Confession: I’m a very big Taylor Swift fan and I have been for quite a few years, confession number 2: I wasn’t the biggest fan of her last album Reputation...at least I thought I wasn’t until I saw the songs performed live last Saturday night and it all sort of made sense.
There’s something about going to a concert at a stadium that feels just that little bit more epic than going to even the biggest arena show, yes sure the stage is miles away but the atmosphere is contagious and even the biggest Swift cynic would have found it hard not to get carried away with it.
Before Taylor took to the stage and after Charli XCX and Camila Cabello had warmed up the crowd the giant screens on each side of the stage played clips of her meeting fans at her Reputation listening parties (in her own house/s no less), she does love her fans does Tay Tay. Then the lady herself appeared to huge cheers from the 70,000 strong adoring crowd and kicked things off with ‘Ready For It?’ we were all given light-up wristbands on the way in and they flashed with various colour changes the whole way through the show. The majority of the set was made up of songs from Reputation, the album with much darker themes than Swifts previous ones delivered so much more live than on record, with the production and stage sets enhancing the songs perfectly. Taylor switched between the main stage and two smaller stages in the middle of the crowd, as well as ‘flying’ over the crowd in a snake skeleton during ‘Bad Blood’. Then there were the countless outfit changes into various sequin cat-suits and the huge blow up cobra snakes popping up from the stages, making the whole thing a spectacular theatrical experience for the audience.
While the old Taylor may be “dead” as she proclaimed on ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, she can still be resurrected occasionally as proved during a medley of ‘Style’, ‘Love Story’ and ‘You Belong With Me’, where we got to relive the country/pop Taylor for a few minutes.
The most unexpected moment of the night came when she took to the piano and started playing ‘Angels’ only for Robbie Williams to pop up through the stage, we’d been speculating before the show who her special guest may be after Niall ‘One Direction’ Horan joined her the night before but I definitely wasn’t expecting Robbie, it was the perfect choice though and watching Taylor grinning up at him from her piano as the crowd erupted with excitement was a genuinely lovely moment!
One of the hightlights from Reputation was ‘Getaway Car’, another song that came to life in a live setting, then there was the brilliant ‘Blank Space’ which I think is still one of her best songs. The colourful, fun, dance/sing-along of ‘Shake It Off’ complete with confetti cannons was another euphoric moment and ‘This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’ finishes off the night in joyous fashion.
I’m always going to have a softer spot for ‘Red’ and ‘1989’ than for Reputation but I am in no doubt that Taylor Swift is at the top of her game when it comes to being the perfect pop star!…now when is that greatest hits tour going to be?
Photos by Carly Blake @cblakeyo