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What's Up Magazine

That’s A Wrap! What’s Up? Re-Cap: Taylor Swift

Jul 16, 2015 04:00PM ● By Melissa Lauren
By Guest Blogger Deneen Mercer, WU? Accounting Staffer and Music Lover.
Edited by: Melissa Lauren

Courtesy Photo

This week Guest Blogger Deneen Mercer, What’s Up? Accounting Staffer and Music Lover talks about her Taylor Swift concert experience. National Park was full of adoring fans all aglow Tuesday, July 15th. The concert was sold-out and the crowd enjoyed a Taylor-made show with entertaining surprises.

When we first walked into National Park they gave us clear bracelets. They told us right before the concert started to take the plastic piece out of the wristband. Taylor Swift came out onstage and opened with Welcome to New York. Suddenly, the bracelets of 25,000 all lit up at once and started pulsing to the beat of the music and the lasers. It made the stadium look like there were fireflies everywhere. White light uplit all of the people and the colors of the light were synched up matching the lighting design of the show. It was a gorgeous effect!

Taylor Swift played all of her hits from her latest release, 1989. The crowd sang along word for word with Taylor on Bad Blood and many other tunes too. She had male and female backup dancers with cool and complicated choreography. They utilized the long catwalk a lot of times, which was great for the audience to get that much closer to their star. This show included more dancing and less guitar than the concert I had previously seen but that matched the feel of the record. Swift put a new spin on songs Lovestory and We are Never Getting Back Together. The new arrangements of the older hits had a rockier edge and she played electric guitar for both songs. During Lovestory there was a lift that was supposed to take her out over the crowd. It broke and never even went up so Taylor improvised on the spot saying, “The show must go on!” She recovered well, stayed on the lift, and played the song beautifully on the piano. She did a really good job of creating a musical montage/mashup while playing the piano. I was very impressed by the skillful way she played all of the different instruments; piano, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar.

Although, You Are in Love seemed overproduced – I felt like the songwriter was trying too hard to be ethereal. Wildest Dreams contained an allusion (a short music quote) of Enchanted, which was a nice surprise. What’s more, in the middle of the concert, surprise guest, Lorde graced the stage singing her hit, Royals with Taylor Swift chiming in intermittently throughout the song!

Taylor Swift piped up in between songs sharing with the audience, “If I could go back and see any 80s concert it would be Madonna". She went on to explain that her new record, 1989 is about how she is dealing with her love life now with a focus on relationships evolving and maturing. She is consciously focusing on friendships especially with girlfriends instead of romance being a prominent goal in her life. “Girls, love yourself for who you are. Don’t listen to what other people tell you about yourself.” It is apparent she is growing up and her understanding of friendship has progressed. She talked more than I expected but it was nice to hear her give advice and you could tell her younger fans especially appreciated her wise words. You can tell it is really important for her to reach people and connect with them, making them feel like they are part of her world.

It was really cool because at the very beginning of the concert she gave trivia facts about herself and we got to know her more in a different way. They also showed video of how she brought different groups of people into her home to preview the 1989 CD before it was released. She even hosted private listening parties for her fans! Her friends talked about the song lyrics and their reactions when they heard 1989 for the first time. The video went on to show the process that went into creating 1989 everything down to the typography choice Taylor made for the album cover. They showed background of how Taylor Swift moved to New York a year ago and then it transitioned into the filming of the video for Blank Space. Taylor Swift was very involved behind the scenes directing and producing the video to make sure her aesthetic and distinct style was represented.

Speaking of style, Swift was wearing short shorts and bandeaux tops in black and white all night with several costume changes throughout the night. Overall, there was an edgier feel to her look. She donned a glittery gold glam jumpsuit for one encore and a fun strapless dress with neon colored lights in the dress. The lights lit up in time with the rhythm of the music along with the fans’ matching bracelets.

Taylor Swift’s concert ended in a grand finale of two encores containing two songs each. She didn’t make the fans wait very long for the encores. Shake it Off was the very last song performed with pyrotechnics and confetti. Everyone was dancing even the oldest Swifties!