Exactly 137 days since the tour dates were announced, pop star of the year Taylor Swift brought 17+ of her hits to life in front of a clamouring Singaporean/Asian audience.
As the Asia leg of the #1989WorldTour consists only of Tokyo, Singapore, and Shanghai, many fans flew in from all over Southeast Asia for the two-night gig at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Swifties from Manila, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur and more carried fansigns declaring their $pecial journey to our little red dot – all for the thrill of catching 2015’s biggest star live in concert!
Combining the wholesome image that has drawn teenage fans with the aspiration for a current sound, Taylor has become pop’s role model. Try as the gossip rags might, there is just no dirt on Ms. Swift! No drunk partying, no controversial Instagram posts, no attention-grabbing antics. A well-behaved pop star? Now that’s worth paying attention to. Here’s what Taylor taught us at the #1989TourSingapore:
Lesson #1: Pop stars can start concerts on time
It’s a shame when artists leave fans sweating in mosh pits or waiting in rickety seats for the gig to start. Opening acts are a cute idea but really, they can safely play about 3 songs before the “why are we waiting” chants break out. Perhaps she was catching a flight right after the show, or it was a consideration for the sleeping hours of her school-going fans, or maybe she is just a decent person, but Taylor Swift kickstarted her power-packed show right on the dot at 8PM with “Welcome To New York“.
Flashing lights, neon signs, and a sense of punctuality – no wonder she’s a pop princess.
Lesson #2: Love and ankle guards keep the show going
It’s hard being a pop star on the road. It’s harder when choreography and a long, long, long runway is involved (we’ll get to that later). In her costume change for “How You Get The Girl“, Taylor’s left ankle was seen wrapped in a black ankle guard, possibly from a recent minor injury.
Ankle guards + silver heels? Pure dedication. With just a month more of touring to go, take care of yourself, Taylor!
Lesson #3: We have reached the pinnacle of human engineering
Yes, I’m talking about the bridge. The runway that stretched from the stage to the other end of the Indoor Stadium is an engineering marvel. Architects weep upon seeing it. Builders meekly spray WD-40 between its struts in reverence. The bridge is a freaking miracle.
It rises! It slants! It rotates! It carries 12 dancers and approximately $200 million in net worth without a trace of nervousness! Is there anything this Olympian of a metal beam can’t do?!
Lesson #4: Taylor Swift is a pop culture leader
Here’s something to note: Taylor Swift is a pop culture leader. The message of her just-turned-one album “1989“, named after the year she was born, is one of empowerment – both through the self and from your circle of friends. The early-2015 buzzword “squad” has almost nearly been synonymous with Taytay, what with her mega-watt clique of models (Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss), musicians (Selena Gomez, Lorde, Calvin Harris, Ed Sheeran, HAIM), and multi-hyphenates (Lena Dunham, Dr. Meredith Grey) sending the media and pop geeks into a delirious tizzy. Her reign as pop’s biggest star may be nearing its end as the “1989” era closes, but what a year it’s been.
It seemed, therefore, that the concert was a New Year’s Eve medley of sorts, with fans reliving memories of the year past – as graciously soundtracked by the hits from “1989”. At “Shake It Off” you remember how your timeline was choked with every music journo’s opinion piece on why Taylor going pop is a big deal. With “Blank Space” you recall your checking Genius every day to see if you heard “Starbucks lovers” correctly. In the funk-pop strains of “Style” you think of the many special guests Taylor has brought onstage throughout the tour (sadly, none in Singapore). At “Bad Blood” you remember the iconic series of posters in the lead-up to the world-stopping video. The recent “Wildest Dreams” was nice, but the backlash it received also signified at the end of “1989” rule. Each song brought with it your personal memories, coupled with the backstory surrounding T Swizzle at that point in 2015.
And perhaps that’s why Taylor has been on top for so long: her spirit of reinvention. As the perfect vehicle for pop, Taylor Swift has constantly changed her look, her focus, and most importantly, her music. As you grow, her albums grow along with you. With her rock reworks of old hits “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” on the concert stage, are we on the cusp of a new pop-rock phase? As the “1989” era draws to a close, perhaps it’s time to find out.
Photos: Jovi Ho for Popspoken, Featured photo courtesy of AEG Live
Many thanks to Cornetto Singapore
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