Swift is “Fearless”
Kate Froehlich, Executive Editor
March 31, 2010
Filed under Arts & Entertainment
In a deafening arena, cheerleaders in yellow and green uniforms tumble across the stage in front of a set of school lockers. As the curtains lift, Taylor Swift emerges, decked out in a classic white band uniform, singing her thrice Grammy Award nominated hit, “You Belong With Me.”
Swift returned to her home state of Pennsylvania and performed at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia on March 18 in front of a sold-out crowd during the 2010 leg of her “Fearless” tour.
Her opening performance summed up the rest of the concert. Throughout the entire concert, Swift made use of visual aids to show the story of her songs, such as creative sets and costumes, most notably during “Teardrops on My Guitar” and “Love Story.”
I was also impressed with the use of videos that enhanced her performance by providing visual appeal. For example the showing of clips of her and Taylor Lautner in the movie “Valentine’s Day” (where he unfortunately was wearing a shirt) during “Today was a Fairytale,” but to also lead into some of her songs, such as “Forever and Always.”
In addition, she honestly sounds better in person than she does recorded, which is an enormous feat for any entertainer. I personally wasn’t a huge fan of Swift’s voice in “Today was a Fairytale,” although the lyrics are wonderful. In concert, however, she hit her notes more clearly and the transitioning between lines in the chorus was less awkward.
Plus, the song ended with red, white, and blue confetti dropping from the ceiling, leaving America well represented. But I digress.
Unfortunately, it was often difficult to hear Swift because the rest of the Wachovia Center screamed the lyrics to her songs louder than she could. That is to be expected – she’s more or less singing the lives of every teenage girl across the country. It’s easy to get caught up in the similarities to your own life.
What surprised me the most about Swift was her commanding stage presence. She is clearly comfortable on stage, when I expected to see her slightly timid. Instead, Swift was a little bit sassy, constantly dancing to herself, unable to stand still, and making good use of the entire stage. This attitude was most obvious during her performance of “Tell Me Why,” the third song on her set list.
Yet, even though Swift was confident on stage, she still looked in awe of her fans as they cheered for her after every song. There was what seemed like humility written all over her face when greeted by her deafening audience.
Her deep appreciation for her fans was show during “Hey Stephen.” Swift entered the arena through the terminal right next to my seats. I honestly feared for my friends’ lives, as they hung over the banisters, nearly tumbling on top of her. Still, Swift maintained her composure, singing in the midst of a crowd of fans attempting to press in on her. Even while hustled along by security after she finished performing the single, Swift hung back to hug her young fans and touch the hands of others.
She also gave some great insight into her views on relationships during a video introducing “Forever and Always.” Swift said, “I figure if guys don’t want me writing songs about them, they shouldn’t do bad things.” I’m pretty sure every single girl in the Wachovia Center screamed out in support of her statement.
Keeping up with the theme that Swift’s fans get most excited about songs that discuss how terrible boys are, the crowd reached its height of insanity during “Picture to Burn.” I was slightly disappointedI fully expected there to be a real fire show during the song.
The only problem came when Swift moved away from her usual All-American girl image and tried to add an artsy element while singing a combination of “You’re Not Sorry” and “What Goes Around Comes Around.” Although Swift sounded better than Justin Timberlake during the actual singing aspect, she and a back up dancer started banging on what looked like a stack of trashcans. Swift, you’re not exactly a Brooklyn hipster. This trash can banging fest went on for long enough that I forgot what the original song even was.
The other disappointment was that Swift didn’t play songs from Fearless Platinum Edition “Fearless.” “Jump then Fall” and “Other Side of the Door” would have been amazing additions to an already very strong set list.
Still, the concert was worth the lack of sleep that comes with getting home at one and waking up at six to go to the senior trip to the Holocaust museum. Swift proved she is a fantastic singer as well as an entertainer which still maintains a close connection with her fans.
Kate Froehlich can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org