Gig Reviews

Taylor Swift + Vance Joy – AAMI Park, Melbourne 11/12/15

I often feel like I’m way too basic to write for Music Feeds. Like, for a good year I didn’t realise City & Colour was one man and I only got on board the Chet Faker train post-Ellen DeGeneres. But, last night, the mothership came to my rescue. Taylor Swift, cultish leader and ruler of the world, set Melbourne alight in a display which left me proud to be basic and brainwashed. I was basic, I was a Swiftie, and I was home.

Vance Joy warmed up the sea of blue and yellow pom poms, sleek fringes and red lips (guilty) with fan favourites like Fire And The Flood and the genius that is Georgia.

Thanking Tay Tay for her beautiful cover of Riptide — the moment which marks the beginning of his ascent into the Swift Squad — was a full circle moment Oprah herself would have been proud of. Not that she was there. Nor were any other special guests, so let’s just get that out of the way. Penultimate performance, no celeb guests — but haters gonna hate hate hate.

As the sun set on AAMI Park and our former lives, our glowing wristbands (or Taylor-Triggers, if you will) activated. Our collective powers combined and there, not unlike Captain Planet, appeared our fearless leader.

Taylor stormed the stage, all leggy and beautiful, and nailed 1989 tracks New York, New Romantics and feminist anthem Blank Space. Talking to the adoring crowd, she made it clear she truly cares about all of us. Taylor is my best friend. Taylor gets me.

Costume changes were masked by wailing guitar solos and somewhat self-indulgent videos of the Girl Squad/Peacekeepers pledging their allegiance to President Swift. Speeches about dancing to the beat of your own drum and not letting cliques and bullies have any influence over your mind were ironically abundant. No one controls your thoughts. No one can tell you how to live your life. You are your own person — Taylor says so.

Country nostaligia was rife with the beauty of Enchanted and the throwback to early hits Fifteen and Love Story, while dark and sexy spins on tracks like Trouble and We Are Never Getting Back Together were punched out with new life.

The 1989 World Tour was, of course, all about the album of the same name, and each track proved as wonderful as the next. With co-writers like Ryan Tedder (I Know Places), Jack Antanoff (I Wish You Would) and Imogen Heap (Clean), Taylor’s album and tour have been a celebration of her rebirth into pure pop music. How You Get The Girl (and not the four Smirnoff Blacks) made me feel loved and happy while the utopia that was Out Of The Woods made me sure that everything was going to be okay.

Tay Tay saved us from the encore fake-out, closing the show with her mega-hit Shake It Off, the crowd on their feet and roaring every word, as they had all night. With one more Melbourne show left, wrapping the juggernaut that has been The 1989 World Tour, Taylor will wake up on Sunday to her 26th birthday, having earned a rest and the title of Queen Of The World. Until then, we are left to wander our meaningless lives awaiting her return. Until then, Basic Bitches.

Taylor Swift’s current Australian tour wraps up with yet another show in Melbourne tonight, Saturday, 12th December.

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