Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour, The Rose Bowl, May 18, 2018
At the midway point of what would be the concert extravaganza of a lifetime, the incomparable Taylor Swift took time to share a memory with her audience at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena on a chill and magical Friday night. Her very first show was over 10 years ago at the Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip, in front of 43 people. And now with Day 3 on the ongoing Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour, the count was just over 60,000. The fans were everywhere, and from the first seats on the floor to high in the rafters above, Ms. Swift said she could indeed see all in attendance, and was tremendously humbled by the adoration. Also acting as a voice for the entire roadshow, Taylor Swift would indicate that many of her musicians and dancers were from the Los Angeles area, and very grateful for the support the fans were rapturously demonstrating.
And although the stage was a sprawling, dazzling sensation of lights and visuals on par with any major Broadway production, Taylor Swift maintained an intimate bound with all 60,000 audience members – performing with a massive amount of passion and conviction. This is the unique relationship Taylor Swift has with her fans – a mutual appreciation of music, art, and facing together all the good and not so good things life throws our way. It’s obvious Taylor Swift desired to give her fans the best performance she could offer, and The Reputation Stadium Tour was nothing short of all out triumph.
Taylor Swift and her company of supremely gifted dancers and musicians opened the show with an exciting selection of songs from her latest Reputation endeavor – with Ready For It, I Did Something Bad, and Gorgeous demonstrating just how persuasive the latest and greatest material is. Just about every song from Reputation would be unveiled, as well as other selections from a vast and epic career. Fireworks, shooting flames, gigantic inflatable snakes, towering visuals, a water fountain, and so much more would be emitted from the massive stage, richly embellishing the already captivating songs. And if you couldn’t see very well, no worries at all, as Taylor would take a SKY TRAM(!) over to you and perform, at two special side stages situated at opposite ends of the arena.
There were many highlights to be found within the Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour. The numbers where Taylor featured the dancers were impeccably performed and choreographed! The quieter moments of the show were especially impressive, when Taylor and her acoustic guitar enchanted all with mesmerizing renditions of Dancing With Our Hands Tied and Red. The superbly infectious Shake It Off was girl power in its finest hour, with impressive opening acts Charli XCX and Camila Cabello joining Taylor Swift on one of the side stages for a glittery showstopper of the song. Incidentally, if you are checking out the Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour, be sure to arrive early, as both Charli XCX and Camila Cabello unleash absolutely star-making performances!
Another wondrously delightful moment in time was when Taylor Swift said she had a very special surprise for her Rose Bowl audience, hummed a few bars of the song about to be presented – and onto the stage arrived the one and only Shawn Mendes. And together, the top notch entertainers launched into a stunning acoustic version of the Shawn Mendes hit single There’s Nothing Holding Me Back. On May 25th, Shawn Mendes will release a Self-Titled album of all new material, and had just announced earlier in the day that he’ll be performing at the cavernous Staples Center on July 5th! The pairing of Taylor Swift and Shawn Mendes for this song was absolutely amazing – two entertainers at the very height of their respective careers coming together under the stars at The Rose Bowl.
For a grand finale, Taylor Smith and the crew launched into spiraling renditions of Getaway Car and Call It What You Want from the Reputation manifesto – and then concluded the show with the dynamic mash-up of We Are Never Getting Back Together and This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things. Like a cinematic award winning masterpiece, the Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour left a treasury of vibrant memories for all in attendance. An ambitious effort of blockbuster proportions, the Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour is THE concert of 2018 that is not to be missed!
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)
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