Don't hate me for saying this, but Taylor Swift irks me in a way I can't really explain. She's talented, a great businesswoman, very charitable, and writes a damn good song, but I feel like everything she does is really calculated and don't know that she has much of a personality. That said, 1989 is one of my favorite albums in a long time and she puts on a pretty great show, so I was excited to see her in concert again, this time at CenturyLink Field.
Her part of the show was nearly three hours long, but she only sang thirteen songs off 1898 plus two remixed-into-pop country songs. During costume changes videos played of her famous friends (Selena Gomez, Cara Delevigne, Haim, Karlie Kloss, Lena Dunham, etc) talking about how great Taylor is. And there there were these long drawn out moments between songs where she talked to the audience about friendship, love, self-respect, and herself (in a "vote for me at the Teen Choice Awards" kind of way) while strumming her guitar or playing her piano for ten minutes at a time. What she said was totally fine and positive and I'm sure the tweens in the crowd loved hearing it (and should hear it, especially coming from their idols), but it totally ruined the flow of the show. Everyone sat down and talked to each other and my friend mentioned that she could have done without these "therapy sessions." Me too.
Ok, onto more positive things. Taylor sounded good, her sets, stages, and costumes were fun, her dancers had insane energy, and the interactive LED bracelets made everyone look like part of the set. (I know they are used at music festivals, award shows, running events, NBA games, and Coldplay concerts, but it was my first time with one and they are pretty cool!) It was a great pop spectacular with awesome fireworks. I had a good time.
Taylor brings out special guests at every tour stop: someone to sing one of their own songs and a few more to strut down the catwalk during her song Style. We were all curious to see who we'd get, but I was underwhelmed. Fetty Wap came out to sing Trap Queen and Ciara and Russell Wilson walked down the catwalk to the loudest cheers of the night.
I'm jealous of other cities! She's brought out some huge stars. Ellen DeGeneres, Joan Beaz, Julia Roberts (?), Kobe Bryant, Chris Rock, Matt LeBlanc (?!), Mariska Hargitay, the US Women's Soccer Team, and a bunch of her model friends have walked out with her. And she's performed with St. Vincent, Beck, John Legend, Alanis Morissette, Natalie Maines, Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes from OITNB!), Mary J. Blige, Little Mix, Fifth Harmony, Walk the Moon, Little Big Town, Sam Hunt, Andy Grammer, Imagine Dragons, Jason Derulo, Lorde, Nick Jonas, Haim, The Weeknd, and Ellie Goulding. Just last night at Staples Center she sang with Selena Gomez (Good For You), Justin Timberlake (Mirrors), AND Lisa Kudrow (Smelly Cat). That's an insane amount of talent! I would have died to see Alanis or Phoebe Buffay!
I think this part of the show is pretty great. She's sharing the spotlight with others, surprising her audience with fun guests, and giving these artists a major popularity boost and the chance to perform for at least 50,000 people, which most of them will never do. Good on you, Taylor. She's touring through October, so if you get a chance to see her, do it! If you can afford it. I paid $120 for my seat at the top of the 300 level, mid-field, at a 67,000 seat football stadium. For comparison, I paid $135 for my floor seat at One Direction. Girlfriend makes some serious money.