PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

Music

Taylor Swift's '1989' Tour Isn't Full of Bad Blood, It's Full of Heart (Photos)

Taylor Swift can't help but make new friends everywhere she goes. The 60,000 people who saw her each night at the Meadowlands can attest to that.


Taylor Swift
City: East Rutherford, NJ
Venue: Metlife Stadium
Date: 2015-07-10

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.

Vance Joy:

HAIM:

Taylor Swift:

Taylor Swift setlist for July 10, 2015:

Welcome to New York

New Romantics

Blank Space

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

Clean

Love Story

Style

This Love

Bad Blood

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

Wildest Dreams

Out of the Woods

Shake It Off

A photo posted by Joe Saturday (@joe_saturday) on

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Books

Is Carl Nevill's 'Eminent Domain' Worth the Effort?

In Carl Neville's latest novel, Eminent Domain, he creates complexities and then shatters them into tiny narrative bits arrayed along a non-linear timeline.

Film

Horrors in the Closet: Horrifying Heteronormative Scapegoating

The artificial connection between homosexuality and communism created the popular myth of evil and undetectable gay subversives living inside 1950s American society. Film both reflected and refracted the homophobia.

Music

Johnny Nash Refused to Remember His Place

Johnny Nash, part rock era crooner, part Motown, and part reggae, was too polite for the more militant wing of the Civil Rights movement, but he also suffered at the hands of a racist music industry that wouldn't market him as a Black heartthrob. Through it all he was himself, as he continuously refused to "remember his place".

Music

John Hollenbeck Completes a Trilogy with 'Songs You Like a Lot'

The third (and final?) collaboration between a brilliant jazz composer/arranger, the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, vocalists Kate McGarry and Theo Bleckman, and the post-1950 American pop song. So great that it shivers with joy.

Music

The Return of the Rentals After Six Years Away

The Rentals release a space-themed album, Q36, with one absolute gem of a song.

Music

Matthew Murphy's Post-Wombats Project Sounds a Lot Like the Wombats (And It's a Good Thing)

While UK anxiety-pop auteurs the Wombats are currently hibernating, frontman Matthew "Murph" Murphy goes it alone with a new band, a mess of deprecating new earworms, and revived energy.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 80-61

In this next segment of PopMatters' look back on the music of the 2000s, we examine works by British electronic pioneers, Americana legends, and Armenian metal provocateurs.

Music

In the Tempest's Eye: An Interview with Surfer Blood

Surfer Blood's 2010 debut put them on the map, but their critical sizzle soon faded. After a 2017 comeback of sorts, the group's new record finds them expanding their sonic by revisiting their hometown with a surprising degree of reverence.

Music

Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.

Books

Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.

Music

'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.

Music

Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 100-81

PopMatters' best albums of the 2000s begin with a series of records that span epic metal, ornate indie folk, and a terrifying work of electronic music.

Books

The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.

Books

'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.

Music

1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.

Film

'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.

Music

The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.