Review: Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour
it very quickly becomes very clear that this may be the greatest live concert of our generation.
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As the opening drum beats of ‘…Ready For It?’, the first track on Taylor Swift’s record-setting ‘Reputation’ shake London’s Wembley Stadium, it becomes very clear as to what to expect over the next two hours: Perhaps the greatest live concert of our generation.
Ever-since the pop star had posted those snake graphics on her Instagram in late 2017, the world has seemingly been in a frenzy – with headline after headline writing about the meaning of the dollar bill in her ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ music video or who she’s referring to in her single ‘Gorgeous’. The irony of all this seems not lost on Swift – as her album explores the media’s portrayal of perhaps the most significant pop star of our generation, the media has shown her claims to be evident.
This theme is carried through-out much of the ‘Reputation’ stadium show – her biggest shows in the UK to date – with newspaper-style text acting as backdrops on massive screens and the star herself even advises fans to be themselves and not worry about what other people think between songs during the show.
It’s a mixture of this heart on her sleeve, honest advice alongside massive pop tunes which make this show one of the greatest concerts of our generation. Very rarely do crowds stay stood up for the whole two hours – when she talks, people are screaming that she’s even saying the word “LONDON”. When she sings, well everyone knows the word to every song. Every. Single. One. That’s because Taylor Swift doesn’t make anything other than hits.
And when we say that, we don’t mean she’s a machine of radio-worthy tunes. In fact, fans could argue that mainstream radio didn’t jump too hotly on her latest set, but that didn’t mean the songs weren’t hits… especially considering that most songs on the album have hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify alone.
Transitioning between a stream of upbeat pop bangers (there’s no better way of saying it, really?) such as ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, ‘End Game’ and ‘King of My Heart’ (all from ‘Reputation’) to latest single ‘Delicate’ and acoustic versions of ‘Dancing With Our Hands Tied’ shows Taylor Swift’s versatility – she can seemingly perform a choreographed dance routine and then go into an emotional, slow ballad positioned with just her guitar without the skip of a heartbeat.
Now for some things which are obvious but we will say anyway: HER SET DESIGN, COSTUMES AND CHOREOGRAPHY ARE MIND-BLOWING. The live music equivalent of a playground for the artists that grace it through-out the evening, she has giant snakes, fire and a and seemingly endless amount of backing dancers and costumes which she changes into at record speed.
Particular highlights through-out the set are a new acoustic version of ‘Red’ hit ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’, a piano version of ‘Long Live’ (from ‘Speak Now’) which turns into perhaps our favourite Taylor Swift song ever, ‘New Year’s Day’ and, of course, the moment she invites tour supports Camila Cabello and Charli XCX on stage to perform ‘Shake It Off’ with her!
On her first night at Wembley Stadium, Swift was also joined by Niall Horan to perform a song. Introducing him as someone who has performed at the venue before (as part of One Direction), the surprise appearance was an accent to an already incredible experience - and, although it was expected, a stellar surprise nevertheless.
But, in truth, the whole concert is a highlight. It’s a celebration of making the most of the cards that life throws your way. Between Taylor Swift’s darker times and heartbreak, through to her moments of sheer acceptance and glee, the ‘Reputation’ stadium tour would turn even one of Swift’s biggest critic into a cheering fan.
Perhaps more impressing though, she’s done something many thought impossible in 2018: Brought together millions of people around the world in celebration. And wow, it’s a big one!