The rep tour in Seattle, WA: Holy Ground

The news of her death were greatly exagerated, Taylor Nation.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who once in a while feels like being petty, we have to exercise great self-restraint not to call out certain articles. Although I don’t like when people call things wrong, it doesn’t feel right to call out professional news reporters even when they were too quick to judge.

Instead, for an example of great accurate reporting, try Los Angeles Magazine. They did an amazing review, casually mentioning a few news article who were too hasty in predicting a downfall. The rep tour, they accurately report, “isn’t a disaster – it’s a victory lap.” I couldn’t agree more. It’s a recommended read.

On May 22, the CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington once again prove the rep tour is not dead at all. The Seattle Times does give her props, albeit they believe her voice was lost amidst the production. They do credit her for the final result. I quote: “Swift gave a master class in how to cap a stadium gig with what was refreshingly more of a knockout finale than applause-hungry encore (though cheer they did).”

The secret song was “Holy Ground” from T’s Red Album.

The Sparkly Dressed also had to one less ally last night as Camila Cabello had to sit this one out due to be dehydrated. Not surprising given her stanning moments and her performance at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 20. Both Taylor and opening act Charli XCX made sure that the crowd knew Camila was missed. They had to perform “Shake It Off” without her.

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • May 25: Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Denver, CO.
  • May 27: Taylor headlines BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend in Swansea, Wales.
  • June 1& 2: Soldier Field. Chicago, IL.

(Sources: Los Angeles Magazine, Seattle Times. Featured Photo: CenturyLink Field via Twitter)

The 2018 Billboard Music Awards: Taylor Swift returns!

She’s back in the award circle, Taylor Nation.

The Blonde With The Sparkly Snake Microphone broke the award hiatus and attended the 2018 Billboard Music Awards last night, May 20.  She was there to have fun. She was there to dance. And as it turns out, she was also there to win Top Female Artist and Top Selling Album for reputation. What a comeback!

Too bad there wasn’t time for a performance. I wouldn’t mind seeing break some of the concealed hits from reputation that are not singles yet. A little “I Did Something Bad” or “Don’t Blame Me” would have made it so much sweeter. That being said, it was a great night for some award winning! She started with Top Female Artist.

That would’ve made the night already a comeback, but then she follows it up with Top Selling Album. If this is not slaying, then someone tell me what is!

And then there’s the shouting- I mean, the media press room backstage. Oh boy. This I bet wasn’t missed. She still smiled like a trooper through the whole thing.

I gotta give props to Camila for stealing the show, first stanning the heck out of Taylor from the sidelines as well as for her performance and winning the Billboard Chart Achievement Award.

Here’s Taylor first win and speech via The River. This is when she transitioned from “last minute guest” to “comeback as winner” 😉

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • May 22: CenturyLink Field. Seattle, WA.
  • May 25: Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Denver, CO.
  • May 27: Taylor headlines BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend in Swansea, Wales.

(Sources: Billboard Music Awards, Billboard and 1075 The River via Twitter. Featured photo: MTV via Twitter)

The rep tour in Pasadena, CA: Secret songs and special guests!

We march to the beat of our own drum, Taylor Nation.

There is always something extra about going to a Taylor Swift concert in California. The Sparkly Dressed played the Rose Bowl for the first time, with 60K people attending. I know for a lot of fans, this means celebs in attendance. I’ve always tried to downplay celeb worship (or “star power” if you prefer) because fame doesn’t equal talent and neither equals wisdom. That’s why I was a bit iffy on the whole 1989 tour thing during “Style” where T would bring out a star parade (for the record I still love the song). I prefer when the talent actually performs on stage.

On Friday, May 18, Taylor brought back another secret (or surprise) song with “Red”. In my range of favorites, it doesn’t rank too high or too low. It’s mostly a mid-tier song with a some good lines but it’s really a Red Era track. Good memories, but it doesn’t need to stay in the setlist (and now I have Stay stuck in my head. So it goes. Oh, now it’s that one).

Taylor also brought out a special guest and former tour opener, Shawn Mendez. They took to the stage together for “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”.

Saturday night, May 19, brought along several surprises. “All Too Well” was the secret song, deservedly so.

Taylor also welcomed to the stage two special guests. Troye Sivan took the stage to sing “My, My, My” with the songstress.

She also brought out BFF Selena Gomez who joined Taylor to perform her hit “Hands To Myself”.

Selena also took the moment to embarrass her friend with a thank you speech.

I have to say thank you to my best friend of 12 years, almost 13. And the reason why she’s been one of my best friends is because this person has never ever judged a single decision I’ve made. She’s always met me where I’ve been, she’s encouraged me when I have had nothing to be encouraged about and I don’t know if I’d be as strong as I am if I didn’t have you and your family because you’ve changed my life.

And… She’s going to kill me after… But honestly, thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting someone who I know is the most beautiful, strong and independent woman I’ve ever met. So thank you, as her best friend.

Selena Gomez at the Rose Bowl during the rep tour concert. May 19, 2018.

Yes, some might say that was rehearsed and I’m falling the trap of celeb worship regardless. I found it nice that two people can remain friends like that.

Also, one bonus tweet+pic from Chris Willman from the Friday show. Love this one.

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • May 22: CenturyLink Field. Seattle, WA.
  • May 25: Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Denver, CO.
  • May 27: Taylor headlines BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend in Swansea, Wales.

(Sources: Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. Featured Photo: Christopher Polk for Getty Entertainment)

The rep tour in Santa Clara, CA: The reviews are in!

There are things that will remain the same, Taylor Nation.

rep-tour-Santa-Clara
(Source: @TaylorNation13)

T-Swizzle has started received glowing reviews for her rep tour concert opening on May 8 in Glendale, AZ. Rolling Stone‘s review said “No pop star goes to such absurd extremes to avoid repeating herself, even when repeating herself would be more than good enough.”

It’s also getting some five-star reviews for her rep tour concerts for May 11 and 12 in Santa Clara, CA. The Mercury News reported that Taylor, “definitely lived up to even the loftiest expectations, delivering what was pretty much a perfect pop spectacle”. However, they do think “She harbors a grudge like nobody’s business”. It’s still a great review and you can read the original article here.

The San Francisco Chronicle though she “emerged ready for battle” and “she no longer wants to shake it off – she wants to smash it up” which I think might be reading way too much into it. They also got way too much in the celeb-feuds but I guess some people enjoy that. You can read the original article here.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who doesn’t think Taylor fights personal demons every night, we believe the songs might have been inspired from certain feelings at the time of crafting but have gained a different life of their own. In other words, I don’t think Taylor is reliving her past every time she sings “Love Story” or her heart is breaking up every time she sings “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. The inspiration was a memory, the song itself is not a play by play of the event.

Back in the day, “Taylor Swift” (the album) and “Fearless” were a lot more autobiographical. She’s lessened the catharsis of using songs to get over a breakup and just use her experiences from the past into her songwriting. Songs are no longer individually nor uniquely correlated to one relationship. I think that is also the reason she stopped putting the hidden messages into songs. I we could all forget trying to find the scandal and listen to the song we might enjoy it more.

The setlist has gone through a few changes. I’m now counting “Style” along with “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me” as one performance. “Call It What You Want” which was mid set is now before the ending number. I don’t have “All Too Well” being played on Friday but it seems that it was the secret song as “The Best Day” was played on Sunday. I’m just glad that “Long Live / New Year’s Day” is going to remain in the roster.

On news that everyone already knew, the secret song is a thing again and “The Best Day” was dedicated by Taylor to her mom for the concert on Saturday.

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • May 11 & 12: Levi’s Stadium. Santa Clara, CA.
  • May 18 & 19: Rose Bowl. Pasadena, CA.
  • May 22: CenturyLink Field. Seattle, WA.
  • May 25: Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Denver, CO.
  • May 27: Taylor headlines BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend in Swansea, Wales.

(Sources: Rolling StoneMercury NewsSan Francisco Chronicle, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube)

The rep tour opens in Glendale, AZ: The setlist and other spoilers

Ssspoilersss lie ahead, Taylor Nation.

rep-tour-glendale
(Source: Getty Images via @TaylorNation13)

Taylor Swift.

She once was country, then she reinvented herself as pop. Now old Taylor Swift has faced ridicule and shame over a half truth that supposedly “killed” her image of innocent pop princess and she’s come back bearing the snake as a badge. I have some reservations on whether that badge is even relevant at this point. There was certainly enough songs from previous eras to throw away the idea that Taylor needs to shed any of her past. However, she has certainly evolved.

She’s also joined Cobra from G.I. Joe apparently. Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes. Be prepare to see a lot of them on the rep tour.

Random rant: the fact that we’re not supposed to capitalize the word “rep” is giving the grammar cop in me anxiety issues.

Let’s start with what everyone is going crazy about: the setlist. Take a look at this thing. Not in a million years would I have expected “Long Live” to make it back in. I also had resigned myself to never hear a live rendition of “All Too Well”. This is a fan’s dream playlist.

  1. … Ready For It?
  2. I Did Something Bad
  3. Gorgeous
  4. Style
  5. Love Story / You Belong With Me
  6. Look What You Made Me Do
  7. End Game
  8. King of My Heart
  9. Call It What You Want
  10. Delicate
  11. Shake It Off (featuring Camila Cabello and Charli XCX)
  12. Dancing With Our Hands Tied
  13. All Too Well (Guitar)
  14. Blank Space
  15. Dress
  16. Bad Blood / Should Have Said No
  17. Don’t Blame Me
  18. Long Live / New York’s Day (Piano)
  19. Getaway Car
  20. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together / This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

The meshes are simply a work of love and care. How do you bring back a classic song and make it new and relevant again? You mesh it. “Love Story” turning into “You Belong With Me” was sweet. The infamous “Bad Blood” turning into “Should Have Said No” lends a second life to both songs. But the stadium hymn “Long Live” becoming the quiet “New York’s Day” on the piano was a work of art. I didn’t see that coming.

Neither did I imagine the closer, but holy crap does it fit. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” turning into “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” not only brings together the two screaming sing-a-longs but also melds the songs with the longest titles that Taylor has ever written (so far).

There are some wildcards in there.  “All Too Well” might be replaced at some point, but hopefully remains in the rotation. Guess the same could go for the piano mesh, but I’d really like to hear this playlist as is. More than two hours? Considering she’s fit 20 songs and four of them are meshes, this bring up the count to a whopping 24 songs per concert.

So, do you want to see what the concert is like? I’m going to leave it up to you. You decide if you want to watch below.

No, obviously it’s not cool to give away every spoiler from last night. Let’s leave some for the next concert. Yes, I know you know about the thing with the other thing during the thing.

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • May 8: Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour begins in Glendale, AZ.
  • May 11 & 12: Levi’s Stadium. Santa Clara, CA.
  • May 18 & 19: Rose Bowl. Pasadena, CA.
  • May 22: CenturyLink Field. Seattle, WA.
  • May 25: Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Denver, CO.
  • May 27: Taylor headlines BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend in Swansea, Wales.

(Sources: Twitter, Instagram, YouTube)