Friday, August 14, 2015

Concert Review: The 1989 World Tour

After waiting for months, I couldn't believe that the day had finally come. The last time I saw her, I wasn't too familiar with her songs. This time around, I was fully prepared. Words are not good enough to explain how incredible was this concert, but I'll try. Let's go to 1989.

Neon lights for all to see

August 1, 2015

My friend Alisha and I bought tickets back in November, and she was telling me that it was a challenge when it came to finding decent seats. I wouldn't say they were too bad, but BC Place is a big arena - so keep that in mind.

Alisha and I have known each other since kindergarten, and although we don't go back to 1989, we do go back to 1996; close enough. Her mother also wanted to watch, and so we headed to the place filled with a lot of little girls and families surprisingly. The venue had a lot of merchandise on sale, and one of the most appealing shirt had to come from one of her opening acts, Vance Joy. Not saying that her shirts were awesome, but it wasn't enough for me to get one... Besides, I bought a shirt just for this concert. There was also this place where people were lining up, and I think it was a photo booth, but it was an extremely long line-up. Oh well, use your camera to capture memories, right?

BC Place once again opened the dome and allowed the air to come in. I may have taken this photo before, but one is never enough:

Look at that blue sky, perfect for a concert

Myself with Alisha

Alisha & her mother

It was so funny, her mother originally wore a different skirt, but all of a sudden changed her mind and opted for the one in the picture - but she already posted a photo of herself with a different skirt (outfit change for the fabulous!)

First off was  Shawn Mendes, who was at his raw core: himself on stage with a guitar. He sang most of his hits in the beginning of his set, all of which have been playing on the radio nonstop. Much as I have gotten tired of his songs, they're catchy enough to find yourself singing along. I know Alisha knew every word of his songs, and so did the vast majority of the crowd. Let's look at Mendes himself:

Right in centre

He's quite adorable, don't you think?

Look at him, singing his little heart out

I am amazed how far he has come within the span of two years, opening up for Taylor Swift and having mass attention across the continent (to be fair, I thought Shawn Mendes was only popular in Canada). One of my favourite songs was this one, and he sounds exactly like the recording, adding a little rap in the end of the performance:

Something Big with Lose Yourself

Up next, Vance Joy. These acts were coming one after another, showing now dull moment while waiting. Vance got a little help with his bandmates, but they didn't steal his spotlight. I'm not familiar with how he looked before, as I'm not the biggest fan of him, but nonetheless, here he is with his ensemble:

Name in lights

He is delightful fellow

His songs were mostly mid-tempo, a little slow for my liking, but still a top-notch performer. He even covered a highly coveted song that won many awards this year:

Stay With Me

He says he can't reach the high notes, but I disagree. His vocal range is diverse, so maybe one day he will be able to master the song himself. Then he proceeded with his other singles. I know two songs, with this one being my favourite:

Fire & The Flood

I like how he interacted with the crowd, especially when he came from performing at a wedding a radio station was holding - it shows how sweet Vance Joy really is. And to end the set, he performed his massive hit, Riptide, on a little guitar:

Vance Joy on Ukelele, it's really cute

That was a good vocal warm-up for the screaming that was about to happen. To get a perspective of where we sat, I asked the host to take a photo of Alisha and myself from where we were standing. The host attempted to take three photos, but only managed to get one with some really interesting effects:

Blurred out background

Then Alisha asked the host to take a photo of us on her phone, with better results:

So close, and yet so far

I had a hard time picking a t-shirt, because I was deciding between three designs, but this one was my favourite. Did you know that Ariel was from the same year Taylor Swift was born? That's what makes it fascinating.

Anyways, back to the seating: it was pretty decent, but the floor section is incredibly huge compared to Rogers Arena. It's a great view of the stage, but the performers are rather small for my liking. But that's not the point, the experience is far more important. Here is the venue:

Look at all of the people

When we were seated, we notice a small item taped onto every seat. It looked like a bracelet, but wasn't sure how it worked. I thought it was a used bracelet for every concert, and so I was discreet with putting it on. This is what it looked like:

Nice and white

There were a lot of commercials and trivia on the screen to keep the people entertained, and I found all of it to be information that I never knew about Miss Swift. She is truly a fascinating person, and the more that I got to know her, she becomes like a friend that shares everything with you. Just before the concert began, there was an instruction guide how to use the bracelet. It's pretty straightforward, but still helpful:

Thanks for the tip, big screen

Then the lights went off, but the lights were coming out from somewhere. And look before you know it, it's from the bracelet:

That is crazy

I have no clue what system is used, but I must say, it's genius. But what was more exciting, the moment she came on stage:

Welcome to New York

Finally, she has arrived!

The opening was exciting, filled with a lot of new energy that I haven't seen from her the last time. I feel like she is much more confident and dare I say it, comfortable with the style she's been donning this era. She really sells the New York story, especially when I'm not the biggest fan of the introduction song from the album.

She went on to take off her coat and sunglasses to perform the next piece, my all-time favourite song, New Romantics. I will admit that I would have like to seen this song later in the set list, but it's a fantastic way to introduce herself and tell the world who she is as a person. And then the mood was set to a different tune, thus leading us into a simplified version of Blank Space:

Who is behind the silhouette?

How many ex-lovers can you count?

It was similar to the performance at the Brit Awards, but there are so many outstanding points of the show that I'll let this one slide. This was followed by a new mix of I Knew You Were Trouble, which was much better than the original. I do have a clip of the performance, but YouTube and Taylor Swift performances don't go together, so that can't be shown here ._. Afterwards, she had this random act of gymnastics provided by her all-male backup dancers, which didn't really fit into the segment, but was still impressive:

I Wish You Would... perform gymnastics yourself?

Despite the lack of interest in this part, it was not boring whatsoever. Everyone was into the show, and you can see in the audience's reaction:

Look at that glow

This girl what having the time of her life

Every time Taylor went into a costume change, the screen would shoot interviews of her celebrity friends describing who she is, what she has done, and what makes her such a good friend. Those breaks never lead on to what would happen next, and it was the anticipation that didn't make me believe what the possibilities were going to be on stage.

The next part had to be the standout, mainly because when I think of New York, I think of Singing in the Rain, and this part stole the whole show in my opinion. With dancers  holding lit-up umbrellas and lamp posts flying all over the place, you were taken away into a musical dream:

New York, New York

Look at them, they're so happy dancing in the rain

Such class in one performance

Did I mention that her dress lights up???

But just because it's upbeat doesn't mean that it could last forever. Oh no, the story now leads us to the confusion state of hiding away from the ones that could harm you. The piece I Know Places is a strong song, and the visuals were confusing as the piece itself with doors swinging from left to right until you find the common ground.

What makes Taylor such a fascinating act would have to be her speeches between songs, because they really get to you and show a different side of her that her songs don't always send. Also, they were great leads to the next song. In tie with I Know Places was All You Had To Do Was Stay, and it was an enjoyable act to see her lover going insane while she's just telling him the honest truth - well, it does hurt after all of this back and forth.

And because she didn't feel that she was close enough to her fans, she decided to extend the stage to the people in the far back (but it still wasn't enough). The acoustic part stripped down from all of the theatricality prior to this segment, with her and her instruments headlining.

This is a familiar person I'm use to seeing

Not only did she perform her older songs like Sparks Fly and Love Story, but as well Clean, a song with such beauty, including the backdrop:

Being one with nature

Seeing clarity in your own head

And then came out the hits, the ones that have been bombarding the radio stations to the point that you're sick of it, but still play it because it's so good. Let's look at her flashiness:


Having fun with the audience

During the song, there was one person who caught my attention, and that would have to be her partner for the piece:

Can you see him running to her?

Oh my, an Asian dancer

Then she surprised the audience with  her special guest, Nico & Vinz! She didn't really sing along with them, as she gave them a moment to perform their super smash hit, Am I Wrong. It was a wonderful performance, and I do have a clip, but YouTube won't let me post it - oh well, you'll just have to wait and see who she brings to your town.

Once again, the happy tune turned sour when she got in all black, and pumped up the bass with her latest single:

Bad Blood

I didn't really understand the whole concept for this part, but she does it so well. Then she went to perform an incredible rendition of We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, but I kept looking at the backdrop, as it could have been an alternative version of the music video - much more edgier than the typical Taylor.

But all went into the night, as the stage sparkled and gleamed with both the twinkling lights and Taylor in a diamond-encrusted outfit that shined even from where I was sitting:

Look at that beauty

She did a little mash-up between Enchanted (another personal favourite) and Wildest Dreams, which she recently announced would be her next single. It's a beautiful song, but a little more mature than what she's known for. Just shows you that artists have to grow up and their music is all about exploring new territories - this was well thought of.

Just when you thought it was slowing down, she picks it up with the finale. First was Out Of The Woods, a drama-filled single with awe-inspiring images that flashed on the screen. She's just going like it's no big deal, but there was life again in the crowd. I don't know what it is about this song, but it really makes you pay attention to her as she sings her heart out:

Dark, but hopeful

Daunting, yet exquisite

The show could have ended here, but what would Taylor Swift show be without her cats:

They're absolutely gorgeous cats

And of course, the one song that launched her Pop status into the stratosphere, Shake It Off:

Look at that shimmy

Explosions for the ending!

Essentially that girl's face was my reaction

So much growth has come out of Taylor Swift, and it shows in her stage performances. It was like being at five different shows all at once, with more energy that I could handle. She may not be the best dancer, but she embraces that and proves that presence is crucial to a show. Felt like an intimate show in a massive stadium, which was all in out exciting.

This was the first time where I heard almost every single performed off an artist's latest albums. Unlike other performers, they mix older hits here and there, but Taylor performed practically the entire album. Cheers to the rebirth of Taylor Swift, and may the world watch her next move - trust me, we're all going to love it.

Rating: 5 out of 5

No comments: