For all the hype that has been surrounding Taylor swift’s shows on her 1989 World Tour, the big talk in Saint Louis was who she would bring out during her two sold-out shows. Well, a special guest was nowhere to be found on her first night last night at Scottrade Center. Aside from that minor distraction, and the fact that she doesn’t do encores, the show went off fabulously.
With a down-to-Earth charm but rock star swagger Swift confidently pranced her way through 16 songs, each with a different look, feel and vibe to it.
The stage was transformed nearly as many times a Swift changed outfits (I stopped counting at 6).From a New York Broadway-inspired theme to open the show (appropriately to “Welcome to New York”) to an under the sea Enchanted-style set for “Wildest Dreams” Swift ensured the crowd would not be bored.
Even though the majority of the fans in attendance were young girls Swift’s appeal covers a broad spectrum. She isn’t as polarizing as Lady GaGa or Madonna, she has that “aw shucks” attitude that appeal to mothers and she is easy on the eyes (for the men). Plus it doesn’t hurt that everything she touches turns to gold (or multi-platinum) and has a knack for producing some really catchy tunes.
She showcased all of that while seamlessly moving from one setup to another. With an elaborate array of stage setups, big production numbers, a finely tuned band, and expertly choreographed dancers Swift ran through nearly her entire 1989 album and a few of her previous Top 10 songs. “How You Get the Girl” was set in the style of Singin’ in the Rain, complete with fake rain and lighted umbrellas. Gene Kelly would have been proud.
Swift has always had the knack for being in the spotlight and being the epitome of an entertainer. She had a walkway that extended out the length of the Scottrade Center floor that rose off the floor 30 feet and rotated to give people in the fixed seats a great view. That’s about as close as she could have gotten to the crowd short of actually running down the aisles, but she would have been mobbed had she done that.
She did have the crowd became part of the show with wearable stretchy-plastic watch-style wristbands that flashed different colors in a synchronized manner set to the music. It was nearly impossible to not get caught up in her show and the wristbands appealed to that as well. (They still work outside the venue, just tap them and they flash).
But her transition from Country superstar to Pop megastar has nearly been complete. Granted, she was always really a crossover star when she started out, but identified more with Country. However if anyone could really make the switch easily it was always her.
With only 4 of the 16 songs not coming from 1989 the statement was abundantly clear: she’s not going back to Country. Even her “Country” songs that she did sing, “You Belong with Me” and “Love Story”, even had more of a Pop feel and were re-arranged a bit.
It seems that only Taylor Swift could make that massive of a transition and still sell out back to back nights, during the week no less, stop after stop after stop. It seems that she can do no wrong, and nearly proved it Monday night in Saint Louis.
The lack of a special guest the first night was a bit of a letdown, though, since her entire family was in the house and she spends every Thanksgiving here (her grandmother lives in Saint Charles). Unfortunately she did build up the hype by having some amazing A-Listers appear with her on most of her previous stops. That, coupled with the whole family thing kind of created somewhat of a distraction.
Fans are hoping that tonight’s second show will satisfy that thirst Taylor created.
HAIM opened in a supporting slot and were impressive with a rocking set that included an equally impressive cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well”. Vance Joy opened with a very subdued set that, unfortunately didn’t seem to fit in with the amped up sets of Swift and HAIM.
Note: For my readers looking for my usual professional photos that I usually provide I must apologize. I had to take photos from a fan’s perspective this time since I didn’t get my pit request in soon enough. That won’t happen next time.
Taylor Swift Setlist:
Welcome to New York
I Knew You Were Trouble
I Wish You Would
How You Get the Girl
I Know Places
You Belong With Me
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Wildest Dreams (With “Enchanted” element)
Out of the Woods
Shake it Off