Whether you were a diehard fan of Taylor Swift before you arrived at the Metlife Stadium (countless young girls were crafting signs of praise for the artist on the train to the venue) or you were a boyfriend showing your lady adoration (or making amends) by getting her tickets for the summer’s hottest tour, Swift’s performance brought all in attendance closer to the artist than they were before. Her impressive setlist (generally the same for the whole 1989 tour and listed below) isn’t just a smash and grab run through her catalog. Sure there is a lot of spectacle, including several costume changes, blasts of sparks, backup dancers and a rising platform that lifts her several feet above the arena floor, but, what really makes the evening special is the generous heaping of heart Swift gives. Swift elongated the evening with messages about friendship (she didn’t believe she had any for a long time) and personal reflections on empowerment for individuals feeling downtrodden (be positive and don’t worry about what people think about you stuff).
Now, with multi-millions of albums sold, Swift is capable of lifting up her friends and she is generous in sharing the stage with them. Some of those friends include her opening acts, Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy and the three sisters from Los Angeles who make up the rock band HAIM. Although HAIM may have been too aggressive musically at times for the young audience, it was their first night on the tour and they were more than happy to be playing the stadium. Vance Joy, who had been on earlier, was more agreeable musically with his quieter guitar and, for the primarily female audience, his winsome looks. During her performance, Swift surprised the crowd with something different from her own music as she did a duet with Abel Tesfaye, better known as the The Weeknd, on his song “Can’t Feel My Face”. Tesfaye was just the first surprise friend that dropped by, things got even wilder later. During “Style”, Heidi Klum was welcomed to the catwalk followed by the US Women’s National Soccer team continuing their victory celebration (there was a ticker-tape parade in their honor in New York City earlier in the day). Further into the night, during the performance of her latest single “Bad Blood”, Swift invited out Hailee Steinfeld, Lena Dunham, Gigi Hadid and Lily Aldridge to “recreate” the epic video for the song.
“Bad Blood” is amazingly catchy, (despite it’s band-aid line) as are the majority of Swift’s 1989 songs. I wasn’t well aware of her stuff before this album, but after listening to 1989, I was impressed. It is a great album for a summer car ride. The particular sequence of songs, “Blank Space”, “Style” and “Out of the Woods”, make up some of the most enjoyable music I’ve heard in a long time. And best of all, it was a great show, if you could shave off some of the time for her monologues. Despite Swift’s genuine passion as she shares her positive messages, it does stretch the running time of the show. Yet I can’t blame her. Particularly for younger fans, Swift’s heartfelt messages, along with glowing bracelets that lit up in unison to some behind-the-scenes machina, instill the sensation that you are a welcome part of something bigger.
Taylor Swift setlist for July 10, 2015:
Welcome to New York
I Knew You Were Trouble
I Wish You Would
How You Get the Girl
I Know Places
All You Had to Do Was Stay
(The Weeknd’s) Can’t Feel My Face (with The Weeknd)
You are in Love
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Out of the Woods
Shake It Off