Having dazzled Perth Arena just over a week ago, Taylor Swift is now bringing it in other, less important parts of Aus. Son of AT, MT, was there and was only too happy to share his thoughts.
Having waited three and a half years (I only became a fan in the 1989 period, and Perth wasn’t on the 1989 tour), I, along around 45,000 other Swifties, as they are known, saw Taylor Swift at Optus Stadium last Friday. After going down early to buy T-shirts, meeting up with my friends and then heading to our seats at the stadium, we arrived in time for the second support act, Charli XCX, perhaps best known for doing the current song used by Kentucky Fried, I Don’t Care.
Missing first support, Broods, entirely, Charli XCX were OK (as a 27-year old man who isn’t really into modern pop music outside of Taylor Swift and Adele, I’m not exactly the target demographic), but nothing on the main event. From the moment she took the stage, Swift set the stage on fire (at one point, almost literally, with a not-quite-Rammstein display of fire during performance of Reputation song “I Did Something Bad”). While most of the set list was from new album Reputation, including sound performance of “Call It What You Want”, “Getaway Car” and “New Year’s Day” in particular, fans of earlier albums were not left disappointed – all albums barring her self-titled debut from 2006 were represented, including a back-to-back medley of “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me” from 2008’s Fearless (I almost lost my voice singing along to the latter), and a lovely, heart warming piano version of 2010 Speak Now closer “Long Live” – dedicated to everyone who helped set the stage up, provided food, security and emergency services at the concert, and one of my all time personal favourites of hers – I actually want it played at my funeral.
Another moment I loved was when Swift played, on her acoustic guitar, a stripped back version of Reputation track “Dancing With Our Hands Tied”, and 2012’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” from Red – while out in the arena away from the main stage, doing the rounds to the fans away from the “Snake Pit”. That, along with the “Long Live” performance, are solid evidence that if Swift chooses to do an acoustic stripped back album, similar to say, Adele’s 25, it would work superbly, either as an album of new songs or new renditions of her current six albums.
The hits from 1989 were also present – You can’t have a Taylor Swift concert without “Shake it Off”, can you? All in all, it was non-stop enchantment (to quote my favourite song of Swift’s, Track 9 from Speak Now). From start to end, all two hours, Swift and the band were on top form, and while Reputation isn’t my favourite album of hers (that goes to Red), I will definitely see Swift next time she’s in Australia, if she keeps up this quality of output and live performance.