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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Taylor Swift Lights Up FirstEnergy Stadium With Energetic Performance

Concert Review

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 11:10 AM

click to enlarge JOE KLEON
  • Joe Kleon
“I’m having more fun on this tour than I’ve had in my whole life,” Taylor Swift said to a capacity crowd at FirstEnergy Stadium last night. “I don’t take a single moment that I’m up here for granted.”

Some might wonder how a woman who's played to thousands of people since she was 16 could still be mesmerized by the crowd singing the words back to her, but she was. Swift paused after almost every song with a wondrous look on her face as she soaked in the love of her adoring fans. And there was nothing fake about it.



You can see a slideshow of photos from the concert here.

Swift opened the show with the perfect hype song, “…Ready For It?” “I Did Something Bad” followed, much to the delight of the crowd. Swift has always been known for her theatrics and during this number, she was lifted into the air by her dancers as she sang, “They’re burning all the witches even if you aren’t one/So light me up.”

Fan favorite “Gorgeous” came next after Swift gushed over how beautiful the crowd looked and dedicated the song to the filled stands.

“Gorgeous” explored a new side to Swift’s choreography that she’s previously strayed away from: sex appeal. The 5’10 long-legged super star flaunted her curves in a black sparkly leotard, turning around to shake her perfectly toned backside.

Swift has learned on previous tours how much her fans love to hear her older songs, so she graciously obliged with a mashup of 2014’s “Style” and 2008’s “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me.”

The 28-year-old’s first costume change came after the medley when she sprung up from underneath the stage in a glamorous blue and gold robe.

“Sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now,” Tiffany Haddish said from a prerecorded video on the big screen. “Why? Oh, cause she’s dead,” the crowd screamed back.

Swift followed Reputation’s debut single with a shortened version of “End Game” that excluded Future and Ed Sheeran’s rapped verses.

“King of My Heart” was the last track that Swift sang on the main stage before flying over the crowd in a shiny gold contraption to a B-stage. The song is an unapologetic ode to Swift’s boyfriend of nearly two years, Joe Alwyn.

“Delicate,” Swift’s most recent single, was her transition song as she flew over the crowd, excitedly waving to each new section.

Swift gave every attendee a matching bracelet that flashed different colors throughout the show. They formed snakes to fit the dramatic theme at one point, and all flashed red or blue at others.

“The reason I wanted to have these on the tour, besides the fact that it’s beautiful, is so that I can see every single one of you,” Swift said, “I can see when you’re dancing, and I can see which ones you sing along to.”

Fans responded with a deafening roar at the mere idea that Swift may have seen them.

Once safely on the B-stage, Swift burst into “Shake It Off.” Joined by opening acts Camila Cabello and Charli XCX, Swift looked more like her old self, having fun rather than trying to pretend that she is a top notch dancer.

After the 1989 smash hit, Swift slowed things down with an acoustic version of “Dancing With Our Hands Tied,” followed by her first-ever live performance of a song that she wrote for Sugarland, “Babe.”

Those are the moments that set Swift apart, playing lyrically stunning songs she wrote herself to a crowd of 70,000 and somehow making a stadium feel intimate.

Swift then walked through the crowd, high-fiving her fans, as she has always done, to get to her second B-stage. There, she played another of 1989’s smash-hits “Blank Space,” mocking the media’s perception of her. Afterwards, the pop princess sang “Dress” in a sheer black dress that she shed towards the end of the song, singing “I only bought this dress so you could take it off.”

Back on the main stage, Swift mashed up “Bad Blood” with a teen-angst filled breakup song from her very first album in 2006, “Should’ve Said No.”

“Don’t Blame Me,” a dramatic crazy-in-love anthem came next. During this performance, Swift hit a high note that her former self never could have dreamed of reaching. Swift is an artist known for her lyrical ability but she has fine-tuned her vocals in recent years to become the whole package.

The most intimate portion of the show followed as Swift sat at a grand piano and sang a mashup of “Long Live,” a track dedicated to the fans off 2010’s Speak Now, and “New Year’s Day,” a delicate love song to Alwyn. When Swift sings a piano ballad, any shadow of a doubt about how special she is as an artist evaporates, and dry eyes are few and far between.

After the piano medley, Swift left the stage to change while a poem she wrote called “Why She Disappeared,” played along with a visually stunning video filmed in a breathtaking desert.

When she reappeared, Swift sang two of the best tracks on Reputation, “Getaway Car,” a song about a racy love triangle and “Call It What You Want,” a declaration of her love for Alwyn and a brushing-off of anything that might stand in their way.

Swift’s latest album and tour focus on reclaiming the narrative after getting wrapped up in some major celebrity drama. Everything from the gigantic snake that carried Swift back to the main stage, made to mock the name that haters had given her online, to the genuine happiness that radiated from her proved that she is no longer ruled by public opinion. And a confident Swift is the best possible version of herself.

“And in the death of her reputation, she truly felt alive.” Those were the words that Swift left us with after her firework-filled closing mashup of, “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” a clever diss to Kanye West, and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” the breakup anthem of the decade.

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