Saturday, April 20, 2013

Music: Taylor Swift "The Red Tour" concert review

My friend and I stopped by the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami to take in Taylor Swift's latest ode to romances, breakups, and panicky screaming from teenage girls, "The Red Tour":

There's always been something coldly professional about the way Swift approaches her career, and the jump from the "Speak Now" tour to this one is a good example. Last time around, Taylor Swift embraced the theatrical excesses of her imagination (a giant Gothic bell, a fake wedding, a castle balcony that soared above the crowd).

In contrast, the production in "The Red Tour" was more like something you'd see in any other pop star's concert. Aside from a cheesy paparazzi setup for a jeremiad on celebrity, "The Lucky One," the concert was a straightforward performance of tracks from "Red" and earlier albums. Of course, Swift could have spent two hours singing alone with a guitar and the crowd still would have eaten it up. Actually, I think the screams were loudest for her acoustic set at the back of the arena:

The music itself was fine, I guess. Taylor Swift's live singing is better than it's ever been, but she's still largely drowned out by her own band and the noise of the crowd. On a more fundamental level, the charming pop-country of her first album has been replaced by lite versions of U2 and Springsteen. So, I drink in the spectacle of 13,000 people yelling in the dark, watch the house lights come on, and take my friend back home.


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