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Taylor Swift at Time Warner Cable Arena — Charlotte, NC

This concert review originally appeared on Degenrefy.com written by Ash Starkweather

 

Thousands of fans gathered hours before doors opened to take part in what appeared to be a Taylor Swift carnival outside Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena. Most fans even dressed up as Taylor from her music videos, some carried their 1989 signs with pride, while others even dressed up as Meredith (Taylor’s cat). The line was long, but the fans kept each other company as they played Taylor Swift songs and sang along together.

Vance Joy [★★★] was lucky enough to open up the 1989 tour. He took to the stage with a smile and his acoustic guitar for a very soft and passionate set to win the crowd over. He didn’t spend a lot of time interacting with the crowd, but he sufficiently warmed the crowd up with “Riptide,” “Mess is Mine,” and his current single “Georgia.”

The crowd was on their feet, cheering with signs held high in the air when Taylor Swift [★★★★★] took the stage. She opened up with “Welcome to New York” from a stage that brought you right into the story. The crowd was immediately singing the lyrics right back at her as she went into “New Romantics” and strutted down the runaway. Taylor made sure to add a personal touch to most of the songs. She told the crowd the backstory of each song, what it was about, or the inspiration behind it. She said, “One of my favorite things is that how you open up and tell me about your problems. It’s hard to give advice when it comes to love. In a perfect world you would only have two options in a relationship: leave, or stay.”

Taylor took to the runway again as it extended up, and said “The one thing we have in common is that when we find life to be too much to cope with, we turn to music. That is why I’m here, that why you’re here. Everybody has their story; someone is always going through something. People lose their way, the love of their life, and even themselves. Whenever you are having one of those moments, I hope you look in the mirror and remind yourself of what you are and what you are not. You are not the opinion of someone who does not know you. You are not damaged goods, and you are not going nowhere just because you haven’t got there yet. You are someone who is wiser now because of your mistakes. You are someone who is brave enough to make mistakes, so you can be successful.”

Later in the set, Taylor grabbed an electric guitar and started playing some riffs while whipping her hair back and forth and singing “oohh, ohhhh, ohhh” as she started into a rock mix of “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” In-between songs for her wardrobe changes you could expect to see the 12 male backup singers break dancing, guitarists performing solos, or a video of her best friends, and even cats! Within moments Swift would pop back up in a new outfit, each one more breathtaking than the last. Near the end of the show, Taylor re-entered the scene wearing a flowing white gown, and then took a seat at her giant silver piano, as she said, “I’ve heard a lot of misconceptions about my music. I would like to clarify; I like to write songs about things that are romantic. I think anything that can be magical to you can be romantic,” as she started playing a mash-up of “Wildest Dreams” and “Enchanted Dreams.” She went out with a bang to “Shake It Off” as she and her backup dancers headed toward the catwalk on a hydraulic lift system that brought them closer to the fans as fireworks went off to finish the night.

During the 1989 tour, Swift speaks words of hope and encouragement. Although it would have been nice to hear some of her older songs, as she stuck to the entire 1989 album aside from a remix of “Love Story” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” but she does put on a great performance with choreographed dances and shows off her vocal range and prowess on piano and guitar.

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