Swifties were not “Ready For It!” After a long break out of the spotlight, Taylor Swift kicked off her Reputation Stadium tour the night of May 8 at the Glendale University Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, to a sold-out crowd of 59,000 people. Swift posted little teasers of the tour from microphones to confetti to her rocket sled on her Instagram stories for 10 days leading up to the start of the tour.
There are at least eight costume changes and most of them have some sort of glitter, sparkles or sequins but still have an edgy vibe to them. The band is back and accompanies her on background vocals and instruments, but Swift also play the guitar and piano on her own.
With a group of background dancers, Swift does not blend in. She is dancing on her own. The stage protrudes out to the left and right and is accompanied by two B-stages, with top to bottom video screens. Swift wants to get as close to the fans as possible which is why she has three stages.
After Camila Cabello and Charli XCX finished their opening sets, Taylor took to the stage with 24 songs — old and new.
Here is the setlist:
- …Ready for It?
- I Did Something Bad
- Style/Love Story/You Belong With Me Medley
- Look What You Made Me Do
- End Game
- King of My Heart
- Shake it Off
- Dancing With Our Hands Tied (acoustic)
- All Too Well (acoustic)* (Subject to change)
- Blank Space
- Bad Blood/Should’ve Said No mashup
- Don’t Blame Me
- Long Live/New Year’s Day mashup (on piano)
- Getaway Car
- Call it What You Want
- We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together/This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things mashup
*So far Swift has changed the song during All Too Well in both nights of the Santa Clara, California, shows. Night one was “Wildest Dreams,” night two was “The Best Day” (in honor of Mother’s day.)
Clearly, the old Taylor certainly is not dead. Singing at least one song from every album, Swift brought back nostalgia in a big way and had fans on their feet from beginning to end. Every song from “Reputation” was performed, except for So It Goes. During “Delicate,” Swift even flies across the crowd. “End Game” was a solo performance and did not include her long-time friend, Ed Sheeran or Future, the song’s collaborators.
Camila and Charli joined Taylor on stage for “Shake it Off” and Tiffany Haddish appeared on screen for “LWYMMD” during the famous “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now” line. Swift’s parents, Andrea and Scott, along with her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, were seen in the crowd and she even pointed to Alwyn during “Gorgeous” and “King of my Heart.”
She opened up about being called a snake on social media and her feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian and how name calling doesn’t have to be a negative thing. It can strengthen you. Fully embodying the image, Swift brought out a huge cobra on stage during “LWYMMD” and even has a snake microphone. It’s sort of the theme of her tour.
For fans attending the tour, you can expect to get light up bracelets when you enter the venue. There is “Call It What You Want” Lemonade, which is said to be spiked lemonade. Two gazebos on the floor are marked as Club Meredith and Club Olivia, named after her cats. No purpose has been stated for them yet.
The merchandise stands are filled with shirts, hoodies, etc. adorned with snakes, her face and tour dates and there are even posters that are customized for each city. Many fans dress up for her concerts hoping to score a ticket to the free after show meet and greets. This era, the Rep Room allows fans to meet the “Delicate” singer.
Andrea usually picks fans out of the crowd who are dancing crazy or dressed in unique costumes and hands them a slip of paper and bracelets. The Rep Room features some of Swift’s outfits, a seat with snakes rising out of it, the “LWYMMD” throne, posters, cookies and Taylor and her family. However, there is no Taylor Nation booth on this tour but fans can stop and take polaroids.
For this tour, Taylor wants to meet as many fans as possible, so her and her team, Taylor Nation, has extended invites to the Rep Room before the show. Fans said they were messaged on Twitter and Tumblr a few days before the concert and received an orange piece of paper when they arrived. Even accounts that weren’t followed/like/noticed by Taylor or her team got notices, so don’t give up!
Every person that gets to go to the Rep Room can bring their group with them. They receive an autographed picture of Swift, a professional picture taken with the singer and some quality time with her.
The only thing that was missing from this jaw-dropping concert was surprise guests. Her openers joined her on stage and Haddish appeared on screen but for the past few tours, Swift brought out other singers and celebrities and they usually sang a song of theirs with her. Being away from touring for a while, Swift probably just wanted it to be intimate.
Hours before the tour began, Swift posted to her Instagram story that long-time rival, Katy Perry, sent her an olive branch and a letter expressing a sort-of apology and a plea to make up. Swift was very gracious for the gift. Maybe Perry will show up on tour and all the bad blood will be put in the past.
The Reputation Stadium Tour spans through November and travel across North America, Europe and Oceania with 53 dates in total. If you haven’t bought tickets yet, do it now, they are selling out fast. This is not a concert you can miss if you are a Swift fan. You can be certain that there will be incredible theatrics and video production, which can also be found from places like Visual Impact Productions. There will be glitter on the floor after the show.
The drought was the very worst but the comeback feels so good. “And in the death of her reputation, she felt truly alive.” Taylor is doing better than she ever has.