Taylor Swift – Live @ Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland 2018
Damn, that was one hell of a show. Taylor Swift, the instantly recognisable Pop/Social Media Superstar rolled into Auckland for a one-off show.
WORDS BY WAL REID | PHOTOS BY BRAD HOLLAND
Her second to last concert of her hugely successful Reputation World Tour, and boy, did she bring the ‘wow’ factor on a drizzly Auckland night. The weather certainly didn’t deter the army of ‘Swiftie’ fans who were treated to a spectacle on a scale that has never been seen before in New Zealand.
Maybe it was the stunning pyrotechnics show, rating higher than Auckland Sky tower’s New Year’s fireworks display (seriously Auckland Council sort it out) or the behemoth stage rig that rivalled Auckland City’s skyline, it was insanely big. The giant screens blaring video snippets of the singer with fans, giant inflatable snakes, giant speaker stacks that seemingly touched the sky.
Fans were treated to songs off her Reputation Album, as Joan Jett & The Blackhearts classic Bad Reputation gave way to the singers auspicious stage entrance, as the crowd cheered the stage exploded into a visual feast, her dancers cavorting around her like fireflies as she launched into Ready For it, I Did Something Bad and Gorgeous, all executed with precision.
Fans of her older ‘Country-esque’ works were treated to a medley of that included Love Story and You Belong To Me.
She reflected to admire the crowd remarking that ‘rain’ concerts were “Beautiful, exquisite and wonderful”.
Sporting the ‘wet look’ didn’t distract from her looking stunning in costume changes, at one point Kiwi band Broods’ singer Georgia Nott and Pop Star Charli XCX joined her onstage for a stirring rendition of Shake It Off, after which, everybody was now in Party-mode.
Of course, she talked about the video she made in New Zealand while scoring brownie points with the audience singing a stripped back version of Out Of The Woods.
While she may not possess the powerhouse vocal range akin to Aretha Franklin or Jessie J, Swift still holds her own, although I wonder if songs like the Gospel styled Don’t Blame Me would have benefitted a more Bluesy timbre.
Her style may be grafted from Country Music but her voice is truly honed for Pop. None more apparent than on her hits Bad Blood or the Fergie-esque sounding Look What You Made Me Do.
Taylor Swift is a true professional, no doubt about it. It’s probably the most grandiose gig I’ve witnessed. Taylor Swift is not just a concert, her show is a full-on musical production. To be honest she could probably grab a few Tony Awards to go with her ten Grammys.