[LIVE REVIEW] Taylor Swift @ Marvel Stadium, Melbourne 26/10/2018

The excitement started building from the moment we stepped off the train at Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station. People in costumes, bright colours, and Tay Tay shirts as far as the eye can see!

Children, Grandparents, and all ages in between were all on the concourse headed in one direction. Marvel Stadium. a buzz was already in the air and it grew bigger with every step closer to the venue.

Upon scanning tickets on entry we were treated with what looked like a new Fit Bit. Slightly confused and surprised by our gift, we were instructed to put them on and wait for the show.

As we made our way to our seats, New Zealand group Broods took to the stage. Singer Georgia Nott, almost resembling a flamingo wearing a fluffy pink jacket and skirt to match, instantly got the crowd to their feet opening with songs, Bridges and Heartlines.

I was not familiar with Broods before tonight, but it’s safe to say a lot of people in attendance were. A rather short but sweet set with other songs, Couldn’t Believe, Free and Peach ending out the first support for Swifty.

A group of roadies promptly filled the stage to set up for what was next. British singer and songwriter Charli XCX made her way from below the stage and opened her set with Boom Clap and Icona Pop hit, (which Charlie featured on),  I Love It.

At this stage, the crowd was almost at full capacity and the place was really starting to move! Engaging and reacting with the Melbourne crowd, Charli XCX then introduced us to her new single, 1999.

Making references to all things 90’s I was captivated, intrigued and taken back to my childhood with the help of her music video playing behind her on the big screen!

Other hit songs followed, Dirty Sexy Money, Boys, 5 In The Morning and asking the crowd to turn their phone lights on, and lighting the stadium up for her finale’ I’m So Fancy. After taking her bow and thanking Taylor Swift for having her on the tour, the crowd was in a frenzy and ready
for the main act!

With the last few hundred people still making their way to their seats, the lights dimmed a little and added to the excitement of an already ecstatic crowd. The giant LED lit stage began to take motion. Showing some behind the scenes Taylor Swift doco’s and intimate Secret Session’s with Tay Tay on the big screen.

Finally, the brief movie ended, and the stage and stadium went dark. The scream of an amped-up crowd was that similar to that from the famous scream scene from Psycho. only multiplied by 65,000! Enough to almost send a guy like me deaf! it brought a chill down my spine and suddenly I found myself caught up in all the Tay Tay Mania!

The show had begun, showing clips of Swift, and newspaper clippings. newsreaders reading different stories and repetition of the word, Reputation. the crescendo grew to a climax, and then suddenly the V-shaped stage opened from the middle like a giant book, with the brightest, whitest backing lights, revealing a silhouette of Taylor Swift standing in the center of the stage, striking a pose with mic in hand!

Just when I thought the crowd ccouldn’t get any louder, they just about blew the roof off the stadium!

Wearing a Black sequined, long sleeve leotard, She opens the show with Ready for it (opening song from her 2017 Reputation album). Smoke blasting straight up into the air from the stage, and 30-foot flames from behind the wings of the stage were the beginning of this magnificent extravaganza!

The Fitbit-esque like wristbands we were all given upon our entry suddenly came to life, turning the 60+ thousand into a sea of flashing and dancing red lights. This was truly a scene to behold. When you see people lighting up a stadium of that size with smart phones is one thing, but coloured wristbands flashing and twinkling from one colour to another in waves across the crowd really was next level. Well played to the brains behind this Idea! I guess you could say, I was caught up in all the lights!

Did Something Bad and Gorgeous were the next songs to kick off this astonishing show. Taking a break through Gorgeous to introduce and acknowledge her hard working and talented back up singers and dancers that would join her on stage throughout the night. This was followed by another loud scream and applause from the crowd. Swift’s band quickly changed key and broke into Love Story with the giant stage opening up from bottom to top, revealing the backing band and having her guitarist’s joining her at the front of the stage.

As they began to play You Belong With Me. Tay Tay Mania was in full swing at this point, and the LED lit crowd were all eating out of the palm of her hand. Taylor’s voice was almost lost in the sound of the crowd singing along to every word of every song so far!

I had a moment of worry during You Belong With Me, as Swift told the crowd to jump along with her. I did get concerned for all the cars parked underground below the venue, but that thought quickly passed as I got caught up in the jumping movement! The stadium was literally shaking!

As the song ended, the stadium again decented into darkness. The loud screams continued as the next song began, Look What You Me Do. A giant inflatable snake was in the centre of the stage with other giant snakes projecting on the stage behind.

Swift emerges in a black and gold Cleopatra inspired outfit with matching knee-high boots.

Showcasing her dancers on a snake-themed platform that tilted from side to side, swift and her entourage put on quite a performance. This was demonstrated throughout the entire evening.
End Game and King Of My Heart were the next songs from Swifts broad catalogue. King Of My Heart ending with Swift dissapearing from the stage, and a drum and dance solo took place.

Afterwards, Swift emerges on stage alone in a new brightly coloured short dress, and talks briefly to the elated crowd while making her way to the side of the stage, where a “floating carriage” was waiting.

Swift stepped onto this carriage and started singing Delicate. Elevating over the crowd, and making its way to one of the rear speaker towers in the middle of the stadium floor.

She was joined on this platform by Georgia Nott (Broods) and Charli XCX for an remarkable rendition of crowd favourite, Shake It Off.

Still, on the Platform in the crowd, Swift slips into a sequined kimono style jacket and is handed an acoustic guitar. Singing Dancing With Our Hands Tied and Only Me. A song she wrote when she was only 13 years old. With nothing but her guitar, It is easy to see that Taylor Swift just oozes Talent, yet she is so humble about how good she actually is.

Swift then braved the loud Melbourne crowd, and walked through the audience from one side to the other, shaking hands, hi fiving and stopping for the occasional selfie, we soon found Tay Tay and the other rear speaker tower to the right of the stage.

Removing her kimono and revealing another black and silver sleeveless leotard and starts singing Blank Space, Followed promptly by Dress, and Bad Blood while making her way back over the crowd in a snake skeleton carriage, much faster than when she made her way into the crowd.

She was greeted on stage by her dancers, and other dancers hanging from wires at the top of the stage. singing and walking through the stage, amongst her band members. Should Have Said No was the next song to proceed through the night. Swift then dissapears from stage again and reappears promptly in a new long black and gold dress for Don’t Blame Me. I could not believe how many moving parts and mechanics were involved in this massive stage, but it seemed to have more and more to show off as each song progressed! 
I touched on how humble Taylor Swift is about her music, but it seems she is an extremely humble and thankful person in general. Taking the time out of her show to ask for some applause to thank the people we don’t see on stage. From truck driver’s who move the show from destination to destination, and the roadies who set and pack everything we see.

I’ve never seen a performer do this before, and as she admitted they put in alot more hours and hard work that she does. This was a great thing to see, and made me a bit warm and fuzzy! Cheers to the hard working roadies!

Swift takes a seat at a grand piano in the center of the stage and plays hits, Long Live and New Years Day. A solo Piano performance was a well-needed break from a very upbeat and highly energetic show thus far. The stage was then cleared, and a pre-recorded video of a Taylor Swift poem, Why She Disappeared played. Again, this was a nice touch to the show and gave Swift a well-deserved break.

Re emerging on stage, now wearing a short purple flapper dress and sequined coat (By this point of the show I have come to the conclusion that Tay Tay loves a bit of sparkle!), Swift begins to sing Getaway Car.

After the song, the Image on the stage forms into the front of a giant mansion and a water fountain is placed in the middle of the stage, giving the illusion that we are in a very wealthy person’s front yard! Joined on stage by her dancers again, Call It What You Want is quickly followed by the show finale We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.

A full pyro display, flames, a working water fountain, lights and confetti cannons end out the show with the loudest of bangs! Not to mention the sparkle and twinkle of 60 odd thousand light up wrist bands throughout the crowd!

Before tonight I was not really a fan of Taylor Swift. I had never paid much attention to her music, but she clearly demonstrated why she has such a successful career in music, having been in the industry for some 16 years now. from a young humble country singer to a multi-award winning global megastar and pop icon. It’s easy to see how this highly talented singer songwriter is where she is today and I am now calling myself a fan!

Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour continues in Sydney at ANZ Stadium on November 2nd, and Brisbane at The Gabba on November the 6th.

If you are like me, and never gave Taylor Swift much of a thought, I reccomend you get yourself a ticket for the next few shows in Australia and New Zealand! Well, That is if there are any left!…..

Review Contributed by Dillion Hughes

Gallery by Jose Sanchez