Taylor Swift Shows Off Her Reputation At Homecoming Show
Night 1 of Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour in Philadelphia
Last night, Taylor Swift kicked off night one of her two day Reputation Stadium Tour stops in the city of brotherly love, a pair of shows that just so happen to be a homecoming for the Reading, PA native. The Reputation Tour is without a doubt the biggest pop tour this year, as Swift has put together a dazzling and surreal concert experience for fans of all ages. Lincoln Financial Field, which is normally home to the NFL’s Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, was be transformed into Swift’s world.
The massive stage production included not one but three stages, the main one outfitted with two larger than life angled screens and two smaller B-stages on the floor towards the back of the stadium. The three stages gives a rare opportunity for fans to experience the show from all angles and solves any issue with making every seat in the venue a good one. Swift is also accompanied by a horde of dancers, huge drums, two large inflatable cobras, and enough pyro to relive the Fourth of July over and over again, plus the ability to soar over the crowd from stage to stage.
The tour is a celebration of her latest album titled Reputation (Big Machine Label Group), released in November of 2017 and being hailed by both critics and fans as her best album to date. This is not surprising given Taylor’s ability to never make the same album twice; it’s one of the many reasons she’s the biggest and best artist around today. Swift is known for consistently evolving while staying true to herself and her fans adore her for it.
Around 5pm the stadiums floodgates were opened and droves of fans poured their way into what could be imagined as a theme park for Swifties (a fun name given to Swift’s diehard fans). The energy throughout was absolutely electric; you could feel it in every walkway, merch stand, and even the nosebleeds. I took some time to walk around the stadium before to meet and photograph concert goers who stood out with their style and T-Swift signs. Meanwhile inside fans danced to the music over the PA speakers and frantically awaited the show to begin.
The shows opening acts included the energetic Charli XCX and the “Never Be The Same” songstress Camila Cabello. Charli XCX took to the lights to get the party started as she ran all around the stage and even made her way down both the catwalks. The set included covers of Icona Pop’s hit “I Love It” as well as “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea. Camila Cabello took a different approach with backup dancers and standing close by to her mic stand. The crowd sang along to her hit’s “Never Be The Same” and “Havana”, plus she treated the packed Philly crowd to a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love”.
The show moved seamlessly back to back, as Camila’s set came to a close and it was time for Taylor Swift to take the stage. As we waited for the superstar to come on stage fans were treated to videos and photos of Swift on the screens.
Right before she came on “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett blared throughout the stadium and Swifties knew it’s almost time. I’ve never seen so many young kids go nuts to and older yet classic track.
When I say Taylor’s show is like none other, I mean it. Kicking off the night, the “Reputation” intro began and the lights went down. The screens on stage began to flash and split from the middle opening up a view of Swift rising from a sea of white lights. Wearing a hood and sparkling for as far as the eye can see, the bass of the sets opening track “Ready For It” shakes Lincoln Financial Field and smoke shoots high above the gigantic stage. From the opening line Taylor strutted her way out on the stage with a confidence unseen before now, starting the song solo before being greeted by loads of dancers. On her second song of the evening “I Did Something Bad” tons of pyro and fireworks blew across and above the stage, and when you thought it was just for the beginning, you learned quickly it goes off on every chorus throughout the song and progressively gets bigger and better just like Swift’s performance.
Like usual with her tours, she geared towards newer material. The show includes almost everything on her new album, yet put together with a unique touch. After only a few songs in, it’s easy to say Swift has once again outdone herself. It’s easily her biggest and best tour yet. Her close attention to detail and thinking outside the box has allowed her to create an audio visual experience never seen before, and doing so in a stadium and making the atmosphere feel personal and intimate. The show’s set is broken down into acts, in this case six acts in total many featuring video introduction or Swift speaking to the crowd. In act three Taylor remarks on on the Philadelphia Eagles Championship by saying “Didn’t a sports team from here win some sporting event? That was most certainly met with cheers of approval. She then tells the story of spending some time before the show in Reading, PA at the house she grew up in. She also talks about before coming to the Philadelphia stadium, how she made sure to get herself a cheesesteak and enjoy some Italian ice.
She proceeded to take a moment to show her gratitude and let those in attendance know what it means to her and with perfect timing she goes into the song “Delicate” which finds her flying over the crowd making her way to one of the B-stages. This is when things get even more interesting. Taylor welcomes her tourmates Charli XCX and Camila Cabello on stage to perform a fantastically fun version of “Shake It Off”, at this point there’s a ton of confetti and the inflatable cobras have fully come to life. Even when she goes back to the some of her older hits, she’s beyond committed to making them feel brand new.
Taylor doesn’t stop there as she remained on the smaller yet equally important B-stage. As she stood tall, acoustic guitar in hand, she informed the crowd the reason why they all have bracelets (Fans who attend the concert are given bracelets that light up and change color automatically to go along with the performance) she says “It’s because in a big show like this, I’m afraid of not being able to see all of you… but now I can see all of you”. The bracelets around the stadium go red and she begins the song “Dancing With Our Hands Tied”.
Over the top spectacle isn’t the only thing the Reputation Tour has – it also features a few surprises beginning with the tour debut of the acoustic “Never Grow Up”. She introduced the song by talking more about going to her old home at her parents farm, and walking in her old room and seeing it belongs to another little girl. She then made her way to the stage on the opposite side by walking all while taking time sharing words and handshakes with her fans. Here act four begins with “Blank Space”. Swift compliments the crowd on their attire and thought she needed to keep up, a dancer brought her a sheer black dress and wrapped it around her which led to the song “Dress”.
During a moment in “Bad Blood” she rode a serpent cage like structure back to the main stage while never missing a note. In the show’s final stretch a moody and beautiful performance of “Long Live” and “New Years Day” took place on a stunningly beautiful and odd looking piano.
Nearly two hours in, the end was near with “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” restyled into a medley with “We Are Never Getting Back Together”, which worked well especially with the addition of Swift’s backup singers. The show ends there with no encore, just a cryptic and powerful message on the video screen which read “And in the death of her reputation, she felt truly alive.”
Swift has always been an artist who plays by her own rules. She’s not easily influenced and believes in staying true to herself. She’s not okay with doing the same old things and has never taken the safe route. The Reputation Stadium Tour is a show packed with highlights, far too many great ones to single just one out. The show’s ability to transform energy from one song to the next and give an all around artistic experience. At times the show is larger than life, and at others it’s highly personal and stripped down on a small stage with just an acoustic guitar. Everybody in the stadium was entranced and hung on every note of both her voice and guitar. The show at moments feels like a New York City Broadway show, it’s stunning, well thought out and tells a story throughout. Taylor Swift’s ability to take a sold out 60,000 plus capacity venue and make it an experience for every seat in the house was captivating. Screens everywhere providing a show no matter where you’re seated, it’s spectacular and it’s exactly what makes Taylor Swift a Superstar!
The Reputation Stadium Tour continues tonight with night two in the city of brotherly love and I have no doubt it will be just as amazing. The tour rolls on after and I highly recommend if you can find a ticket to one of these shows coming up, you do It’s really a can’t miss performance. For the full list of tour dates visit Taylor’s official website Here or check out the dates below!