On Saturday 20th June we were in Cologne for the Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour Concert and it was SO MUCH FUN. As I said in an earlier post, I’ve been listening to Taylor’s music since she first started nearly ten years ago and this was the first time I got to see her live, which was awesome.
Since Taylor and I are around the same age, I sort of feel like I’ve grown up with her through the years. Well written lyrics are really important to me in music, and I’ve always admired the way she writes and how honest she is in her songwriting. It takes a certain kind of strength to show your own vulnerability like that to strangers but I think that is also why everyone can relate to her songs so well.
The concert took place at Lanxess Arena in Cologne and it was a totally sold out show with 15,000 people all together! The concert was supposed to start at 7:30 PM, so we got there about half an hour early. After our bags were checked at the doors, we were each given a white plastic wristband that we were told would come in handy later.
The arena was huge but to my absolute delight, our seats were about 10 metres from the right side of the stage so we had a really good view. While we waited for the show to start, the big screens in the arena played different video clips about Taylor.
Most of them I had seen before, like the making of the Shake It Off and Blank Space music videos and some I hadn’t seen; mini interview clips with Taylor about random things like what subject she liked in school (English) and didn’t like (Maths). There was also trivia quiz questions about Taylor and videos about her 1989 Secret Sessions.
Seven thirty came and went and suddenly Taylor’s opening act James Bay was on stage. James sang most of the songs from his debut album Chaos And The Calm and of course, he left his most famous song Hold Back The River until last. His voice was amazing live!
After James Bay had finished and left the stage, we waited for about ten minutes and then the plastic wristbands we’d been given at the door all simultaneously started flashing in time to the opening beats of Welcome To New York and suddenly – there she was!
TAYLOR. In the flesh! Ten metres away! It’s a pretty weird feeling to see someone that you’d only seen on screens for so long suddenly right in front of you, in real life, but it was an awesome moment none the less.
I guess I missed the memo about sign making because so many people in the crowd had prepared huge signs that lit up in the dark and they looked so cool along with the 15,000 wristbands that flashed different colours in time with the music. It was literally a sea of lights.
I think everyone appreciates the effort of someone trying to speak their language and Taylor used a couple of German words during the show. She said Köln instead of Cologne, she counted the audience down with eins zwei drei and I even heard her say wunderbar a couple of times.
I have to say my favourite stage performance was probably How You Get The Girl. The stage went dark and Taylor’s dress lit up in pink lights as all of her dancers did their dance sequence with umbrellas and suits that lit up in different colours. It looked so cool, I wish I had recorded that one!
For the next few songs, the runway part of the stage suddenly moved upwards and around so that Taylor was sailing 360 degrees over the crowd whilst singing. She made the audience sing the ‘eh eh eh’ background vocals as she sang an acoustic version of Wonderland on her guitar.
In between songs, Taylor would just chat to the audience, first thanking everyone for travelling such long distances to get to the concert and giving up their Saturday night for her.
Then she went on to drop pearls of wisdom to her largely impressionable audience about being yourself and saying that making mistakes and failing does not make you damaged goods, but makes you a stronger and wiser person instead – much stronger than someone who didn’t make any mistakes at all.
After introducing the song as her first international hit, Taylor sang a remixed version of Love Story. I really wonder how many times she has sung this song over the past nine years or so – do you think artists can get tired of singing their own songs?
Style is one of my favourites from 1989 and the live version did not disappoint! I actually recorded this one, so I will try and put up the video soon.
In between songs, some interviews with Taylor’s friends would come on screen. The clips featured Abigail Anderson, Karlie Kloss, Lena Dunham, Jaime King, Selena Gomez, Lily Aldridge, Cara Delevinge and (my favourite) Haim. They talked about the first time they met Taylor, when they heard 1989 first, what they do when they all hang out and even some advice about love and relationships.
I really like this female celebrity friendship thing that Taylor promotes; all too often in our patriarchal society we’re taught to view other women as competition to tear down but it’s so refreshing to see famous and powerful women banding together as friends. We we are truly at our best when we build each other up.
My favourite vocal performance was definitely when Taylor sang a mash up of Enchanted and Wildest Dreams on piano. These two are right up there in my all time favourites and the mash up of the two was just magic.
After the piano mash up, Taylor’s ball gown turned into a one piece sparkly tree branch patterned suit – so it was obviously time for Out Of The Woods. The video clip on screen featured two foxes running through the forest (naturally) and Taylor’s dancers were on stage waving about huge paper airplanes attached to poles.
After Taylor sang Bad Blood, she suddenly got out an electric guitar and started playing an awesome rock version of We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. I really like how she changes the arrangements of her older songs to make them different for the concert, like with the Love Story remix and Enchanted mash up too.
Last but not least was of course Shake It Off, which ended the concert with a bang (literally, because fireworks went off). The show was basically a two and a half hour Taylor mass dance party and it was so much fun – there was never a dull moment! I would definitely go again if I had the chance…thanks for the memories Taylor!
So, did you enjoy my post about Taylor’s concert?
Have you already been to/planning to go to one of her 1989 Tour dates?