Monday, 18 June 2018

Reputation Stadium Tour // Dublin, 15 June 2018


After I went to Taylor Swift's 1989 World Tour in Dublin 3 years ago, I wrote a post detailing my experience. I had such an amazing time then, meeting Taylor's parents and enjoying an incredible show. It is one of my fondest memories, and I smiled for a whole week after it was over. Forget post-concert depression, I was suffering under post-concert elation. 

I'm aware that there are so many mixed opinions on Taylor. She's the type of artist who goes in and out of fame, adoration and scorn all the time. The media tends to be harsh and judgemental when it comes to her, which I think is such a shame. I'm not here to preach or anything, but I feel the need to preface this post by saying that I really really really like Taylor Swift. She is a kind person, treats her fans amazingly well and is also extremely talented. I've only been a fan of hers for about 4 years, but I have had so much fun with her music, videos, tumblr and of course, concerts. I knew I'd enjoy this concert too, but I had no idea just how much I would.


I went with a friend from college, and we had such a great time. It started off with a performance by Charli XCX which was absolutely brilliant. She played about 6 songs and really got the crowd going. She looked beautiful and performed really well. I particularly enjoyed her performances of "Boys" and "Fancy". After a break, Camila Cabello came on stage. Honestly, I didn't enjoy her set quite as much as Charli's, but it was clear to see that she was enjoying herself and had so much energy. Her performance of Havana was extremely fun too. I did not expect to love the support acts as much as I did. Already the kind of expensive tickets seemed so. worth. it.

At this point we decided to take a break from the arena area, and joined the merchandise queue. I really wanted a t-shirt because I'm such a "been there, done that, bought the t-shirt" kind of girl. Unfortunately, just as we were approaching the desk Taylor came on stage. We didn't want to sacrifice the merch, but missed the visuals of her entrance. I danced in the queue as she sang "...Ready for It" and bought a t-shirt as quickly as I could. We got back to our seats as she was midway through her second song. I could hear everything perfectly well from outside, so I didn't miss a lot, just the screens! It was a pity, but I'm still glad I got my merch. 


That was honestly the only negative point of the concert. When we got to our seats, and Ms. Taylor Swift was performing on stage, I beamed so much. She looked so gorgeous, her outfit and makeup and hair were fabulous. She smiled too after finishing songs and hearing the applause. She seemed genuinely delighted to be playing for us. And I was just so happy to see her! It almost felt like a reminder that she's a real person, that she exists in the same realm as I do. And it's so funny for me to hear American accents in real life because they always sound so different to me. Her little speech about being in Ireland was charming and the various segways into different songs were creative and definitely encouraged the crowd.


I may not have met her parents this time, but I honestly think that I enjoyed the show even more. There were aerial elements, there was fire, fireworks, smoke. The lights were enticing. There were huge snakes! There was just an incredible, captivating set of visuals that really made the show so entertaining. The setlist too was just perfect. She has a song on each date the tour that she only plays once, and for us she played "Mean" from Speak Now which is one of my favourite ones of her older songs. I felt so lucky that I got to hear it live. "Love Story", pictured above was so sweet too. I feel like the songs flowed really well into one another and I wouldn't have changed any of the staging or choices in general. Of course there are a few songs that she didn't play that I would love to hear at some point, but I enjoyed songs that I don't even like that much from the album. Basically it was a perfect mixture of old and new.


A high point for me were "Shake It Off" (above) due to colours and the fact that it was her finale song of the 1989 World Tour, so it brought back many memories. Besides, it was the song that really got me into Taylor in the first place, so it's all the more special. She also did a brilliant job of performing "Don't Blame Me" which is easily my favourite song of Reputation. Hearing it live was a whole new level of awe for me. 

Even though we weren't that near to the stage, I really didn't feel we were far either. Taylor had the stage set up so that she would visit different areas of the stadium, and at one point, she was near our side and we had a great view of her. It was amazing to me that she made a stadium which can hold up to 82,000 people feel like an intimate space, and a space so full of happiness and love. Everyone was dancing and having a great time. She really got across the message of loving yourself, and not listening to what others have to say about you, which is the message I really needed when I was 16 and discovering 1989. She had her cool light up bracelets again, which changed colour and lit up at key moments in her performances. That also helped with giving us a greater connection to her. It's so hard to mention everything that was amazing about the night, because there were just so many things that made it special. I actually can't get over how beautiful and radiant she was either. Incredible.

I left feeling so amazing, so happy, just simply in awe. I've been listening to the setlist ever since, I've been rewatching clips I took. I've been looking at others' videos on youtube. Reputation was made to be performed, I think, and it really worked so well on the stage. I have somehow an even greater appreciation for her and her music after this second concert. I'm sorry for how fangirly this is but honestly, high point of my year! I'm not easily blown away, which isn't a positive thing, but still, the fact that my expectations were so far surpassed really blows my mind. 

So, thank you Taylor! I couldn't have had a better time.

Have you been to any concerts lately?

Anna x

all photos taken with the iPhone SE

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