Taylor Swift at Gillette Stadium - June 25, 2011
Yeah..deal with it..
Well I've never backed away from a show review when given the chance so I can't do it this time.
Yes, Saturday night I took my 12 year old to see Taylor Swift at Gillette Stadium. You read that right..a football stadium. A year ago she had played the same stadium and sold it out in less than 20 minutes. This tour she has some stadiums mixed in and Foxboro found two sold out shows. The first was Saturday.
Lucked out a few weeks ago with a ticket from ticketmaster. They had been “sold out” since December when both shows sold out in under 30 minutes. We had close seats on the side, but a little “too close” in that once you got beyond a certain point the rest of the stage you couldn't see. For example, if she had a live drummer, which she did, we couldn't see even the drum riser.
We arrived earlier than both of us would have liked, but you never know what a stadium crowd is going to bring. We got something to eat and waited for an hour or so for the first “act” to perform. I thought only one band was going to support but they rolled out two country singers. Clad with just acoustic guitars and two other guys James Wesley and Randy Montana both played very short sets, I'd say both were under 20 minutes in length. Need to Breathe played a 30 minute more rocking set before the headliner. None of them did a lot for me, but I am not really a fan of the genre.
Finally at about 9pm the stadium lights went down and the screams began. Earplugs are key here folks.
Taylor worked the stage very well. She was out on the catwalk in the crowd early, and often so I do give her credit there. At the end of the first song she stood there, with arms open sort of soaking it all in. At first it seemed popus, but then you could see she was genuinely moved by the ovation. She'd choke up a few times during the night due to the response. Genuine or not, it was refreshing to see her being so appreciative.
I don't think the set list varies all that much due to the technical aspects of her show. Based off the audience reaction she hit the money songs, and a few choice new and older tracks. The band was pretty strong, but Taylor of course if the focus. She played guitar, banjo, piano and ukelele and had a competent band and army of dancers and props to keep things interesting.
Later in the set she made her way via a walk down the side of the floor seats to a “tree' set up behind the main mixing board. The tree had a rotating base and she did three songs out that far. At the start of the second it began to rain. She was a trooper and kept going. Then it rained more...and she decided to move off the little stage and head back to the main stage. By the time she made her way to the stage it had started to rain harder. When she returned to the main stage she did one more song and then it REALLY opened up.
The rain was heavy and didn't let up. People were with her though. Taylor decided to embrace the fact she was going to get wet..and she dealt with it. She did a least two songs in the middle of the cat walk and didn't shy away from being wet. She was careful to not lose footing but I never saw her run towards the stage for cover or even a towel. Fireworks boomed and the band all came out to get wet for a curtain call. (The drummer slipped and fell coming out to the line up)
At that point my daughter and I headed up to the back of our section for cover. We bought ponchos and did what we could to hang on to the bitter end. I let her decide and she said she had enough after 1-2 more songs. We had long walk to the car, it was late and we were very wet.
As the jaded 40 something indie hipster I like to portray myself as you put all that stuff aside and just live vicariously through your kid(s) at a show like this. Its nice to be excited for something and then be rewarded when its given back. Taylor might not be for everyone but I didn't feel ripped off at all.
Some other non review type observations:
Creepy part of the show? The 18-23 year old male fans I saw with hand/home made T.Swift t-shirt. Not sure if they are there to meet girls or were just fans. Some of them were in groups as well, 3-4 of them, Beers in hand, Taylor Swift in glue pen on their shirts.
-Cowboy hats. Suddenly everyone wants to be a cowboy/girl
-Glow sticks – man if I had a dime for every one sold.
-Kudos for the management team for reasonable t-shirts. These kids all want sort of keepsake and I think $25.00 for a t-shirt is very fair.
Labels: live review