2013 has been a huge year for superstar Taylor Swift. The country – pop crossover singer toured across America, New Zealand and Australia on The Red Tour. Just days before her concert in Melbourne, Swift celebrated her 24th birthday and received a grammy nomination for album of the year for RED. This all made Taylor’s last live concert for 2013 just that extra bit special.
Neon Trees opened the show with a bang, performing with infectious energy and enthusiasm. This is definitely a band to see live, as they sounded exceptional and had an abundance of charisma and stage presence, especially lead singer Tyler Glenns. Crowd favourites were chart hits Animal and Everybody Talks, with the audience on their feet singing along.
Next to hit the stage was the most successful Australian male artist to date, Guy Sebastian. Fans were delighted to see their favourite aussie singer in action, barely pausing as he performed a variety of hit songs. These were mostly from his Armageddon album, opening with a lively version of Gold. Highlights from Guy included the ever popular Battle Scars, his most recent single Like A Drum and a jazzed up version of Like It Like That which became a mashup with Macklemore’s Thrift Shop.
Then it was the moment everybody had been waiting for. 47,000 people waited in anticipation for Taylor, and this was a mixture of girls from six years old to their twenties, mothers, girlfriends, boyfriends made to go, the odd group of guys in their twenties and chaperone dads. The demographic range that is Taylor Swift’s fanbase is truly astonishing and they were all rewarded with a dynamic opening of State of Grace. As the song came to an end, Swift could barely get a word in edge ways as she was greeted with thunderous applause and the entire audience on their feet.
Holy Ground was performed next and included a fantastic drum solo in which Taylor herself also played a drum. She then preceeded to tell the audience why the album and tour had been named ‘Red’. To Swift colours represent emotions and intense, bold red represents all aspects of love and relationships to her. Her performance of Red showcased a beautiful red guitar and a spectacular guitar solo from Taylor and guitarist Paul Sidoti. As Swift talked of her 24th birthday in Melbourne, the crowd spontaneously erupted into the ‘Happy Birthday’ song, bringing a smile to the popstar’s face.
An energetic and playful performance of 22 saw Swift travel to the back of the stadium to perform on a small stage. She stayed there to sing Begin Again and You Belong With Me, before travelling back to the main stage whilst singing Sparks Fly. This gave Swift a chance to see the effort fans had put into creating their costumes especially for the concert. The acoustic performance of You Belong With Me was particuarly touching, with the starlet asking the crowd the join her in singing one of her most well known hits.
My personal highlight was I Knew You Were Trouble. Arguably the most popular song off the RED album to date, from the set to costumes and choreography, the performance exuded drama and edge. A dubstep like dance break in the middle of the song added to the impressive performance. This was contrasted with her next song All Too Well, which Swift sung whilst playing a red piano. This was an intimate and vulnerable performance which brought Taylor to tears, as the crowd cheered her on to show their support.
The last number of the show was catchy break up tune We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. The stage was transformed into a circus, with Swift as the ringmaster. Woodland characters and circus performers danced across the stage as Taylor was suspended over the middle of the crowd and confetti rained on the audience.
Swift’s vocals were exceptional and flawless throughout the entire concert. She sounded exactly the same as her recordings, which is a rare thing for an artist. Each song seemed effortless as Taylor danced about the stage and won the audience over with her sweet personality. From Neon Trees’ first note to Taylor’s last bows, The Red Tour in Melbourne, Australia was an exceptional performance and a night the audience won’t quickly forget.
State Of Grace
The Lucky One
You Belong With Me
I Knew You Were Trouble
All Too Well
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together