Taylor Swift’s “1989 World Tour Live” Documentary Reviewed

Written by | December 22, 2015 13:40 pm | No Comments


In 2010 I watched NBC’s Thanksgiving Special, Taylor Swift’s “Haunted” , with nothing but a big smile on my face. It was so long ago, she still had curly hair and so long ago they were pushing Speak Now.  A year later, she was ending the Speak Now tour at MSG, her second best concerts only surpassed by Red at the Prudential.

1989 has proven to be a secondary tour, not on the same level as Red, even though I prefer the album. By a touch. There was something very sleek and smooth about Red, it did everything just about right. I am not a huge Ed Sheeran fan, but Ed is to Vance Joy what Red is to 1989. Maybe that goes to far, but you get the idea.

I love 1989 at Metlife in July, but I still felt the sound wasn’t quite what I wanted. I wrote years ago, she should go on a theatre tour and hone her crafts and I feel that way. In the documentary, Taylor is both close and distance, overdone and chill, a big bangly beautiful thing with moments where she transcended the 75,000K Arena in Sydney, and no moment where the largeness overwhelmed the meaning.

The concert was intercut with Taylor discussing the tour, especially the guest star performances that happened every night. Some times planned months in advance, sometimes at the last moment, The Weeknd dueted on  “Can’t Feel My Face” when I saw her. other nights she brought out Mick Jagger, John Legend, Alanis Morrisette, and many more (we wrote about it ages ago).

Also, a segment about her backing band echoed back to “Haunted” quite nicely and the best moment of the documentary, not to mention the actual set, was a terrific “Blank Space”. The second best? “Love Story” with a great loop.

But the movie isn’t really a movie and it isn’t quite a live concert. She keeps on pulling us out of the concert to reflect on the tour itself, and the result is a lessening of tempo. It shifts too much.

The other problem is simple enough: for the most part, she won’t play her old material and personally I’d much rather here “Your Song” than “Wildest Fream”.

Grade: B+


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