This weekend I was like, you know what I really want to do? Watch Taylor Swift in concert. And then after I went googling, I discovered that the concert video for her 1989 tour (they filmed a show in Sydney, Australia) is available exclusively to Apple Music subscribers, which, for some reason, includes me.
And I watched it. And it was awesome.
I love Taylor Swift. I’ve loved her stuff since her very first album. We’ve grown up together, really. Except she’s like four years younger than me.
Anyway, I’ve been feeling a little depressed lately, which has led to a slight amount of stepping back from this blog. I’ve just had nothing to say, you know? And normally that doesn’t stop me: I crap out something regardless. But this blog is a bit of a long-term endeavor–I feel some kind of commitment to maintaining and growing its audience over the course of years (it’s eight years old now!)–and when you’re depressed it’s hard to see the point of long-term endeavors.
But I must be feeling better, because when I saw the Swift film, I HAD THOUGHTS. And I had A DESIRE TO SHARE THESE THOUGHTS. They’re not deep or insightful thoughts, but here they are:
- Taylor Swift doesn’t really dance. She’s no JT or Christina or Britney. She didn’t come out of the Disney machine. She hasn’t been dancing since the age of four, and it’s just not her thing. And there is an upside to this. Because her stage routine is less intense, she doesn’t need to use a backing track: she has the break to actually sing. Not that I care about the use of backing tracks. I watch shows in order to see a show, and sometimes a backing track is just part of a good show.
- However, Taylor Swift does do some fairly energetic pacing across the stage. And she does it in really tall shoes. All of her outfits included, like, six-inch heels. Which is a pretty impressive physical accomplishment. She moved across this stage for two hours a night, across like 90 tour dates. So let nobody say there’s no physicality in Taylor’s shows.
- The heels are an interesting choice. Taylor is well known for being extremely tall. At 5′ 10″ she’s taller than most men and almost all women (also, I can’t believe I know Taylor’s height off the top of my head). It’s often extremely apparent in her pictures with Selena Gomez, for instance. You’d think that they’d try to downplay that on stage, but they don’t. With the addition of the heels, she’s positively Amazonian. I mean, she dwarfs all of her backup singers and most of her backup dancers. The effect is very striking.
- During the 1989 tour, Taylor invited other famous pop, country, and hip-hop acts to perform their signature songs on-stage, as kind of a surprise bonus, for each concert. And Taylor, in her interviews for the concert video, kept being like, “Oh wow, I can’t believe they were so eager to perform with me!” Like, she was flabbergasted that, say, Mick Jagger, would want to perform with her.
- But…she’s the biggest pop star in the English-speaking world. She was selling out 70,000 seat stadiums. Can Mick Jagger still do that? And she’s doing it with young people. When was the last time that Mick Jagger had an audience primarily composed of people under 40. Of course they wanted to perform with her!
- Err, and what was my final thought? I definitely had a final thought? Oh yeah, her accent! Taylor’s accent has changed quite a bit over the years. Like if you look at her interviews from even five years ago, she’s elongating her vowels, particularly her ‘a’s, and she’s dropping a ‘yall’ in there. She’s a country star. She talks southern. But in this video it’s just completely different. I couldn’t place her accent at all. If it’s anything, it’s Southern Californian, since she’s got a slight growl going on. But mostly it just sounds husky, as if she’s just come off of a good cry. I liked it, but it’s not the voice I had paired with her in my mind.