I consider myself to be in the top .5% of Taylor’s biggest fans, so it may come as a shock that I’ve never been able to attend one of her shows. Until now. And let me tell you, I’ve never felt more justified in a purchase than I did about this one.
Let me set the stage, pun intended. Sitting about 20 feet from the secondary stage, the stadium is booming with people chatting about Camilla Cabello and Charlie XCX as they just finished their sets, when suddenly the lights go out, and 60,000 people’s wrists light up like sparkling stars in the night sky and the room is filled with a recording of all the reporters who’ve slammed Swift’s name followed by the word “REPUTATION” chanted by Swift herself. Pictures of T flash across the screen, paparazzi invading her personal space, childhood memories, the whole 9 yards. And then, the iconic boom of her hit single “Ready For It?” blasts in between screams. Taylor has arrived.
Every time this girl drops a new album I never think to myself “there’s no way this one will be better than the last” because I know “this one will be just as iconic as the rest.” But somehow, I’m still blown away in shock like I didn’t see it coming EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I think this one means so much though because it’s like her own personal revolution. She has truly broken the systematic idea of fame and taken back the power. She’s not making apologetic public statements or involving the ever-so-quick-to-judge world in all of her mistakes.
Instead she’s pushing back like anyone else would. The difference is, she has a spotlight and a microscope on top of her at every turn. A lot of public figures seem to succumb to the pressure of what everyone else is telling them is socially acceptable, or what they should look like, or how to keep their image intact and be a role model. They buckle, and bend, and eventually break. But Taylor took all of the insane things that people tried to make a big deal out of and shame her for, and turned them into the ultimate eulogy for her reputation.
So I’m sweating my face off shouting “BIG REPUTATION BIG REPUTATION OOOOO YOU AND ME WE GOT BIG REPUTATIONS AHHHHH” and the set list is epic, obviously. All of the major moments from REP are played, the costumes are iconic, giant mechanical snakes are literally slithering out of the stages, when halfway through the show this gal climbs into a crystal ball of sorts, and flies across the stadium to take up residency on her first secondary stage. This was a moment that was so beautiful between Taylor and a single guitar that echoed throughout a dome of thousands of awestruck humans. This was a really unique experience for me because I’m so used to screaming lyrics at concerts and still not even being able to hear my own voice, but in that moment I could hear distinct voices three rows down as we all sang in harmony to the acoustic rendition of “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” and (only true Swifties will know) “Jump Then Fall.”
The old Taylor may have had to hit rock bottom to rise from the ashes, but she is most certainly not dead. Among other OG Swift tributes were “Love Story,” “You Belong With Me,” “Long Live” and many more. Long Live though, this one was emotional. Swift played it acoustic on piano mashed with “New Years Day” and confessed to fans that this song, would always be about them. Just the involvement, the inclusion, the feeling she gives you of being apart of something. She is the picture of selflessness and what it means to be humble in all that you do.
So, I had the pleasure of seeing this goddess rock the city of Detroit which happened just days after the great Aretha Franklin passed on from this earth. One of the most equally chilling and warming things I’ve ever experienced was a moment (seriously, 60 seconds) of silence in Aretha’s honor. The lights were cut, and suddenly all that could be heard was breath being drawn and Aretha Franklin’s soul passing on. Taylor prefaced the moment with a few words about Franklin’s legacy and all of the iconic music she brought to the city of Detroit, and the world, as well as all of the things she did for women’s rights, civil rights, and so many other acts of bettering our planet. I have so much respect for that moment, and the fact that I was able to experience it is something I won’t forget.
On top of paying homage to one of the great artists of our time that came before her, she managed to publicly thank EVERY member of her crew as well as EVERY member of the Ford Field Stadium crew. She literally thanked the people that sweep the floors and turn out the lights after the show ends. This is something you just don’t see at concerts, or in general. Her show was anything but all about her, it was a community of love, and laughter, and the joy of making music with people that support you and want to do the same.
So fellow Swifties, and those of you new to the crew, if you’re still contemplating getting your tickets to the Reputation Stadium Tour, stop thinking and start ordering! Our girl has officially gone international so add a plane ticket and your fave vinas and you’ve got yourself a pre-holiday vacation! How much fun would this be as a vina date?! You won’t regret it, trust me.
Want to meet other vinas who are total Swifties? Get the Hey! VINA app and shake it off together!