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LIVE: TAYLOR SWIFT – Perth, 19 October, 2018

| 20 October 2018 | Reply

LIVE: TAYLOR SWIFT – Perth, 19 October, 2018
Optus Stadium, Perth, Western Australia
Reviewed by Trulie & Tia Pinnegar
Photography by Damien Crocker 

After skipping Perth on her 1989 tour in 2015, Taylor Swift’s return, this time playing the new and enormous Optus Stadium, meant pure excitement for her legions of fans, all 50,900 of them.

Warming up the rapidly filling stadium was the catchy, energetic and very pink pop rock of Broods, and the engaging pop of Charli XCX. Although the young star was obviously lipsynching at least part of the time, she sported a gangsta look and sound and the experience of supporting Swift throughout her just-finished U.S. tour helped her engage the huge crowd. I Don’t Care and Back To 1999, with its early Lily Allen-esque feel, made the biggest impression.

Swifty’s Reputation tour was about just that – the stage is set by playback of Joan Jett’s classic Bad Reputation, the set list features almost the entire of her recent Reputation album, and she makes several monologues about the death of her reputation in the press, in her charming and humbly empowering, oversharing way. It’s this open and ‘real’ chattiness which endears her to her many fans, especially the thousands of young and teen girls present with their parents or significant others.

Taylor Swift

The Reputation tracks – heavily produced and electronic on record – are given a more organic, pop rock makeover to great effect, Bad Blood especially sounding almost like a different song.

Appearing through massive video screens which parted like the Red Sea before her, little Tay Tay is a big, grown up twenty-eight years old now, and it shows in her vampyness, but when talking with (never just ‘to’) her crowd she seems as down to earth, humble and heartfelt as she was when she released her debut aged sixteen. She declares, “I want to be able to see each and every one of you,” referencing the glow watches we were issued with upon entry which started flashing magically as she took the stage (and were still flashing the following day). She gives some advice how to deal with negativity when fake friends and the press are attacking your reputation, insists “well I’m not going anywhere” when some drizzle threatens to dampen the mood, and interrupts one monologue to say good-naturedly, “hang on, I have a hair in my mouth – there, that’s better for everyone now.”

Taylor Swift

The many Swifty-inspired outfits worn by both girls and guys in the audience are acknowledged with sincerity, and this is the key to her success: sure, her songs are catchy and her business model is a winner, but it wouldn’t mean much without the sheer personal connection she has magically forged with each and every one of her fans. “Thanks to all the fans I grew up with,” she exclaims. They feel like she’s like them, and that’s the key.

The show was divided into six acts, with customised video shorts continuing to entertain the crowd allowing for quick prop and costume changes each time (the video screens also hosted a series of videos introducing her band and dancers and showing behind the scenes rehearsal footage, albeit shot during her American tour, which screened after the show ended).

Early on she perched atop a snake-embellished throne, flew across the stage aboard a sparkly platform a la Paul Stanley, and later on some of her posse of dancers frolic in a real, live water fountain. This is stadium concert production at its finest.

A lot of songs are crammed into the show – some are truncated, some extended, some segue into others while jets of fire warm the stadium. The crowd went wild over and over again as Swifty delivered mini-sets: a couple of songs on her acoustic guitar including Dancing With Our Hands Tied; a pop set featuring Shake It Off and Trouble and confetti cannons; a medley on piano including Long Live and New Year’s Day and another confetti shower, this time shooting mini newspaper replicas similar to the cover of the Reputation album.

Taylor Swift

Just when we thought we’d had our fill, TSwizzle delivered the anthemic Never Getting Back Together and This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, followed by bows and the big screen making the empowering declaration, “and in the death of her reputation, she felt truly alive.” We all did Swifty, we all did – thank you.

Set List:
Act 1
…Ready for It?
I Did Something Bad
Style / Love Story / You Belong With Me

Act 2
Look What You Made Me Do
End Game (Shortened)
King of My Heart (with extended outro)

Act 3
Shake It Off
Dancing With Our Hands Tied (Acoustic)
I Knew You Were Trouble (Acoustic)

Act 4
Blank Space
Bad Blood / Should’ve Said No

Act 5
Don’t Blame Me
Long Live / New Year’s Day (On Piano)

Act 6
Getaway Car
Call It What You Want
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together / This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things


Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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