Taylor Swift is the queen of pop. There is no one quite like her, as she proved in Melbourne this weekend when her Red Tour hit town.
I pretty much love everything about Taylor. I love her songs. I love her style. I love the way she writes songs about her ex-boyfriends, and forces us to guess who they are (believe me, this is deliberate. She enjoys this game as much as we do). So I was pretty excited to see her live again!
The last time Taylor was in town, she performed at Rod Laver Arena. This time around she took things to a new level, scheduling in a massive concert at Etihad Stadium. Now a venue as big as Etihad can be a problem for some artists, because you’re performing to people who are practically 100 metres away from you. So I was interested to see how Taylor would handle it.
Just before Taylor hit the stage, we were treated to Lenny Kravitz’s version of American Woman. I cleverly noted to my BF that most of the girls in the audience probably had no idea it was Cinna from The Hunger Games singing this song. If only they had known.
Then suddenly Taylor was ready to perform for us – and we were ready to watch her. She opened with State Of Grace, and did not look back. And she was pure Taylor, with lots of cute and sneaky facial expressions and stylized movements. And no need to worry if you were at the back of the stadium. There were massive screens so that the people at the back of the stadium could see what was happening on stage. Plus Taylor headed to the back of the stadium in the middle of her show to perform a short set on a mini stage.
Although the songs from Red got a good response, it was definitely the singles that had all the dads and boyfriends on their feet and singing – as well as the rest of the crowd. But I feel that it’s a pretty good judge of how popular an artist is if a dad in the audience is singing along to I Knew You Were Trouble. And 22 had everyone dancing.
The stage was pretty simple, with a set of stairs in the middle. However different graphics were used to create a range of settings, including a bit of a gothic ballroom for I Knew You Were Trouble, and a fun circus inspired theme for We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. The dancers were also a lot of fun, and Taylor herself had plenty of costume changes to get things interesting.
One thing that didn't happen was a duet with Lorde. Taylor invited Lorde to her 24th birthday celebrations this week, so of course there were rumours that they would sing Royals together on stage... OK I'm pretty sure I started those rumours on The Hot Hits' Facebook and Twitter. But it didn't happen, and I was a little disappointed. Maybe Taylor saw my tweets and realised it wouldn't be a surprise so didn't do it. Let's pretend I have that kind of influence over international popstars.
Obviously one of the things that every Taylor Swift fan wants to achieve is an invite to Club Red. So those in the know had totally decked themselves out in T Swift themed costumes, and they looked awesome. Plenty of fairy lights, red dresses, and costumes relating to her songs. And yes it was true – Melbourne did have a Club Red, and some lucky fans were plucked out of the crowd and asked to attend. Since I am 26 and was not in a costume, clearly I wasn’t invited.
It was an amazing concert, and one I’ll never forget. Taylor truly is a star.
Were you there? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Review by Julia Foskey @j_fosk