Get ready for a Taylor Swift takeover! The singer started the world tour for her 1989 album on Monday which means that for the next seven months (at least!) there's going to be a plethora of stories about what ol' Swifty is doing, saying, singing and, obviously, dancing.
There are also going to be a whole lot of people jumping on the T. Swift bandwagon. What better time to start soaking in all things Taylor than when you literally cannot avoid news about her? We're going to sit back with a bowl of popcorn and watch the former haters roll in. But there are also a large number of people that have been following—and, more importantly, taking after—the star since day one.
Take, for example, her covers. If we had a dollar for every time a budding artist (or even established star) put their own spin on one of her jams we'd be richer than Taylor herself. It's impossible to keep track up all the different versions of "22" or "Blank Space," but it seems that Taylor herself has given it a try. And yesterday she announced that she has a favorite—from the 1989 album at least. Swift took to Twitter to give some major props to the newly released version of "I Know Places" done by Vance Joy.
This is a bold choice indeed, Taylor. For starters it's only been out in the world for a day—that's hardly enough time to make a solid judgment. Especially when songs like this "Blank Space"/"Style" mash-up exist. But then again, she is the expert. Have a listen to Vance Joy's take on "I Know Places" below to see if you agree with Tay.
Thousands upon thousands of fans, each fan more costumed than the last, showed up at the Tokyo Dome on Tuesday for the first date of the 1989 World Tour. To be precise, 55,000 Taylor Swift fans in one very big room.
And that count included arguably Swift's biggest fan, her mother Andrea Finlay. The tour kickoff comes nearly a month after Swift, 25, revealed her mother's battle with cancer.
"She wanted you to know because your parents may be too busy juggling everything they've got going on to go to the doctor, and maybe you reminding them to go get checked for cancer could possibly lead to an early diagnosis and an easier battle … Or peace of mind in knowing that they're healthy and there's nothing to worry about," she wrote on Tumblr.
"She wanted you to know why she may not be at as many shows this tour. She's got an important battle to fight." Fans took to Twitter with their sweet Swift family sightings, just weeks after the pair's emotional ACM Awards appearance.
Even the people who run the government can't resist shaking it off to Taylor Swift. Several U.S. representatives are reportedly hawking tickets with hefty price tags for the 25-year-old singer's upcoming stop in Washington, D.C. For $2,500, fans can attend her July show at Nationals Stadium with one of three sitting Democratic politicians, reports the Washington Post. Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore, Florida Rep. Lois Frankel and Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos have all reportedly offered tickets as part of their fundraising campaigns.
Those willing to pay the steep price will get to join one of the representatives in suites for Swift's blockbuster tour. One Republican congressman is also hosting a 1989 concert experience, according to invitations obtained by the Post. Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers's suite is offering tickets for $1,500 for one person or $2,500 for two guests.
Swift's world tour, for her chart-topping pop album 1989, kicked off in Japan on Tuesday, with nearly 55,000 fans packing into the Tokyo Dome. Concertgoers went all out for the opening performance, showing up in varying and impressive forms of Swift cosplay, including cheerleader Swift and crazy-eyed Swift.
Music festivals are all about big, but the real magic comes when they manage to be big and small at the same time. Some people went to the Rock in Rio USA fest on Friday just for Taylor Swift, whose “1989” tour so far isn’t scheduled to come back to Las Vegas.
The 25-year-old superstar rewarded them with what appeared to be her full arena show, complete with costumed dancers, light-up umbrellas and theatrical choreography that often felt stubbornly formal, retrofitted for an open field and an outdoor party vibe — w-a-a-y more marijuana smoke than you’re likely to smell at the wholesome pop star’s indoor shows.
But then it all focused down to two people: Swift and Ed Sheeran, at the end of a long stage extension ramping out into the crowd. Swift and the British troubadour, who had played the main stage just before her, narrowed a sea of more than 30,000 people to just two voices and an acoustic guitar on Sheeran’s “Tenerife Sea.”
“You look so beautiful in this light, silhouette over me .. And all of the voices surrounding us here, they just fade out when you take a breath.” The take-away moment made sense of the rest of it. The waiting until 11:30 p.m. for Swift to come on, the $169 tickets, the $12 beer and the $10 quesadilla, the logistics of getting to a festival with no on-site parking.
But it wasn’t the whole reason. That ramp out from the main stage? Turns out it also also was capable of lift-off, craning up, up into the air. It elevated Swift above the masses and floated her in front of the giant video images of herself as it panned from side to side.
“Music is sometimes the only thing that makes us feel better,” Swift said from her lofty perch as a lead-in to “Clean.” No one seemed in need of cheering up on this unseasonably cool, energizing Las Vegas night. But the patter was apparently pre-scripted and we were getting it anyway: “You are not damaged goods.” The ride on the magical bridge was capped by Swift playing a keyboard intro to “Love Story,” the rare early hit from a set packed with nine “1989” songs.
With last year's 1989, Taylor Swift fully embraced pop, creating an album driven by synth melodies and drum-machine beats. The result outsold any other LP released in 2015, but the new approach meant that she and her crew needed to start almost from scratch when planning the subsequent tour. "I was very adamant that every decision I've made creatively in the past had to be almost flipped," Swift tells Rolling Stone. "You're not going to see me playing the banjo. It's not a country show, it's not a multi-genre show and it's not a mixed-influence show."
After a warm-up dates in Tokyo and at Rock in Rio U.S.A., the 1989 World Tour began in full on May 20th and continues until the end of the year. Vance Joy opens almost every date, Shawn Mendes joins for all but a few and Haim play a handful in the U.S. Swift's rehearsal process began with months dedicated solely to the nailing the music – "replicating the sonic quality of the album," as she puts it. The sound finally clicked when producer Max Martin, who contributed to nine of 1989's 13 tracks, sat down with the road musicians and showed them, one by one, what he and Taylor did to create the record's glistening bounce.
Swift's rehearsal process began with months dedicated solely to the nailing the music – "replicating the sonic quality of the album," as she puts it. The sound finally clicked when producer Max Martin, who contributed to nine of 1989's 13 tracks, sat down with the road musicians and showed them, one by one, what he and Taylor did to create the record's glistening bounce.
Swift's tours have always drawn heavily the singer's most recent LP – even the Speak Now shows, for instance, included only five songs from previous albums – but this round is particularly focused on the present. The singer says that she was only able to do this because of 1989's multi-platinum success and the fact that this "seems to be the music of mine that people are liking the most": "If this album hadn't been so impactful to the fans, if they hadn't gone out and broken so many records and made sure that I knew that this album was the most important one to them and the one they liked the most, I probably would have had to pull more old hits into the set."
A few old hits do remain, though some of them appear in new form. "We Are Never Getting Back Together," for instance, has become a pop-punk jam, and "Love Story" now retells Romeo and Juliet amid sustained synths, plodding drums and looped moans. For these inclusions, Swift credits, yes, the fans. "Tumblr is a really good way to see what they're wanting to hear and what elements they'd like to see in the show," she says. "When I'm walking around in my daily life and a little kid comes up to me or a teenager comes up to me or a mom comes up to me, the songs that they bring up as being songs that affected them are the ones that I'm going to kind of stockpile and decide to play. The songs that I haven't been hearing as much about, those are the ones that didn't make the cut."
The most striking change may be what fans see while Swift plays these songs, as the drama-class element of previous tours has mostly been replaced. "I used to wear things that felt very costume-y," she says. "This feels more like a fashion moment, which is exciting."