No cats were harmed in the making of this tour. Just one pop star.
That was the message showed at the end of one of several videos that played during the intermissions of Taylor Swift’s sold out 1989 World Tour in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday — the first of two days the “Blank Space” songstress will spend in Ohio’s capital city. The videos featured Swift’s adorable cats named Dr. Meredith Gray and Detective Olivia Benson, as well as Swift’s famous “squad,” of course, as no show would be complete without them. Video appearances were made by Lena Dunham, Selena Gomez and several Victoria’s Secret models each talking about how they met Swift and their friendships.
Swift is arguably the biggest pop star in the world, so, naturally, I had high expectations when going to this concert. And she certainly delivered. Swift pulled out all this stops with the 1989 World Tour, with some of the highlights being amazing backup dancers, an elevated stage and the genius idea to provide each audience member with light up bracelets instead of using flashlights on their phones. The show’s opening act, Vance Joy, reminded audience members of Swift’s roots in country. Standing center stage with just a microphone and his guitar, he played songs from his 2015 album “Dream Your Life Away” including “Riptide”, “Fire in the Flood”, “Mess is Mine” and a cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”.
Right on schedule at 8:30 p.m., the deafening roar of teenage girls that still has my ears ringing signaled that Swift was about to set foot on stage with her catchy opening number, “Welcome to New York”, set to a NYC street inspired backdrop.
With a setlist that mostly featured songs from her first pop album “1989”, she also included some old favorites with an edgier twist, including a sexier version of “I Knew You Were Trouble” and a rock version of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”, both of which displayed a more mature side of Swift. She also performed “Love Story” and “Red” on an elevated stage that took her over the audience, giving perfect opportunities for Swift-featured selfies.
In an audience filled mostly with teenage girls dressed in crop tops and high waisted shorts galore and their mothers armed with signs showing their support for Kanye/Swift 2020, along with photos of Swift’s cats, there’s no denying that Swift has one of the largest and most loyal fan bases in the world. Each song Swift performed had audience members singing back every lyric, myself included.
One of Swift’s strengths as a pop star that has made her so popular is being so relatable. She is able to connect with her fans and inspire them, which she did last night by giving a message important for girls of all ages: live your life on your own terms and be yourself.