If Taylor Swift's 1989 Tour had to be described in one word, it would be 'Wonderstruck'. From the moment the audience walked through the gates, they were thrown into an electric atmosphere. Taylor had them enchanted with synced light bracelet ("gifts from Taylor!") and reels of exclusive footage playing on the screens, tantalising the Brisbane Swifties.
Her opening act was Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy, who is most well known for his Triple J chart topping tune, Riptide. Having just completed the US leg of Taylor's tour, Vance Joy has discovered how to work a large crowd with his delicate folk songs. Unlike many support acts, he was both captivating and humble and knew how to perfectly warm up a crowd. Not only that, but he is an incredibly talented artist as well, pulling out his guitar and ukulele for some upbeat and yet nostalgic tracks. Overall, the laid-back serenity of his performance was the perfect ease into what was to come.
Unsurprisingly for a high-end pop show, Taylor emerged from beneath the stage for her opening song, Welcome to New York. Surrounded by a chorus of male dancers, she strutted down the catwalk stage, striking surprised-yet-cute poses at the hovering cameras. From the endless props to the perfectly-timed lighting, Taylor's show was choreographed for maximum impact. Intertwined with scripted motivational speeches and video clips from her "A-List Squad", the 1989 Tour felt almost too calculated. Her carefully portrayed image left the audience feeling as though Taylor was a super-human - unrelatable and out of reach. No matter how much her #squad showered her with compliments and words of encouragement, her smoke-and-mirrors performance emphasised Hollywood's unobtainable image.
At a concert, audience members usually have two goals:
- To get as close as possible to the artist; and
- To be recognised by the artist.
Taylor's production team cleverly gave the crowd what they wanted and ensured that every member was noticed. As Taylor said, "Every single person is illuminated... we can see every last one of you in this 50,000 seat stadium which is amazing and I love being able to look out and see you." The little light bracelets made the crowd feel connected not only to each other, but also to Taylor.
Taylor performed her hits over a sea of lights, in costumes just as incredible as her voice. With rolling neon umbrellas and a light up dress for How You Get The Girl to a leather jumpsuit for Bad Blood, Taylor was sure to appeal to all of her personalities. The night closed with a bang, literally, as fireworks pierced the sky during her hit Shake It Off, leaving the audience overwhelmed and impressed.
This concert was a Taylored to perfection, and for many Swifties, Swiftmas had come early.
See Vance Joy at The Riverstage
Tickets at www.ticketmaster.com.au