REVIEW WRITTEN BY MAGGIE WURST
For Digital First Media
As the lights dimmed at Lincoln Financial Field shortly after 9 p.m. on June 12, a crowd of 50,000 fans grew restless waiting for a Pennsylvania-raised star to take the stage.
Taylor Swift, who was born in Reading and grew up in Wyomissing, opened the show with a testament to her new home in the Big Apple. While Swift sang the lyrics to “Welcome to New York” amongst the wild screams of thousands of fans, professional dancers moved in coordinated patterns against a New York City-themed backdrop.
The show was one of two at Lincoln Financial Field and was part of Taylor Swift’s tour for her 2014 album, 1989. The album, which has sold millions of copies, marks a change in the singer’s style, most notably with a distinct switch from country-infused ballads to refreshing pop anthems.
Throughout the show, Swift referred to her fans as her friends, and each time, the audience replied with louder screams of gratitude. These screams were also present at every unexpected outfit change, which saw the singer go from fringy ensembles to body suits and crop tops.
From the beginning, it was apparent that the show would be unlike any other the crowd had seen before from Swift. Although the set list was mostly of songs from her latest album, Swift did not neglect some of her famous classics such as “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together”, however, she changed up the style of both songs by lowering her voice and playing them as rock-inspired tracks.
Of course, Swift’s performance would not have been complete without paying homage to her star-studded group of pals, who made regular cameos via video while Swift changed into a new outfit for a new song. Large screens played the interviews with Lena Dunham, the band HAIM, Jaime King, and more, which featured topics like hanging out with Swift, her relationship with her cats, and the media’s view on her personal life. Half way through the show, Swift brought out a fellow band, Echosmith, to play their hit, “Cool Kids” and during “Style,” actress Mariska Hargitay and model Cara Delevingne joined Swift on the catwalk for an embrace.
As the concert began to reach its ending, Swift brought down the energy with a speech before breaking into the song “Clean,” which she wrote in London after realizing that she was in the same city as an ex-lover.
The introduction brought each listener together through music, and Swift acknowledged the most painful part of loss.
“Maybe you lost someone you never expected to lose,” said Swift. “Maybe you lost yourself, that’s even worse.”
After tears were shed and the members of the audience themselves felt “clean,” Swift performed more hits before her finale, which pumped up the energy and got a large percentage of the spectators on their feet.
Donning a purple fringe ensemble, Swift led the crowd and her dancers through her hit song, “Shake It Off” as confetti and fireworks were released.
By the end of the show, an air of confidence and catharsis seemed to fill the stadium as fans from various demographics left ready to face whatever heartaches life could throw at them with a new attitude, thanks to their dear friend, Taylor Swift.