Taylor Swift reclaims empire in “Reputation” tour


Afton Prater, Staff Reporter

Growing up listening to country music non-stop, I encountered Taylor Swift with her debut album in 2006 when I was 8 years old. I adored the sweet, down-to-earth vibe she carried in her songs and her ability to openly sing about her experiences. Swift’s next album was released in 2008, titled “Fearless.” Her success skyrocketed with the hit songs “You Belong with Me” and “Love Story.” “Speak Now” was released in 2010, and two years later “Red” came out, both creating more of a pop sound than her previously released albums. When her fifth album, “1989” was released in 2014, it was clear to me that Swift was moving in a different direction with her music, steering away from the country genre that spiraled her into stardom. After falling off the face of the earth for a while, leaving fans wondering about her next move, Swift returned, fiercer than ever before, with her “Reputation” album, which left them speechless over her new sound. Today I, along with many other Taylor Swift fans, know that the old Taylor Swift “can’t come to the phone right now…because she’s dead.” I’ve heard people criticize the album and wish that Swift would return to country music, but I think what she has done is brilliant. She has built an empire out of the names she has been called and the reputation she has been given. It’s like Swift has been reborn and is owning who she is.

The Reputation stadium tour kicked off in May of 2017 and ended in November. After the tour, Swift announced that one of her shows would be posted on Netflix on New Year’s Eve. I was so excited! Many of my friends attended the Seattle concert and talked about how amazing it was. Unfortunately, I was not able to go because I am a poor college student. I am so thankful that I was able to watch the show bundled up in my living room in my PJs. My first and last thoughts of the show were “wow!” There are a variety of reasons that Swift’s show had a lasting impression on me. The on-screen visuals were mind blowing! There were also amazing dancers, high tech lights, flashy costumes, and fantastic, interchanging stage sets.  She performed her new pop songs along with some of her country tunes, owning the stage song after song. The production of the show as well as her performance were both creative and powerful.

Swift surprised the audience by adding songs from her previous albums  into the mix randomly. She did this in a very unique way by including these songs in mashups with her new songs. The crowd went wild when this happened and so did I! “You Belong with Me” is like the anthem of my life and don’t even get me started on “Love Story.” Even though Swift’s music has changed so much from the beginning of her career, she takes a step back and remembers the songs that made her career catapult into a world of success.

Personally, my favorite part of the show was when Swift stripped away the rest of the band and played solo with her guitar. When she was performing, it was clear to see that Swift has pure talent. She blew away a stadium full of people and did it solo! The stories written and the emotion behind them were heard louder and clearer than ever.

Denise Warner, who writes for “Billboard” thought Swift’s performance was exceptionally well done.

“As amazing as her show is if you’re in the audience, the doc allows you to get more of a feel of the singer as a performer — and experience just how delicately everything is staged. From passes of the microphone, to tilted stages and costume changes, Swift made everything look effortless,” Warner said. “Swift gave a gorgeous look into her world as one of today’s greatest entertainers.”

Taylor Swift’s Reputation stadium tour is wonderfully choreographed and definitely a must-see! Even though I am a longtime “Swiftie” and have seen her perform live before, I have never seen her perform like this! I give a round of applause to her and to everyone involved in the production of the tour.