Partied Like It’s 1989

When it comes to Taylor Swift, there’s basically three groups of people. Those who love her and buy every album – Taylor Nation. Then there’s those who truly don’t care for her music, they don’t dig it nor do they care to try. Then there’s everyone else, the silent majority that rolls their eyes when her song comes on, but secretly blasts it on the car radio every once in a while. The ones who write her off as generic pop, nothing deserving of interest or appreciation. That third group was me, until Tuesday night at the KFC Yum! Center.

TVT_7759I went in nervous, partly because I didn’t know what to expect, partly because what I did know, I didn’t want to see. Pre-teens in crop tops, tiny children in herds screaming at the top of their lungs. All manner of fan girl and boy were surely lurking in the near future. And they were there. Lines poured into the arena from the street filled with people in T-Swift gear, with posters, many of them covered in Christmas lights. As we walked in, everyone received an oversize white bracelet that lit up in accordance with the music that was on. I was obviously in an alternate universe now. As I found my seats and patiently waited, I knew it was coming. The filler music would stop, the lights would go down, and then the scream would happen. The scream of 18,000 twelve-year-old girls squealing at the top of their collective lungs. And then it did. But what followed was anything but what I expected.

Taylor Swift put on a larger than life show worthy of a mega-star’s world tour and then some. There were lights, confetti, dancers, moving stages, the works. And through the set movement and costume changes I realized that this was something bigger than the catchy songs and the kitsch. This crowd was more than a sea of twelve year old girls. It was mothers and daughters, singing and dancing together. It was old, married couples, grandparents, groups of twenty-something’s, teenagers, and yes some pre-teens. All having the time of their lives.

TVT_7850All because of this tiny, blonde superstar on stage in a gold glitter unitard that until this moment I guess I hadn’t realized was this generation’s Madonna or Cher. And not just because of the over the top sets and seemingly dozens of costume changes. True, her music is much different than those predecessors, but she is the cult or personality for this generation.

Taylor Swift – however you want to trivialize her music, her content, her personal life, etc., put on a show that brought joy to everyone who watched. Even those of us who entered with reticence, or maybe even reluctance. Yes, the show was poppy and over the top and filled with catchy hit tunes that aren’t going to change the universe. But it was fun. It was joyful and communal and entertaining in its most pure form. In a world where everyday there’s something bad on the news, Taylor Swift shows us there’s nothing wrong with shaking it off.

Set Lists:

Vance Joy

  • From Afar
  • Wasted Time
  • Mess Is Mine
  • Stay With Me (Acoustic cover)
  • My Kind of Man
  • Georgia
  • Riptide

Taylor Swift

  • Welcome to New York
  • New Romantics
  • Blank Space
  • I Knew You Were Trouble
  • I Wish You Would
  • How You Get the Girl
  • I Know Places
  • All You had to Do Was Stay
  • You Are In Love
  • Clean
  • Love Story
  • Style
  • This Love
  • Bad Blood
  • We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
  • Wildest Dreams
  • Out of the Woods
  • Shake It Off

Photos by Hannah Krill | The Voice-Tribune