Sunday, December 13, 2015

Light Up Bracelets, Awkward Dancing and Eavesdropping on Strangers: A Taylor Swift Concert Recap

random tidbits from my life.

In honour of Taylor Swift's turning 26 today, I'm going to be finally posting my Taylor Swift concert recap! Yay! 

If you've been following me for a while, you might / probably know that I love Taylor Swift. She is one of my favourite artists for a number of reasons:
  • Her songs are all SO good and catchy, perfect for shout-singing along to
  • She is a lyrical genius (see State of Grace, Clean, All Too Well, Sad Beautiful Tragic)
  • Her outfits are SO CUTE (honestly Taylor Swift in her autumnal attire is what I ASPIRE TO)
Plus she seems like a genuinely nice person? Like I know that's her brand and it's what she's known for and she's probably spent a LOT of time cultivating the image of being girl-next-door and relatable but I also feel like that's a tough act to sell if you aren't at least mostly a nice and relatable and charming person, you know? And from watching interviews and seeing her in concert, I just think she's really intelligent. She's very articulate and obviously knows what she's doing and takes control of her business in a very savvy way and is obviously very musically gifted so YOU KNOW. Major admiration for her.

1989 came out last October and honestly? I don't think I've stopped playing it since. I feel like it HAS to be my favourite album from her just by virtue of how many times I've played it but also Red so I don't know but it really is a damn good record okay. So anyway, when she announced she was going on a world tour for 1989, I was like I NEED TO GET TICKETS. I saw her during the Red Tour when she came to Toronto and it was absolutely FANTASTIC so I just knew I had to get tickets for 1989.

I ended up going with my friend Paige. We went on night 1 of her dates in Toronto which was the first Friday of October (October the 2nd). The day before, I had somehow contracted a really bad case of the stomach flu and literally puked my stomach out all day. Ended up going to the hospital where I stayed until 3 the next day (so Friday). Took the day off school and was MIRACULOUSLY healthy enough to at least walk and not have to sit down every 30 seconds. My vomiting had subsided which was FANTASTIC and all I really had were stomach cramps which were manageable. 

So I ended up taking the subway to Union Station where I then waited for my friend Paige. And for some reason, I always way underestimate how big Toronto is and it isn't until I go to like a concert or a play or something like that when I realize holy shit there are so many people in Toronto. Literally SWARMS of people of all ages dressed in Taylor gear. Which was very helpful because, as I joked to Paige, it was kinda like follow the ants. If you've ever been around Front St / Wellington in Toronto (like Union Station vicinity), you know that it is literally the WORST and MOST CONFUSING part of Toronto. There are literally no signs to tell you how to get from point A to point B and if you don't know where you're going, tough luck. But because there were so many people all going to the concert and it was easy to discern who's who, even if we didn't know where we were going, we could have literally just followed the crowd all leading to Rogers Centre.

Once we actually got to Rogers Centre, it was probably around 6 but we hadn't eaten dinner yet so we decided to walk around and find a place to eat. We were going to go to this really nice Italian restaurant but there was a LINE so we ended up going to this Japanese sushi place across from the TIFF Bell Lightbox. It was basically like a make-your-own-sushi place which was so cool! I ended up getting a sweet potato tempura and avocado roll with barbecue eel sauce. SO GOOD. And then we walked back to Rogers Centre at which point it was maybe around 6:50 and SHAWN MENDES WAS GOING TO START PERFORMING but the lines were soooo long. Like at least 1 km and a bit more so we ended up budding in line which obviously is wrong but also like I kinda feel like at that point, it's kinda fair game for everyone? Because the line was SO long and if I was in line, I would have totally welcomed people budding because dude, I UNDERSTAND. Or maybe I'm just saying this to make myself feel better?

(excuse the quality of my pictures, took them with my crappy camera but this was the view of the stage from our seats)

But anyway, we ended up getting into the stadium maybe a little bit after Shawn first came on. AND WE HAD REALLY GOOD SEATS. For the Red concert, I was like all the way back in the 500s, like maybe 520? LITERAL NOSEBLEEDS. TAYLOR WAS LESS THAN AN ANT TO ME. SHE WAS A SPECK. But this time, we got seats in the 113s which were pretty solid! I kinda think floor seats are only good if you're literally right beside the stage but otherwise they're kinda shitty because you have to look over everyone's heads which is a dealbreaker for me because I'm 5'2" so you know.

(my seats at the Red concert two years ago, way up in the 500's - obviously zoomed in with my camera a LOT)

But yeah we got good seats and Shawn was really good. I remember watching his Vines ages ago and though I've never been a huge fan, it's nice to see someone from Toronto make it big! And truth be told, I've definitely morphed into a Shawn fan since the concert. LIKE NEVER BE ALONE AND STITCHES AND NO STRINGS ATTACHED ARE SUCH JAMS.

And then Vance Joy came on! Who was really charming and came out with a Blue Jays cap. He sang a few songs and a cover of Stay With Me. Honestly I only vaguely remember his setlist because I'm not super familiar with his album (although I've listened to it a bit since the concert and I can't say I'm the biggest fan of it as a whole? Though there are some songs I definitely love) but he for sure performed Riptide, Georgia and Fire and the Flood.


There was probably forty five minutes from when his setlist ended and Taylor was about to come on so me and Paige ended up walking around. We walked to the floor just to see what it was like and then visited the Blue Jays benches and then went back up to the concession stand area for food and that was also where they had the Taylor Swift Nation photo booth and Taylor's display cases of her clothes which was really interesting because it means she actually probably buys a lot of the dresses she wears for events and such. Which is so cool? So we got to see her Blank Space Ralph Lauren costume on the horse, the EW! Natalie on Fallon costume, the Zuhair Murad she wore to the AMAs (I think? Or Billboard Awards?) from a few years back and her Shake It Off costume!

We got back to our seats right as Taylor came on stage and opened her concert with Welcome to New York which was SO GOOD. I took one picture and then gave up trying to document my evening because my camera sucks.

She was so good and I had so much fun dancing and singing along to her but the ONLY downside to the concert was that I was sitting next to a girl I feel was probably a little drunk or maybe just clueless because she kept on WHIPPING ME IN THE FACE WITH HER HAIR and NEARLY GOUGING OUT MY EYES FROM HER ARM WAVING. And at some points she actually like grabbed me by the shoulders and started to sing with me which is like, okay I don't mind strangers and I'm sure you're really nice and I don't mind this as much as I do you nearly hitting me in the face but still personal space!! And then she like started to talk to the guys sitting in front of us and I was eavesdropping on their conversation and it was weird but also very interesting. And then at one point she just yelled FUCKING SIT DOWN and I'm like okayyy. BUT IT WAS ENTERTAINING and made my night more memorable so that's gotta count, right?

But anyway, I had a lot of fun, jumping and dancing even though I said I wouldn't because of my stomach cramps. Taylor was fantastic and put on a great show. Red was awesome but 1989 was maybe even better. Her dancers were fantastic and there were such cool props and you could probably google all of this if you wanted to but yeah it was fab! Also the light up bracelets were so cool! They lit up automatically during the entire show, switching colours and it was just the coolest thing and so smart. Also I loved how during her transitions (by the way, such fast costume changes!!), she had little videos of each of her friends talking about their friendship and stuff like that and also the graphics during some of the songs were so great like Clean and WANEGBT (by the way, HER CLEAN SPEECH. ICONIC) I loved her renditions of I Knew You Were Trouble, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and Love Story and also when she looped Blue Jays during Blank Space, that was AWESOME. She sang You Belong With Me for her surprise song and then brought out Keith Urban! Who I was excited about because you know, anyone famous is exciting but I was hoping for Drake even though that would have been unlikely and obviously even if she could, she probably wouldn't have brought out The Weeknd or Alanis Morisette out again (even though I WOULD HAVE DIED FOR ALANIS) but Keith Urban was still so cool! And he sang Someone Like You and John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.

And then she sang a few more songs, ended with Shake It Off and that was it. AND I WAS SAD but I also had such a fun time. Was hoping to hear her sing All You Had to Do Was Stay though because that was one of my favourite songs off 1989 but obviously time restraints but anyway SO GOOD. It made me wish I had gotten tickets to night 2 as well so I could relive the magic although obviously I would never have been able to afford both of them and obviously I'm grateful I got to see her at all. Also side notes / reflections from the concert: some fan costumes were SO GOOD. Honestly it's so cool how much effort people put into them! There was this really cool looking Bad Blood style poster two people made and it's hard to explain but it was fantastic. Also Taylor is such a great performer obviously but I think her strength is in making a giant concert still feel very intimate and like she's connecting to each and every one of us individually. ALSO SHE WORE MY FAVOURITE STYLE OUTFIT.

Nearly two months later and I'm still reminiscing about this concert by replaying 1989 over and over. Hopefully you enjoyed reading my recap although I think you deserve a prize if you even read the entire thing because wow that means so much to me that you'd put up with my rambling for so long.

Tell me in the comments if you've ever seen Taylor in concert or what your favourite song off of 1989 is! And then also, who's the best person you've ever seen live in concert just for fun! 

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