At 9:00 P.M., the lights go out. We hear the words “Welcome to New York,” repeated by Taylor Swift as she takes the stage for the first of two sold out shows in St. Louis, on September 28, 2015. Taylor continues to sing the same line over and over, getting the crowd pumped for her two hour set before the first verse kicks in. With eleven male dancers on stage, Taylor somehow transforms the 15,000 capacity Scottrade Center venue into magical New York. With signs that read ‘1989,’ ‘Broadway,’ and ‘W 42nd Street,’ she somehow gives the impression of the city to everyone watching, even if you haven’t been to New York. With the first song ending, you can look around and see how Taylor’s new and evolved music can change anyone’s impression of her.
‘New Romantics’ begins immediately after ‘Welcome to New York.’ We finally get let into Taylor’s life. She keeps the New York theme with streetlight props and benches, like we’re being toured through Central Park. The first interactions in concerts are when the artist first introduce themselves, which builds the excitement. Right before the bridge, Taylor says, “My name is Taylor, and there is one thing you need to know about me and that is that I was born in 1989!” The crowd was going insane; costumes and signs lit up the whole arena, including bracelets that were handed to everyone that synchronized with her music.
Taylor performed all of her latest creations, plus classic pop hits that were given new sounds to feel like you were hearing them for the first time. ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ was darker and sexier. Taylor never failed to impress the arena, and if anyone doubted the pop star’s vocal ability, let me be the first to tell you she did not disappoint. She also had many costume changes and made them much faster than I’ve seen any pop star do before.
Almost halfway through the setlist, Taylor’s huge catwalk rose from the ground, allowing her to engage with fans in the back of the arena and higher. From the air, Taylor surprised the crowd with an acoustic version of ‘You Belong With Me,’ and gave an inspirational speech about falling in love and completely trusting someone, and that it’s not a mistake even if you get your heart broken. She told the crowd that we are not our mistakes and that they do not define who we are.
Throughout the whole two hours, I could not take my eyes off of Taylor or her dancers. She really is one of the best artists at interacting with every member in the crowd. I have never seen a crowd dance and be as loud as they were when the first chords struck for ‘Out of the Woods.’ It wouldn’t be to anyone’s surprise that Taylor is saving this song as her final single to close out the hugely succesful 1989 era. With one last outfit and song, Taylor struts on stage for ‘Shake it Off’ in a dark blue flapper skirt, while her dancers prance along in purple tuxedos, all while the catwalk rose and spun in endless circles.
If you have a chance to see this incredible production, go see it! You will see each song come to life on stage, and it will out-do every way you imagine the songs. See you next tour, Taylor!