After being in the audience (willingly, i may add) to one of Taylor Swift’s 5 sold out tour dates at London’s 02 arena – I can now positively state that not only does Taylor Swift know how to put on an incredible show – but she is an incredibly humble, yet extraordinary human being! The two hour set included many conversations with the crowd about how to overcome bullying, love and break-ups with music – an aspect which continuously pleased the wide demographic of the screaming audience. The atmosphere was electric and the set-list sparked the crowd into a dancing frenzy, this show certainly was a crowd pleaser!
Now as a rock music lover, I have been to many concerts and festivals, but nothing quite compares to the audience of last night’s Taylor Swift concert. The effort which almost every audience member had put into creating banners, posters, and a personal favourite of mine, a cardboard cut-out of the word ‘RED’ with fairy-lights attached was mesmerizing. It is clear for many teenage girls, boys, and even those older members of the audience, Taylor Swift really is an idol whom they adore. Moreover what is perhaps even more humbling, is that Taylor makes sure she fits this image and is a positive idol throughout the show, providing advice for those teens struggling with friends, boyfriends and school.
Given the positive review of both the atmosphere, crowd and the image of herself which Taylor puts across, one might now be expecting the negative aspect of the review, but there is not one! The set-list was bold, energetic and provided the right balance of both songs from the RED album, and those from the previous works. The up-beat tone started right from the beginning with ‘Holy Grail’ and (with a small interlude to sing Ours) concluded with ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.’ This set-list catered for all the audience, providing the fairy-tale image of romance with ‘Love Song’ complete with a prince charming, while only minutes earlier had explored the disappointment of relationships with ‘All to Well.’ The highlight for me being when Taylor was floated around the 02 on a moving platform, effortlessly singing ‘Sparks Fly.’ Not only was the set-list superb, but the show was both a visual and technical triumph, with Taylor making many costume changes, which complemented the accompanying song, whilst showing off her flawless figure. The 1940‘s dress Taylor sported in the first half of the show soon made way for shorts and a union jack t-shirt as she sang ’22’ to an audience whom sang louder than anything I have ever heard! It must also be noted that the use of a B stage pleased those seated the back of the 02 – and Taylor’s dancers really helped bring the show to life!
Taylor Swift really gave London her all – and while in the two previous performances Ed Sheeran had been the ‘surprise’ guest of honor – on Tuesday 4th February – the audience was treated to The Script’s Danny o’Donoghue. Not only was this an incredible surprise, but the attention and conversation which both Taylor and Danny (although shortly) held with the audience must be praised. Although the conversation about the color red at the beginning appeared a little staged, all other advice and conversation which Taylor held regarding love, relationships and music seemed genuine and sincere. It is hard to believe such a young woman can have so much knowledge and experience to share!
What is clear from two hour spectacular is that Taylor Swift is a singer for all ages – reaching out to both those whom are still naively innocent about the world, and those whom understand love and have experienced the negative fallouts which love undoubtedly brings. Taylor is therefore a persona whom a large number of people can and willingly relate too – and the Red tour capitalizes upon this faultlessly. Taylor Swift is a powerful figure – she is both aspirational and inspirational having overcome a grueling spell at school and the troubles which love has created. As she states in her song ‘The Lucky One’ many have tried to knock her down – but they will not succeed – and this is the message the adoring audience leaves with.