped-up version of "Blank Space." You are living under a rock if you didn't know all the words to that one.
Each and every song wasn't just a performance, it was a full-on on Broadway style production number. Did we mention, that when concert goers arrived, there was a bracelet on their seat. The bracelets (all 12,000 of them) were coordinated with Taylor's lighting so they would all flash the same color at the same time. Hence, every seat was lit up all the time. A-Maz-Ing!
Next up was a blue-sy, cabaret style version of "I Knew You Were Trouble," followed by the upbeat "I Wish You Would." Perhaps most reminiscent of a Broadway show was the mid-tempo "That's How You Get the Girl," complete with dancers swinging from lampposts that dangled from the ceiling, not to mention that Taylor's whole outfit was comprised of lights that changed colors in sync with the dancers umbrellas. Again... A-Maz-Ing!
A series of opening and closing doors were the props for the "I Know Places." Again, the featured dancers easily entertained the crowd with some stellar choreography, that really brought each number to life in its own special way.
If we were forced to register any kind of "I Wishes" it was that missing from the show were most of Taylor's songs pre-1989. She managed to work a couple of "oldies but goodies " in to the show each night and this particular night, "You Belong With Me" delighted the audience as did "Love Story."
One of our favorite moments of the night was when Taylor talked to the crowd about letting go of all the negativity brought on by people who seem to want to pile it on to everyone else and self-imposed doubt. This lead to a moving rendition of her song "Clean" and we mean that both figuratively and literally. Taylor's catwalk actually lifted into the air and rotated so even the folks in the nosebleeds could get a good look at her for awhile.
Coming back down to Earth for "Style," both Taylor and her dancers strutted down the catwalk like the Fashion Models they were born to be. The dancers had "Heeleys" on, so that added extra motion to the already way cool number.
It was a known fact that Taylor managed to bring out a surprise guest at every stop on the tour and she mentioned several times to the audience that she might have a surprise for us. True to her word, Sydney Sierota from the band Echosmith joined Taylor for an amped up version of the band's hit "Cool Kids." It was indeed very "Cool" to be part of that moment.
After a quick change, Taylor returned to rock out on "Bad Blood." All of our bracelets flashing red just added to the intense production number. That was followed by "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." Another personal fave, she then performed her latest single "Wildest Dreams" which also had parts of "Enchanted" woven through it. That proceeded "Out of the Woods."
Yes, two hours later it was time for Taylor to close the show with a rousing rendition of "Shake it Off." It is safe to say, that even though we were losing our voices from singing and cheering for two hours, and though our legs might hurt from dancing along in our cute shoes , no one wanted her to stop.
We would be remiss if we didn't point out one other extraordinary part of the show and that was Taylor's fans. Sure, I have been to shows where people bought a T-shirt and changed in to it at the venue. Taylor has made her fans feel like it is okay to be who they are and let me tell you, her fans are expressive and creative. They didn't just come in shirts with her picture on it, they MADE shirts that had her picture, or her song lyrics or her cats. They didn't just hold up signs, they made signs out of lights. The dressed in battery operated lights to match her high-tech outfits she wore during the show. They came in costume from her videos. They made their boyfriend's come in costume from her videos (major props to that guy!). From a writer's standpoint, to see that many teenagers get creative and artistic and go to a place where they are not only not made fun of... they are welcomed and embraced and encouraged... well, that is a feat in itself. That is why Taylor is the global phenomenon she is today.
The audience left the concert feeling like they had done far more than just listen to a night of good music, they felt like they had experienced a once-in-a-lifetime event. It's kind of sad to think that no one knows what comes next for Taylor after this tour, but I can tell you one thing with absolute certainty and that is that there are 12,000 people somewhere near Columbus, Ohio who are waiting with baited breath.
To keep up with what comes next for Taylor and to see her remaining tour dates, visit: http://www.TaylorSwift.com
For more on Vance visit: http://www.VanceJoy.com/