Forever and Always / Next Chapter

We go back to December every time, Taylor Nation.

(Source: Taylor Swift via Instagram)

Yes, I know. It feels a bit brutal but these are the days of nostalgia and memory, where we reminisce about the glory days gone by. Perhaps you’re remembering your past concerts, your days of the album release, that time in which you got to see Taylor or the last awards she won (don’t worry, some new accolades might be on the way). Either way, that’s December for you. There was a time in which her tour would extend for more than a year, but this one’s really been condensed and yet packed to the rafters with memories.

New look. The good ole site needed a bit of a revamp. We’re still remodeling here, so mind your step. The profiles section have been reworked into categories, with only Taylor’s profile standing alone. The Agency now only has the current members of the band. Max Bernstein (he’s the long-haired guitar player who joined for the rep Tour) is mentioned on the main page but he doesn’t have his own page yet because he seems to be very private about sharing personal stuff. The Starlights has our beloved singing quartet. Beyond The Agency are the former band members we still know and love. Anybody else is now added to Various, which is only a place holder so you’ll have to use the menus to navigate.

Tours is part of the main menu, but it’s not showing up. I’m not sure what’s that about. Still working on it. Now it should be working. Yay.

The Reputation Stadium Tour now has its own page. It also has the dubious honour of being the first that I miss altogether, but don’t worry I have great memories from all of them. This has been a year of personal growth for me. I can’t really be sad about it.

Additionally, you can also take a look at the list of the surprise b-stage songs and specialg guests on The Reputation Stadium Tour: Surprise Songs and Guests.

The Mother of Fighting Dragons With You has learned how to play the long game. Billboard has announced that the Reputation Stadium Tour has broken the record for the highest grossing US tour since they keep records. Funny now how some critics pronounced it a flop. I’m still miffed and remain skeptical of Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan system, which is one of the reasons I couldn’t really get into it – as much as I accept we live in a capitalist society there’s a point in which consumerism does get to me. I don’t like when we define fans by how much they spend. I’m still not happy with that part of the process.

The tour defied expectations, including mine. I didn’t get to go, it was just not in the cards but I lived it through social media. Rather than constraint the show to fit the smaller venues and then awkwardly trying to spread for the larger ones, the philosophy here was to aim for big venues directly. That means the tour could always count on a rather large space. Hence the huge screens, the secondary stages, the giant catwalk were all build for the stadium experience.

The gamble was even larger with the number of shows. This time there was only stadiums which meant Taylor had to draw very large numbers of hardcore and casual fans plus the willing and the curious altogether. With many naysayers (aka haters) believing Taylor’s time in the spotlight was up (it’s been years and she keeps going, tough luck), her relationship with her fans remains, in her own words “the longest and best relationship I’ve ever had.” They showed up.

But this does set up expectations for the future. She’s transitioned to a new label, Republic Records for the US and Universal Music Group for global distribution. They will want her to keep bringing in the numbers, which means the stadium experiment might repeat itself, as well as the Ticketmaster Verified Fan model. They’ll want to keep things safely for the financial return to come in. As much as I want to keep a candle going for her to tour in Latin America, I don’t see that happening right away at this rate. I’d love to be wrong about this one. Technically, UMG has a greater global reach but remember they were partners with Big Machine before. I don’t expect risks to be on the table for Taylor’s first flight with Republic Records albeit they have a tighter relationship with UMG that Big Machine.

But there’s one variable that might change all that and that’s the Forever and Always Fearless One herself. I know T doesn’t like to be called calculating, but she’s brilliant at what she does both as an entertainer and a business woman. As much trust as she’s willing to put on the shoulders of her new label and global distributor, I put a lot more trust on her own shoulders. I do think she doesn’t know her global reach outside her comfort zone. That means enough US coverage and then the larger cities of UK, Canada, Australia and Japan. Canada means more than Toronto, UMG! Here’s hoping that UMG thinks about places like Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Here’s hoping she visits your neck of the woods too.

Keep reading, I’ll keep writing.

Coming up next in the Calendar:

  • December 13: You will figure it out some day.

(Sources: Twitter, Instagram, Featured Photo: Kevin Mazur for Getty Entertainment)