By: Web Editor Jacinta Chang & Opinion Editor Harshita Gupta
To share her latest 80s inspired album 1989, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has been traveling around the globe, giving stunning shows filled with light, laughter, and tears of joy. As part of her 1989 World Tour, Swift brought the magic to a sold out Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on August 14th and 15th.
With a glowing crowd of 50,000 people each evening, Swift brought her audience together for one roller coaster of a night. The opening acts were performed by none other than Shawn Mendes and Vance Joy, who sang their own pieces as well as covers of popular hits, including Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”. As the audience buzzed in anticipation of Swift’s appearance, screens in the stadium flashed with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, fan videos, interview snippets, and trivia quizzes.
As the lights went out and Swift appeared, she pumped the crowd up by sharing her feelings about Santa Clara. Swift drew wild cheers for her kick-off song “Welcome to New York”. With a strong set list for the night, she performed new songs from her 1989 album, and sprinkled the performance with old favorites like her first major hit, “Love Story”. She pulled at heartstrings with “Never Grow Up”, a song from her album Speak Now in 2010. Bringing tears to the crowd’s eyes, Swift finished the emotional and riveting segment with “Clean”.
Throughout the night, Swift made the audience feel as if each and every individual was her best friend through heartwarming short speeches between songs. Her sweet and thoughtful methods of transitioning from song to song connected with the audience and inspired the crowd, all while giving fans a hint of what was to come in her next act.
What made the concert so thrilling were Swift’s surprise celebrities and best friends invited each night. Not a single concert from the entire tour had the same guests, so Swift capitalized on her element of surprise to get the crowd going. On August 15, Little Mix made a surprise appearance to sing their hit single “Black Magic” onstage with Swift, sending the audience into a frenzy. Even more astonishing were the cameos made by Joan Baez and Julia Roberts, who joined Swift to dance along as she sang “Style”.
With spinning catwalks and an energetic troupe of dancers, the performance felt more like a Broadway show and less like a typical concert. From her sparkly wardrobe to props such as her abstract piano, Swift set off sparks (literally) onstage for all to admire. The creative and visually-appealing use of technology throughout the evening added a progressive and novel aspect to the stadium as well. Each member of the audience had an electronic wristband that pulsed colored LEDs to the beat of the music. All these elements combined with Swift’s relatable songs created an ambiance like none other.
Swift’s concerts are famous for their production and immersing experience– and 1989 did not disappoint. From heartwarming songs and speeches to an element of surprise, Taylor Swift was able to keep the audience smiling, crying, and dancing all night long.
Photo Credits to Silicon Valley Business Journal, People, and Entertainment Weekly