Today’s date holds a great significance to me, and not just because it is one of my best friend’s birthday. Today marks the five year anniversary since the first time I saw Taylor Swift live during The Red Tour.
In arguably her best era, Swift was still singing her classic country songs yet was bringing in pop elements before her full pop transition on her next album 1989. The dramatic opening of her silhouette upon a red curtain during State of Grace was truly iconic. The first half was filled with classic Swift song’s You Belong With Me, Mean and fan favourite Sparks Fly.
A true standout moment was when Swift simply brought out her guitar to a smaller stage and interacted with fans. This is the moment of she picks a random song from her incredible discography to surprise the fans with. I was The Lucky One (excuse the reference) and was blessed to hear Long Live as the song of choice. A song that Swift wrote at the age of 19 for the fans about the fans was truly beautiful. A moment I will never forget is during the song’s second verse when she sings “And the cynic’s were outraged, screaming ‘This is absurd”- during the word absurd on its track recording it is screamed and echoed by Swift, so hearing the crowd do that instead of her when singing it brought resulted in me being in floods of tears.
However, the best moment of the night and for any other Swift fan knows that everyone would kill to hear All Too Well live. The fan’s favourite song as it’s Swift at her best. Detailing the memories of a past relationship and it’s turmoil and aftermath and seeing her only with a piano belting out the lyrics was something that I knew would stick with me for the rest of my life.
Since it has been five years, a lot has changed in Swift’s career. That night after the concert she cut her hair into a bob. This was only the first movement into her next era; the fully 80s inspired 1989.
Signalling the new road she was about to travel on, this would be Swift’s biggest step yet while also facing the continued criticism.
While in London during the Red Tour she would end up writing the song Clean for her next album, which would show her incredible depth despite the new pop sound. The rebirth of Swift as a pop star was much needed and was refreshing and what music needed during this weird time.
After a three year hiatus when despite winning Album of the Year at the Grammys and the controversy with people who are not even relevant enough to be mentioned, she returned with reputation in 2017, reclaiming that she was still impactful in the music industry.
Despite her transition into pop which is still lyrically fantastic, there is something so magical about Red in particular that is so cosy to me. Wholesome. Raw. It’s a flawless album in my eyes. There’s a song for every mood, every weather type (even though it’s a very autumnal album) I have been so incredibly lucky to have seen her at her best and hear the wonderful and most heartbreaking songs she has ever written.
Long live, Taylor Swift. I will continue to have the time of my life fighting dragons with you.