Taylor Swift Proves She Has A Reputation Worth Talking About
Just a little over a year after announcing her 6th album, reputation, Taylor Swift took the stage at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN to prove to everyone that “In the death of her reputation, she felt truly alive” and that maybe the old Taylor isn’t quite as dead as we were lead to believe.
From my experience, there’s nothing quite like a Taylor Swift concert. You enter a stadium full of around 60,000 people and somehow, you feel at home. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been listening to Swift’s music since her first release, Tim McGraw, or hadn’t become a fan until the release of reputation, you’re at home and belong in a Taylor Swift crowd.
With the overhead theme of girl power on this tour, Charli XCX & Camila Cabello open the night up for us. Charli’s set makes you feel as if you’re in a small club with all your best friends, not a giant stadium with thousands of people you’ve most likely never met before. As she runs around the giant stage, dancing and having the time of her life, she shouts out Taylor for giving her the opportunity to be on the tour and talks about how much it means to her.
Camila’s set has a little bit more of a serious vibe to it, focusing on love and all the emotions relating to that, including a cover of I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You by Elvis Presley and sampling a little bit of Kiss by Prince (which was a big hit being in his hometown!). She has this connection with the crowd that leaves all eyes on her the entire time and has you very prepared for Taylor’s well awaited set at this point.
From the second that “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett starts playing over the speakers, you can feel the energy in the room start to shift as it becomes a small dance party of sorts throughout the sections with fans dressed to the nines in outfits inspired by Swift’s lyrics, song titles and tour outfits. She opens her set very strongly with “…Ready For It?” With her army of dancers dressed as snakes around her throughout the song. That energy carries through to the next song, “I Did Something Bad”, with a very dramatic opening Swift sings “Now all he thinks about is… Me”, that being the absolute truth for everybody in that room who can’t take their eyes off her. With iconic lyrics like “If a man talks shit, then I owe him nothing” and “If he drops my name then he had it coming”, this song is very clearly a highlight in her set. Going into Gorgeous, she talks about how she's played 25 shows in the state of Minnesota and thanks the crowd for being so welcoming, but also discusses how incredibly welcoming it is to have a state declare a day as Taylor Swift day, which she learned off of Instagram earlier in the day.
The show continues on with a few more songs on the main stage where she plays a medley of Style, Love Story and You Belong With Me leaving everybody dancing and jumping along the entire time. Swift very clearly has the entire stadium in the palm of her hand, something very few artists can achieve.
Going into Delicate, Taylor gushed about how happy she was to have Camila and Charli on the tour, as well as thanked the crowd for being understanding of her needing a break between her last album, 1989, and now before heading to the back of the stadium at her first of two b-stages. While there, openers Camila Cabello and Charli XCX join her up on stage for a collaboration during Shake It Off which really felt like a giant sleepover party happening in the middle of the stadium. Taylor isn’t shy talking between songs and really tries to give context to everything she plays all night, really making you feel like you’re reading a page out of her diary in some ways. Every night on this tour, she surprises the fans with an acoustic rendition of one of her songs that didn't make it on the setlist. Tonight, she talked about where she started in Country music and how she always finds herself coming back to it before announcing that she was going to play Begin Again off her 4th album, Red. Continuing to the other b-stage, Taylor runs through barricades in the crowd stopping and saying hi to and interacting with fans along the way as they all video the experience to rewatch a thousand and one times over after the concert. At the other b-stage, Taylor performs Dress while the screens read that its dedicated to Loie Fuller, a member of the LGBTQ community and dancer who fought for artists to own the rights to their work.
After returning to the main stage in a snake skeleton basket over the crowd, Taylor slows the night down one last time for a beautiful piano medley of Long Live, off her 3rd album Speak Now, and New Years Day, off of reputation. She introduces the medley talking about how much she loves the fans, thanking them for sticking by her through thick & thin the last few years of her life, and how she wrote this song a long time ago but to her, it’s always going to be about them. It was a very emotional part of the night for everyone, but especially for the lucky people in the room who have met Taylor previously as they were holding up their pictures with her screaming lyrics like “I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you” and “Please don’t ever become a stranger who’s laugh I could recognize anywhere”. I’m not sure there was a dry eye in the room.
I could go on forever about the production, dancers, stages, confetti, snakes, crowd and everything that went into the reputation Stadium Tour. It’s a night that I truly believe everyone should experience once, if not more, in their lives as Taylor makes it a night you’ll never forget.
Words & photos by Kaitlyn Johnston