When Taylor Swift first came to Singapore, by the time I saw the advertisement on the paper, the concert was a sold out. Then Taylor Swift has made a return. I vowed to get the tickets this time. By noon, all the tickets were gone. In mere two hours! I have signed up for a notification if Taylor Swift is to open a second concert. She does. An email came to me. But I was not able to buy the tickets. Something is just not meant to be.
Cynthia took this picture when Taylor Swift was performing acoustic version of some of her songs with a T-shirt that says “I Love Singapore”.
8 years ago, Taylor Swift has released her debut album. I remember I was in HMV (City Link Mall) at the classical music section, that also had country music and easy listening. I was very impressed by her music. And she continues to impress me album after album.
So, yesterday I was having a mild flu and was working from home (I was on medical leave). My wife also worked from home (she usually does when I am sick). In the afternoon, one mutual friend of ours Hana messaged Cynthia about Taylor Swift tickets. My wife was like, isn’t that a bit too last minute? I was like, what are you talking about?! It’s Taylor Swift!
Hana’s husband called my phone shortly after but I was in the middle of a conference call. I called back and bam! a pair of tickets to watch Taylor Swift in a few hours’ time. I quickly told my mother-in-law to stop cooking. My wife was like, this really sounds like that song “drop everything now”. I was like, yes, yes, let’s wrap up work and go! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, consider the fact that I can never get her tickets on my own.
Drop everything now, meet me in the pouring rain. Kiss me on the sidewalk, take away the pain. ~ “Spark Fly”.
The atmosphere at the stadium was amazing. There were so many people. Girls mostly dressed in red. Some with beautiful makeup and killer fashion. Some with red face paint. One dude was painting his girlfriend’s face with a lipstick, hers. There were parties outside the stadium. Taylor Swift music was blasting in the air (I know all her songs by heart). Long queues. In retrospect, if there was no standing area, why the need to queue?
The ticket said 7.30pm. With such a huge crowd, we expected delay. There was a local band opening the show at around 8pm. They were pretty good with the cover music. 8.30-ish, a large shadow appeared behind a huge red curtain that covered the stage. The fans went crazy. Taylor Swift has made an appearance. The curtain was drawn. The stage was unveiled. So was Taylor Swift.
I have watched her Speak Now World Tour Live on blu-ray. I know she performs well on stage. I was half expecting a dumb down version of what could have been a grand tour. Face it. Here in Singapore, most Western artists would give a halfhearted one hour straight show with nothing fancy. One year, Avril has brought in some dancers. We thoroughly enjoyed that show. Thereafter, it is just she and her band. Maybe the revenue from a relatively small venue doesn’t justify the cost of production.
For Taylor Swift’s Red Tour here in Singapore, the production is amazing. The sound was great. There was a huge ultra high definition screen showing Taylor Swift live on close-up augmented with various different visual effects that compliment the show. The last time I saw something this grand – visually speaking – was back in UK, Pink Floyd. The stage and the props were interesting. She has a team of dancers too. Every stare she made, every pose she made – all seem to be so well premeditated to entertain. She is either a natural or someone who works really hard to get everything right.
Either way, she is a great entertainer. What I really love about her show is that she made connection with the audience. She introduced her songs, she spoke about her songwriting process. She even shared with us that her mother was grown up in Singapore. Finally, someone gets it. We understand English here in Singapore. I often cringe when Western artists keep on saying “Hello Singapore” throughout the show. As though these were the two English words we could understand.
She plays various musical instruments. From piano to guitar. Towards the end of the show, she made her way through the crowd, shook the hands, and onto the second platform where the sound engineers were. Playing acoustic version of some of her songs, she danced too on that stage and got all of us on our feet, before making her way back to the main stage.
Beyond the glamour and the entertainment, deep inside Taylor Swift is a young talented songwriting and singer. She sang perfectly throughout the one-and-a-half hours concert, having some big moments that blew the roof off the stadium. I have watched quite a few live concerts, local and abroad. Taylor Swift The Red Tour is one of the best there is.
I took this picture using my phone as we waited for the show to start.