Review by: Dennis M. Kelly
Photos by: Roman Sobus
2007 Photo by: Beth Shandles
Last weekend, the weather in the Chicago area was in the 90’s, this weekend in the 50’s and with the wind off the lake, it felt like it was in the 30’s, but Taylor Swift quickly heated Chicago back up with a scorching performance from her Reputation Stadium tour.
Touring with her are Charli XCX and Camila Cabello, two amazing performers in their own right, delivering a triple threat attack of female pop infused power. Both Charli XCX and Camila Cabello complemented Taylor Swift’s performance delivering hits like ‘Boom Clap’ from Charli and ‘Havana’ from Camila to name just a couple.
After Camila’s set ended, fans were treated to some behind the scenes videos, trivia and all sorts of fun clips while the stage was prepared for the epic event yet to come.
…and as if from Heaven, Taylor Swift emerges
Just minutes before 9, lights dim, screams erupt and the 110 foot stage is alit with clips of the media discussing Taylor, everything she’s done and all about her reputation when all lights and video is suddenly cut, leaving fans screaming for more… then from out of the darkness of the stage, light breaks through the separations of the stage wall and as if from Heaven, Taylor Swift emerges asking, ‘Are you Ready for It?” and the crowd goes into a frenzy as strobe lights and smoke elevate the excitement of the moment beyond containment.
Taylor Swift spared no expense when it came to every element of her show, from the high tech and high definition video screen projections and sound, dancers and choreography, selection of music from her Grammy winning hit catalog and expanding her performance to two additional smaller stages on the other end of the stadium, oh and snakes… wait, snakes??? Yes, it was a common theme throughout the show and she can explain it to you when you see her live in your city!
One of her strengths is her inclusive approach to her fans; always including them in all that she does, so much so, that she had provided lighted wristbands for everyone to wear so she can see each and every one of them lit up, all throughout Soldier Field. It really was beautiful how they were all synced to each other and accentuated the overall performance, making each fan feel more a part of the performance when they danced and sang along with her.
After an explosive performance of “I Did Something Bad”, she welcomed Chicago to her tour, citing the 28 times she’s performed in our area; how she cannot stay away and how when we (Chicagoans) show up to a show, we ‘SHOW UP’ in costumes and all the energy that Chicagoans have to offer.
I caught one of her shows back in 2007, when a young Taylor Swift, guitar in hand performed at a music industry convention at the Hilton Hotel, not very far at all from Soldier Field and it is truly amazing how far she has come and how much of an inspiration and role model she is to young people across the globe.
Speaking of inspirational, throughout the show, Taylor was exceedingly warm, welcoming and complimenting to her fans and it might seem small, and insignificant, but it made a difference to me and if you’re bringing your children to her show, Taylor’s is a show high on the recommendation list. Keeping on that subject of compliments, during ‘Gorgeous’, Taylor introduced her ‘incredible, and gorgeous’ dancers, Jazz, Mariah, Gracie, Layla, Jocelyn, Melanie, Nadine, Stephanie, Zoe, and Elliot. Hopefully I got their names all correct because they all deserved the mention, they all were an integral part of the success of Taylor’s show including her band too; everything was top notch across the board.
I still find it so amazing that no matter how many shows you see concerts, hearing songs that you’ve known and loved, like ‘Style’, ‘Love Story’ and ‘You Belong With Me’ is made that much more meaningful and special when you experience it live; that live experience becomes a part of you and further demonstrates the importance of catching Taylor live on this tour.
The majority of songs performed were understandably from her new album ‘Reputation’ and the hit song, ‘Delicate’ literally lifted Taylor to new heights by being lifted via a crane from the main stage to the first of the two back stages. It gave Taylor and fans even more of an opportunity to connect and when she reached the other stage, a large snake appeared from each of the smaller stages, (similar to a much larger one that appeared a bit earlier on the main stage) while she then sung ‘Shake it Off’ with Camila and Charli.
Then, taking some time to speak to her roots, she dug way back and played ‘Our Song’ which had the entire stadium singing along, with everyone’s blue lit wristbands swaying along, quite magical indeed.
After another acoustic track, she had to show some love to the other end of the stadium, walking along a gated walkway, greeting fans along the way and then performed ‘Blank Space’ and ‘Dress’ by them.
Then, she made her way back to the main stage, again greeting more fans along the way and kicked into an amazing performance of ‘Bad Blood’ and ‘Should Have Said No’ with the stage all broken into sections revealing more of the band, dancers and she sung in each of the different parts of it.
Bottom line, the Reputation Stadium Tour is, for the most part, family friendly, positive and inspirational and features hours of talented musicians and dancers bringing a high end; and a ‘more-eye-candy-than-you-can-handle’ show that will appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Taylor Swift has really outdone herself and you owe it to yourself to experience and become a part of the Reputation Stadium Tour!
Editor’s note: Some children were wearing ear protection headphones, so, please be aware the performance is delivered by some very high end, powerful speakers that may be a bit too loud for some children. I would also like to personally thank Taylor Swift and her representatives for their generosity in allowing us to cover this spectacular event and giveaway tickets to it as well. It was exceedingly appreciated.
Taylor’s remaining tour dates are as follows:
Jun 02, 2018 – Soldier Field – Chicago, IL
Jun 08, 2018 – Etihad Stadium – Manchester, United Kingdom
Jun 09, 2018 – Etihad Stadium – Manchester, United Kingdom
Jun 15, 2018 – Croke Park – Dublin, Ireland
Jun 16, 2018 – Croke Park – Dublin, Ireland
Jun 22, 2018 – Wembley Stadium – London United Kingdom
Jun 23, 2018 – Wembley Stadium – London United Kingdom
Jun 30, 2018 – Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium – Louisville, KY
Jul 07, 2018 – Ohio Stadium – Columbus, OH
Jul 10, 2018 – FedExField – Washington, DC
Jul 11, 2018 – FedEx Field – Washington, DC
Jul 13, 2018 – Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, PA
Jul 14, 2018 – Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, PA
Jul 17, 2018 – First Energy Stadium – Cleveland, OH
Jul 20, 2018 – MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ
Jul 21, 2018 – MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ
Jul 22, 2018 – MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ
Jul 26, 2018 – Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, MA
Jul 27, 2018 – Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, MA
Jul 28, 2018 – Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, MA
Aug 03, 2018 – Rogers Centre – Toronto, ON Canada
Aug 04, 2018 – Rogers Centre – Toronto, ON Canada
Aug 07, 2018 – Heinz Field – Pittsburgh, PA
Aug 10, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta, GA
Aug 11, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta, GA
Aug 14, 2018 – Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, FL
Aug 18, 2018 – Hard Rock Stadium – Miami, FL
Aug 25, 2018 – Nissan Stadium – Nashville, TN
Aug 28, 2018 – Ford Field – Detroit, MI
Aug 31, 2018 – U.S. Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, MN
Sep 01, 2018 – U.S. Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, MN
Sep 08, 2018 – Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, MO
Sep 15, 2018 – Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
Sep 18, 2018 – The Dome at America’s Center – St. Louis, MO
Sep 22, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz Superdome – New Orleans, LA
Sep 29, 2018 – NRG Stadium – Houston, TX
Oct 05, 2018 – AT&T Stadium – Arlington, TX
Oct 06, 2018 – AT&T Stadium – Arlington, TX
Oct 19, 2018 – Optus Stadium – Perth, Australia
Oct 26, 2018 – Etihad Stadium – Melbourne, Australia
Nov 02, 2018 – ANZ Stadium – Sydney Olympic Park Australia
Nov 06, 2018 – The Gabba = Brisbane, Australia
Nov 09, 2018 – Mt Smart Stadium – Auckland New Zealand
Nov 20, 2018 – Tokyo, Japan – Tokyo, Japan
Nov 21, 2018 – Tokyo, Japan – Tokyo, Japan
See the rest of Taylor Swift’s photos here!