Tag: Music

Cologne: The Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour Concert

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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.

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The golden tickets

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.

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Lanxess Arena

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.

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The making of Shake It Off

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.

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Opening act – James Bay

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!

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Welcome To New York!

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!

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New Romantics

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.

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I Knew You Were Trouble
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My favourite photo I took of Taylor

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.

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Taylor’s eye on screen

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.

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15,000 wristbands lit up in How You Get The Girl

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!

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Acoustic version of Wonderland

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.

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Taylor on screen

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.

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Love Story remix

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?

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Style

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.

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Haim

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.

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Enchanted/Wildest Dreams mash 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.

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Out Of The Woods

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.

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We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

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.

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Paper confetti rain

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!

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Auf Wiedersehen Köln!

 


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?


TSWT

Col

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New Zealand Music Artists You Need To Listen To Right Now

May is known as New Zealand Music Month and there has been a lot of amazing talent coming out of the NZ music scene in recent years. Here are some awesome Kiwi music artists, besides Lorde, that you need to know about, stat.

Kimbra

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One word to describe Kimbra: majestic. You may remember her from Gotye’s hit song Somebody That You Used To Know, but she is so much more than that. Kimbra is one of those rare artists who touches your soul and takes you away into another realm whenever she performs. I am spellbound by her every time.

Kimbra is from Hamilton and is now based in Los Angeles. She’s won a lot of awards, including two joint Grammys with Gotye for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group performance. She has released two albums to date – the first called Vows (2011) and the second called The Golden Echo (2014).

This is my favourite version of her song As You Are, by far. I don’t know how she does it, but this video tore me down and built me back up again in the space of seven minutes.

Favourite songs: As You Are, WithdrawSettle Down and Two Way Street

The Official Website of Kimbra


Hayley Westenra

Hayley Westenra singing at the 2015 Cricket World Cup opening ceremony in Christchurch

Hayley Westenra is from Christchurch (yay!) and she is a classical crossover artist who has sung songs all over the world in over ten languages. She released her first album at age 16 called Pure (2003), which reached number one on the UK classical charts and has sold more than two million copies worldwide.

Hayley has released more than ten studio albums to date and she is also a UNICEF Ambassador who has helped various charities worldwide. Do you need any more reason to fall in love with her? I don’t think so.

I’ve always loved the way she sings this Māori love song called Pokarekare Ana. She has the voice of an absolute angel.

The Official Website of Hayley Westenra


Broods

Caleb and Georgia Nott from Broods

Broods, the sibling act consisting of Georgia and Caleb Nott from Nelson are making electropop waves in the music industry at the moment. They won the Smokefree Rock Quest music competition in 2011 as part of a band called The Peasants. It was there that they met and started collaborating with music producer Joel Little, who also produced Lorde’s 2013 hit single Royals. They released their first album called Evergreen in 2014.

Favourite songs: Bridges, Mother and Father and Never Gonna Change

The Official Website of Broods


Benny Tipene

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Benny Tipene is from Palmerston North and got famous from the first season of New Zealand’s The X Factor, where he finished third. He released his debut album in 2014 called Bricks and it is one of those albums where every song is good – there’s not one song that I don’t like on it and that’s pretty rare.

I admit I’m a bit of a Benny fan so I may be biased, but you should definitely check out some of his songs. His latest single is called Lanterns.

Favourite songs: Lonely, Step on UpOpen Ending and Make You Mine

Benny Tipene Facebook Page


Brooke Fraser

Brooke Fraser is from Wellington and is one of the most popular recording artists of all time in New Zealand. Her first album was released in 2003 called What to Do with Daylight and debuted at number one on the charts. I’ve always loved her music since her first album and I’m still really fond of her older songs, although her new stuff is good too.

Brooke has also helped a lot of people through World Vision as an Artist Associate since 2001. Her second album called Albertine (2006) was based on her experiences in Rwanda. Her latest single is called Kings and Queens.

Favourite soungs: Lifeline, Saving the World, Deciphering Me and Albertine

The Official Website of Brooke Fraser


Six60

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Six60 is a five piece band who formed in Dunedin while studying at the University of Otago together. They named the band after the street address of their house they lived in together. Their self-titled first album was released in 2011 and debuted at number one on the New Zealand charts and was certified gold within the first week of release.

Favourite songs: Only to Be, Don’t Forget Your Roots and Forever

The Official Website of Six60


Gin Wigmore

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Gin Wigmore is from Auckland and her claim to fame came when she wrote a song tribute to her father called Hallelujah, which won an international song writing competition in 2004. She went on to release two studio albums called Holy Smoke (2009) and Gravel and Wine (2011) with her third album Blood to Bone due to be released in June. Gin’s voice may be a bit of an acquired taste for some, but I’ve always been a fan!

Favourite songs: These roses, Hallelujah, Too Late for Lovers and I Do

Official Website of Gin Wigmore


Beau Monga
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Beau Monga is from Manurewa and was the winner of the second season of The X Factor New Zealand. His parents are part of a music group called Ardijah and Beau himself can sing, beatbox and breakdance. His winner’s single is called King and Queen.

In Beau’s first audition he did a version of Hit the Road Jack using a loop pedal and it was just awesome.

Beau Monga Facebook Page


Ginny Blackmore

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Ginny Blackmore is from Auckland and is most well-known for her 2013 hit single called Bones. She has previously written songs for Christina Aguilera and Adam Lambert and was the opening act for One Republic’s New Zealand concerts. She has an upcoming album called Over the Moon due to be released this year.

Favourite songs: Bones, Holding You and Sing for Me

Ginny Blackmore Facebook Page


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So, did you enjoy these awesome acts from the New Zealand music scene?

Do you have any favourites?