I’ve seen a lot of testosterone-driven events at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome over the years — several Saints football games, Pink Floyd, a few Gun N Roses shows and even U2. But it was a show by a strong woman that I won’t forget anytime soon.
Taylor Swift brought her “Reputation Stadium Tour” to the Dome on Saturday and she set a box office record in the process as more than 53,000 “Swifties” showed up. If you were there, you were a part of history — Swift’s show set the record for attendance numbers for a performance by a woman at the Dome.
It would be insulting to call Swift the “queen of pop” or some similar moniker because if she’s only the queen then some king (man) could come and reign with a higher authority and it’s not going to happen.
She’s The Boss, plain and simple. Sorry Springsteen fans, the times are changing. She is the songwriter and stadium rocker of her generation.
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On what was one of the last shows on the tour — get ready for the tour closer, Houston — Swift showed no signs of end-of-tour lethargy. From the opening song of “...Ready For It” to the show’s closer, a medley of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together/This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” Swift had the audience on its feet.
Have you ever heard 53,000 people shout-singing along to every lyric of every song? Every song is a sing-a-long hit for the Swifties.
The show itself was something of a technical marvel, from the giant hi-def video screens to the inflatable giant cobras. Future stadium show rockers should take note and call Swift before loading up the 18-wheelers. Stadium shows can often be lonely spectacles where one feels miles away from the artist. Swift has the knack to make a stadium show seem intimate.
The most intimate moments came when Swift performed on a stage at the back of the Dome, where she performed “Dancing With Our Hands Tied,” just her and her guitar. She followed it with an acoustic performance of “Speak Now,” which she said she hasn’t performed since the “Speak Now” tour.
The 19-song set was divided into six acts, with a video presentation before each act. Audience favorites included the “1989” cuts “Blank Space” and “Bad Blood,” although they were probably just my favorites since the audience collectively loved it all.
One of the most interesting videos featured comic Tiffany Haddish who was shown answering a phone. She said, Old Taylor can’t come to the phone. Why? Because she’s dead.”
Long live The Boss.