Taylor Swift | Ed Sheeran Scottrade Center March 18, 2013
When music editor Daniel Hill assigned me to review Taylor Swift's Red tour at Scottrade Center, I assumed I'd have to pull his Bieber shenanigans to live through it. Thousands of screeching teenagers? No Serious-Musicians-In-Capital-Letters? Pop songs about breakups? Welcome to my nightmare.
Except it wasn't. Instead, it was magical, in that I-believe-in-Tinkerbell kind of way.
As this was my first TayTay show, I had no idea what to expect, so I turned to the most reliable resource I could fathom: teh interwebz. First, I looked up all kinds of T-Dawg news and outfits (pinned for your pleasure). I learned that her latest album Red isn't so bad, she loves red heart sunglasses, she wears mom-approved shorts and she dances in a lot of animated GIFs. Awesome, frightening, frightening, awesome.
I then asked Twitter and Facebook followers what I should watch for during the big T-Swizzle extravaganza, and they had a LOT of suggestions. Here's what folks wanted to know about, along with my observations from the show:
The looks on kids' faces when they saw Taylor for the first time? The children screamed for T-Dawg, and I drank their Kool-Aid about two minutes later.
The arena went dark, video screens saying "Red" and "Taylor Swift" rose from the stage floor and suddenly, there was TayTay, posing in a white lacy top, a black "Blossom" hat and the first of many high-waisted shorts. T-Swizzle looked left, looked right, smiled straight at the camera and pranced down the elaborate staircase.
Have you ever heard 14,000 hyenas? Have you ever seen 14,000 tiny people losing their shit at the same time? Have you ever wanted to bottle up the utter rapture of 14,000 people relishing their first anything? I experienced all of this during Swift's first song, "State of Grace," and was completely overwhelmed by the excitement, appreciation and calamity of the young fans who were seeing their idol for the first time and perhaps even taking in their first concert ever. As remembered my own first show -- New Kids on the Block in 1989 -- I tearfully looked around and considered advising the kids, "This feeling? This best-experience-ever of having music course through your ears, eyes, heart and fingers? DON'T LET IT GO!"
So the kids' faces? Wide-eyed wonder. My face? A watery mess. I'm such a sap.
Goat remix? Ok, seriously, people, I don't get the supposed hilarity of goats "singing" parts of pop songs. SOMEONE EXPLAIN WHY THIS IS SO FUNNY! Anyway, no, she didn't mention a goat, didn't sing like a goat and didn't show a goat video to the audience.
Singing something in tune for once in her career? I shared my friend's skepticism that High Priestess Swifty would be able to hit every note perfectly for her congregation. Based on her cleanly processed albums and unexceptional awards show performances, I wasn't expecting anything but radio-friendly mediocrity. Boy, was I wrong -- Swift easily nailed each song cleanly and strongly. Only a muffled, bedazzled microphone contributed to making TayTay occasionally sound less than stellar.
Wardrobe malfunction? There were a ton of wardrobe changes (including a questionable pair of stretchy red pants that were supposed to resemble jeans), but Swift wore nothing that made parents cover the eyes of their innocent urchins.
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