Taylor Swift At Metlife Stadium, Saturday, July 13th, 2013 Reviewed
The best thing about moving back East from Colorado is catching up with old friends. Iman Lababedi and I worked together over two decades ago – so great to reconnect and have him meet my daughters. After reading Iman’s rave review of Taylor Swift in March 2013, I purchased tickets as a birthday gift and first concert experience for my twin daughters, Kathryn and Lillian – not knowing I would be writing the review.
RED Review—here I go…
We settled into our seats, albeit way up, were slightly right of the stage but were center – a perfect view! It was a cloudy, humid evening at Metlife Stadium in East Ruthersford, NJ but at least the rain was holding off. One thing about being in the upper deck, at that elevation, you are aware of your natural surroundings (or maybe that’s just me).
The sun began to poke through the clouds as Ed Sheeran took to the stage. The crowd came to life with Give Me Love and didn’t stop for over forty minutes! … Give me love like never before, ‘Cause lately I’ve been craving more. And it’s been a while but I still feel the same …Sheeran continued to please the mostly female crowd crying out, “he’s so cute!”…his final song, The A Team, begins as the sun is setting through the Metlife Stadium sign. Sheeran tells the crowd, “sing along, if you don’t know the words, make them up” and the crowd obliges … it’s too cold outside for angels to fly, angels to fly, fly, fly … as the sun continues to set, Ed Sheeran bids his farewell to a happy audience … and exits the stage.
Ed Sheeran’s performance is impressive, although, at times I had trouble understanding the lyrics. It didn’t matter. I was swept away with how he worked his guitar. His style of music is incredibly unique and quite honestly I have difficulty pinpointing it. At times, I was slapping my knee as if listening to the start of a bluegrass song, tapping my foot to a country song, and bobbing my head to hip-hopping fun music. I loved him!
Taylor Swift is scheduled to take the stage at 8:30 but she’s late. Four minutes, Lillian informs me … 240 seconds, Momma. Six minutes, Momma … 360 seconds. (So happy we have the opportunity to get our math facts in while we wait.) The music went WAY UP in the stadium as she is delayed a bit … Icona Pop, I Love It … I crashed my car into a bridge, I don’t care, I love it, I don’t care…and the audience didn’t care. Everyone was in a great mood AND it was contagious!! Before you know it, the wave is going back and forth from one side of the stadium to the next and it is great fun to watch and participate with the girls.
The sun continues to set and the RED sign at center stage is brighter with the darkness and THEN flashes of RED RED RED take over the stage as we prepare for her entrance. And what an entrance Taylor Swift made in a larger than life-size shadow of her through a sheer RED curtain. Up it goes and the crowd roars!
Taylor opens with State of Grace, one of my top three favorites on the RED CD. It is a blast to see the crowd so excited (the girl to the left of me is crying). Taylor is wearing a white satin & sheer tuxedo-like blouse with black leather shorts and red shoes—super chic, modern but understated. The sound is amazing! LOUD! LOUD!! LOUD!!! in the best way and we love it! Kathryn is totally in the moment. Screaming louder than anyone in the stadium, waving her arms in the air like she just don’t care … Taylor Swift knows how to entertain!
Holy Ground follows with great lighting effects. Then she starts speaking to us in the most sincere way … telling us how 13 is her favorite number and July her favorite month and when planning a World Tour where does she want to be on her most favorite day—NJ of course!
She continues to narrate, explaining her need to process her emotions through writing and how sometimes they take on the form of a color and He was RED. It is one of those moments in my life I will never forget. My almost nine year old daughter, Kathryn, with a huge smile on her face and bright RED lips (from the slushy) dancing at a concert, completely comfortable in her skin and loving the moment …
… She wears high heels, I wear sneakers, she’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers … the crowd is singing You Belong with Me (FEARLESS #12 Kathryn’s favorite) so loudly I can hardly hear Taylor singing. Feel like I’m in high school again, so young and carefree with a smile from ear-to-ear. Why have I waited so long to come to a concert?
B&W…The Lucky One … simple piano playing in the background … a 60s movie queen … they tell us it’s going to be glamorous … they don’t tell you that they’re building you up just to break you down … but they HAVEN’T yet. Glamorous RED dress … visual completes the story … tasteful, mature, artistic…
Stay Stay Stay is a somewhat silly song (obviously not written for my age group) and her usual fluid movements appear somewhat jerky but it doesn’t matter what I think because the crowd loves her and takes it an octave higher when Ben Wahamaki from the Lumineers took to the stage playing a quick Ho Hey.
Swift is setting us up for 22 … movie clips, a chronology of her life. It’s smart and a nice touch. She comes out with a nautical stripe shirt and red short shorts – young and fresh…22. Lillian and Julia, who were mostly subdued at the concert, rose to their feet and danced too. Yes, Taylor, I was feeling 22!
The next notable moment was when Fallout Boy, Patrick Stump, joined Taylor on the stage with My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark -it was fun to look around the stadium and see everyone light ‘em up in the dark.
Missed half of I Knew You Were Trouble and All too Well on Momma duty but my ice COLD beer was worth it! Returned just in time to hear Love Story (FEARLESS #9 Lil’s favorite!) which was beautiful with a mini ballet. I love how Swift completes her story through her performances – lovely and super smart. She looked lovely in her simple flowing white gown.
Put your lips close to mine, as long as they don’t touch, out of focus eye-to-eye, till the gravity’s too much … this slope is treacherous and one of my favorite songs on the CD. Smart how she walked the tight rope, figuratively, because falling in love can be treacherous – again, more great story-telling through her performance.
The only instructions Iman gave me was to “come meet him as soon as We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Did I listen? Of course not, but mainly because I thought this was such a ‘dumb’ song and remembering Iman’s review I wanted to see her sarcasm played out on stage – a Circus and she was the ringmaster. As a girl who never played the break up / make-up game the song was silly to me. Obviously ‘the relationship’ was a freak show to Taylor too.
Taylor Swift may choose to write music based on her relationships but good for her. She processes her emotions by writing about it (a lot) but she is a hard working successful woman, has maintained a positive image to young woman and an amazing live entertainer. Well done!