Weekly News Update & Tour Talk: March 18, 2018

Not a lot going on at the moment, Taylor Nation.

The Blonde With The Sparkly Snake Microphone, has kept mostly to media silence except with some necessary appearances. Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who’s steer clear of news based on rumors, we’ve already commented on the possible reasons for Taylor’s silence. At least we did get an update on what she’s been up to in her acceptance speech at the 2018 iHeartradio Music Awards when she won Female of the Year. She is, indeed, on rehearsals for her upcoming reputation Stadium Tour.

Watch on YouTube

And yes, it’s a large-venue-big-cities-only tour. She’s been getting some flak for the stadium venue and ticket price upgrade. Taylor has adopted Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program where fan club members boosted their place in line via… shopping. I’m sorry, I don’t think this is/was a good plan.

Positively, a lot of scalping was cut down. This has a predictable side effect when combined with the ticket rise: shows are not sold out on the first day. This has been heaven to detractors of the Swift brand which immediately claimed failure. The outcome that both Ticketmaster and Taylor Swift are hedging their bets on is that the shows will sell out at a slower rate, but more seats will be taken by actual fans that otherwise would’ve been sold at ticket reseller sites. It’s a bit of a gamble.

The bigger gamble for fans like me, is the lack of smaller venues. I’m not crazy about large stadiums. However, I recently got a peek at the VIP invite via Just Jared and the stage’s general shape is revealed. You also got to see this if you hunted for tickets through Ticketmaster (although I’m not sure it showed up for all city shows).

Watch on YouTube

Based on that shape of crossed catwalks reaching into the audience from the corners, I have to guess that is a rather large stage. It could potentially give Taylor the ability to walk further and be seen up close by more of her attending fans. This could explain why this is a large venue only tour… She might need the extra space.

That also means, that the amount of fans getting a close up are multiplied and might make it worthwhile. I’m rather optimistic about this. Plus, Taylor usually adds some sort of more-than-meets-the-eye feature (the catwalks for RED and 1989 had some sort of transformation). I’m guessing that it’s her way to compensate since the walking-into-the-crowd segment and the B stage performances are getting really hard to pull. You can’t rise to fame without getting stalkers and security concerns are not just for the star – they’re for the audience as well.

Currently I don’t have tickets or plans, but chances are that I will buy into the hype… A bit unsure to be honest. Like so many other fans, I don’t feel like a good fan for skipping it. As I usually do when I feel conflicted, I listen to a lot of music and see how much gravitational pull the new album has for me. Perhaps I will wait until news start leaking out when the first tour concerts comes along. We’ll see. No, I will not be going for that VIP ticket. That must cost an arm and a leg.

The Sparkly Dressed gave us two clips of her rehearsals for the Delicate video this past week. Have a look. Yes, I’ve heard the comparisons to an ad from Kenzo.  My reference is a lot older: Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice video with Christopher Walken.

Watch on YouTube

Watch on YouTube

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • May 8: Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour begins in Glendale, AZ.

(Sources: Taylor Swift via YouTube, Just Jared)

The Delicate Music Video: It’s cool she said all that. Commentary.

Dive bar on the East Side, where you at Taylor Nation?

Taylor Swift won the iHeartradio Music Award for Female Artist of the Year. She not only accepted on the spot via video but of course introduced the music video for “Delicate” herself. I think it was the best choice, this was a very, truly personal video. Even a little too vulnerable for an artist of her stature. See for yourself.

Watch on YouTube

The video starts with a closeup of Taylor’s face, a happy but almost contented one. Then it takes us into a typical Taylor Swift day getting back to a hotel (the Biltmore hotel in Los Angeles) and with a lot of fans waiting outside. She receives a foreboding note that seems to sparkle. Although flanked by her impressive bodyguards, Taylor does take the time to take a quick snap with some young fans. That seems to cost her dearly as a crazed page lunges at her only to be tackled by her security.

At this point, this can’t help but remind me of the lyrics of “Lucky One”, but this is one is actually, specifically about Taylor. As she sits inside the hotel’s massive ladies room, Taylor makes faces in front of the mirror. They’re not dramatic, they’re goofy, they’re unappealing, there’s rather bluntness about Taylor in this video. She’s not playing a role, she’s… It’s Taylor herself. And then, the magical note seems to grant her one thing she has not had in an age.

Taylor becomes invisible to everyone but the camera. No, it’s not a genie, it’s not a wish granted, you can chalk it up to magic or whatever plot contraption you want. It’s not the how that the video focus on.

Taylor dances. It’s not an elegant, artistic, dance. It’s a free style, goofy, nobody’s-watching, completely carefree dance. And although you feel a joyful freedom for her being able to do that, there’s an innermost sadness that seems to be expressed here. It’s like this is Taylor, a prisoner of her image all over again.

(Source: Big Machine)

As she leaves the hotel and into the streets, there’s a bit of a nostalgic image as she’s literally… dancing in the rain in her best dress… An image that took me all the way back to Fearless and made me smile and cry at the same time. Is that what Taylor can never be again, no matter how much she or other people want her to?

For the final scene, she’s soaking wet walking into a bar with everyone staring. She doesn’t really care, she’s just looking for someone. And when she finds that person, her face lights up.

It’s another video directed by Joseph Kahn, who I know has his detractors due to his personal views, but I’m judging solely on his directorial skills here. I respect other people’s opinions and how some have decided not to watch the video, but it’s Taylor choice who she chooses to work with.

For this video there was no male lead, very little special effects, no robots, nothing special regarding casting and a ton of Taylor dancing. Sometimes, it feels like she’s letting herself flow with the music, other times she has a bit more of a choreography. Nevertheless, it seems like a cathartic moment in the real life of the Sparkly Dressed. It makes me just a little worried about her state of mind, but fortunately she has love in her life and that’s all she needs.

Isn’t it?

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • May 8: Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour begins in Glendale, AZ.

(Sources: Taylor Swift via VEVO)

Delicate music video drops this Sunday, March 11 at the iHeart Music Awards!

I know it’s delicate, Taylor Nation.

On Sunday, May 11, Taylor Swift will release the video for “Delicate” at the iHeart Radio Music Awards.


A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

Now I know what you’re thinking… If Taylor’s music video for “Delicate” is going to premiere at the iHeart Radio Music Awards, then surely she must be attending. Correct?

Possibly? It’s really hard to gage. Taylor is nominated for Female Artist, Lyrics for “Look What You Made Me Do” and Music Video for “Look What You Made Me Do”. Plus Swifties (you’ll always be the “Taylor Nation” to me, sorry) are nominated for Fan Army and her cat Olivia is nominated for Cutest Musician’s Pet (Meredith gets no love I tell you). Based of how little she has been in the public’s eye, I don’t believe her chances to win are high.


Plus, between you and me, I think some awards go by the rule “If you attend is because you’ve been told in advance you’ll win” which I like to call my MTV-awards theory. I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen here, but I’m thinking it might. This is all to say I don’t believe she’s going to show up. As usual, I’d love to be wrong about this one.

Plot twist: Meredith shows up to claim the pet prize wearing an Olivia mask.

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • March 11: iHeart Radio Music Awards including “Delicate” music video release.
  • May 8: Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour begins in Glendale, AZ.

(Sources: Taylor Swift via Instagram)

Tour Talk: Camila Cabello and Charli XCX are the opening acts for the reputation Stadium Tour

This is a reputation stadium tour update, Taylor Nation 🙂

The Blonde With The Sparkly Snake Microphone broke her media silence to announce the opening acts (or two of them at least) for the reputation Stadium Tour. They are pop artists Camila Cabello and Charli XCX.

They’ve got a tough ‘act’ to follow.

The Sparkly Dressed had Kellie Pickler and Gloriana as her openers back in the Fearless Tour (2009-2010). Christian rock band NeedToBreathe opened during The Speak Now Tour (2011-2012). Ed Sheeran was her opener during the Red Tour (2013-2014). Finally the 1989 World Tour (2015) had Vance Joy as the opening act. And here’s an update about what they’re all up to today.

Kellie Pickler joined Dancing With The Stars and won back in 2013 with partner Derek Hough. Kellie started to host a daytime show called Pickler & Ben with comedian Ben Aaron in November 2017.

Gloriana disbanded. They lost band member Cheyenne Kimball in July 2011. Rachel Reinert departed in January 2016. Tom Gossin started touring solo in 2017.

NeedToBreathe still tour, they opened for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw’s Soul2Soul World Tour 2017. They had their song “Multiplied” nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song in 2015.

Ed Sheeran has 13 Grammy nominations and four Grammy wins. He’s still putting out music and of course, cooperated with Taylor Swift as recently as the “End Game” song and music video.

Vance Joy recently released his second studio album in February 23, 2018. He won the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) award for best male singer back in 2015.

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • May 8: Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour begins in Glendale, AZ.

(Sources: Taylor Swift via Twitter)

The reputation prologue: Enjoy the Silence. An Editorial.

I’ve never heard silence quite this loud, Taylor Nation 🙂

The Story Of Us
(Source: Big Machine Records)

Yeah, you knew I was going to use that quote. I’m glad to be back firmly on Taylor Swift subjects. The last two posts were either very personal or rather uncomfortable to write. Now we’re putting the Sparkly Dressed back in the spotlight with a subject that might seem related to the last post, but actually it’s broader than that.

Simply put, Taylor Swift is keeping to herself lately. She’s been economizing her appearances to a few. Yes, she did the Christmas concerts on December last year, but she’s done zero interviews. Before we start with the opinions, let’s have the Blonde With The Sparkly Snake Microphone gives us some insight via the most telling of sources: the introduction/prologue printed in the album sleeve of reputation. At least this gives you a place to look it up online if you ever need to 😉

Here’s something I’ve learned about people.

We think we know someone, but the truth is that we only know the version of them they have chosen to show us. We know our friend in a certain light, but we don’t know them the way their lover does. Just the way their lover will never know them the same way that you do as their friend. Their mother knows them differently than their roommate, who knows them differently than their colleague. Their secret admirer looks at them and sees an elaborate sunset of brilliant color and dimension and spirit and pricelessness. And yet, a stranger will pass that person and see a faceless member of the crowd, nothing more. We may hear rumors about a person and believe those things to be true. We may one day meet that person and feel foolish for believing baseless gossip.

This is the first generation that will be able to look back on their entire life story documented in pictures on the internet, and together we will all discover the after-effects of that. Ultimately, we post photos online to curate what strangers think of us. But then we wake up, look in the mirror at our faces and see the cracks and scars and blemishes, and cringe. We hope someday we’ll meet someone who will see that same morning face and instead see their future, their partner, their forever. Someone who will still choose us even when they see all of the sides of the story, all the angles of the kaleidoscope that is you.

The point being, despite our need to simplify and generalize absolutely everyone and everything in this life, humans are intrinsically impossible to simplify. We are never just good or just bad. We are mosaics of our worst selves and our best selves, our deepest secrets and our favorite stories to tell at a dinner party, existing somewhere between our well-lit profile photo and our drivers license shot. We are all a mixture of our selfishness and generosity, loyalty and self-preservation, pragmatism and impulsiveness. I’ve been in the public eye since I was 15 years old.On the beautiful, lovely side of that, I’ve been so lucky to make music for living and look out into crowds of loving, vibrant people. On the other side of the coin, my mistakes have been used against me, my heartbreaks have been used as entertainment, and my songwriting has been trivialized as ‘oversharing’.

When this album comes out, gossip blogs will scour the lyrics for the men they can attribute to each song, as if the inspiration for music is as simple and basic as a paternity test. There will be slideshows of photos backing up each incorrect theory, because it’s 2017 and if you didn’t see a picture of it, it couldn’t have happened right?

Let me say it again, louder for those in the back…

We think we know someone, but the truth is that we only know the version of them that they have chosen to show us.

There will be no further explanation.
There will be just reputation.

Taylor Swift, reputation

Yeah, the Enchantress sounds kinda fed up with the misinformation around her name. So much so she’s put the world on a diet of her words, her responses and her reactions.This also means no Taylor dancing in the front row of the award show, unfortunately! 😦

She does however appear here and there because she’s usually booked four years in advance, a factoid I learned some years back (if you must know, I legitimately tried to get an interview with the Sparkly Dressed and obviously failed).

Hence, Taylor has some commitments she has to honor such as her British Vogue cover photoshoot and her appearances in AT&T’s Taylor Swift NOW. Other than that she’s done only performances. She really won’t mind meeting fans, but the closest thing that she has had to a late night appearance was on the Tonight Show. I think that was a personal favour for Jimmy Fallon who was coming back after a leave of absence due to his mother’s death. Even then, Taylor only did a low key performance of “New Year’s Day”.

Take this with a grain of salt, but I do expect Taylor to ease up on the hush-hush policy as her tour starts. If you want to talk character, Taylor might be the only artist capable of pulling a move so financially risky as limiting her exposure during an album release and a tour ticket sale and still have the fans remember her name.

(Now resisting to quote “Long Live” here…)

I do still expect certain mainstays in the reputation Tour. She should still have her meets and greets as well as some new incarnation of the T-Party / Club Red / Loft ’89 from tours past. The Rep Crib. Rep Station. Rep City. Who knows…

The point I am trying to make, and I do have one, is that although Taylor doesn’t seem to be talking to radio stations, late night shows, daytime shows, magazines or any media hubs, she will not stop talking to her fans. And hopefully she gets to meet a whole new batch this tour.

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • May 8: Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour begins in Glendale, AZ.

(Sources: Taylor Swift via her reputation album)