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  • Writer's pictureolivia perreault

Taylor Swift Rounds Out Three-Day Run At Gillette Stadium


I remember hearing Taylor Swift for the first time on the radio. It was 2006 and since I was forced to listen to country music, the dial was turned to Country 92.5. But when Swift's "Tim McGraw" came through the speakers, it wasn't the typical honky-tonk southern grit I was used to hearing. It was the sweet, soulful sound of a 16-year-old. And I was hooked.

Just as I was starting high school, Fearless was released, and I had never related to an album so much. Sure, I loved other artists, especially punk bands like Green Day and All Time Low, but her songs seemed to connect to me on another level. "Fifteen" was an accurate depiction of walking into high school for the first time, "Love Story" was the dreamy fairytale I hoped for in my mind, and "You Belong With Me" was my anthem, as I dreamed about my crush from the marching band section of the stands at football games every weekend.

Speak Now, Red, and 1989 followed, and I still remained a fan of Swift's bubbly tunes that started to shift from country to pop. Yet, the transformation seemed easy, and according to her fanbase, necessary. However, after the whole Kanye West debacle in 2016, I could see her reputation start to become tarnished. Instead of being honored for the talented musician she is, people started to compare her to others in the industry, often pitting her against other famous popstars. And I'll admit, I often compared her to others as well, and might have lost touch of her music while she took a break after 1989. But, when reputation was released, I was once again hooked.

This past weekend, I attended Swift's third show at Gillette Stadium with my best friend, the same one I ran through the high school hallways with singing along to "Hey Stephen" and made homemade music videos for "Picture To Burn" with. Our seats were pretty high up - almost to the point that if I leaned too far forward, I felt like I would topple over - but the view didn't even matter. From the second Swift took the stage to her last note, I had chills.

She came out singing "Ready For It...," the first song on reputation. Concertgoers were handed these white bracelets on the way into the venue, and at the time I didn't think anything of it. But when that first song came on, the bracelet started to light up, and the entire stadium slowly lit up like a Christmas tree, creating a breathtaking sight across the stands. She continued with reputation hits "I Did Something Bad," "Look What You Made Me Do," "End Game," "Don't Blame Me," and "Getaway Car." Fireworks exploded off the stage, snakes flew through the air, and the fangirl screams were never-ending. At times, Swift just stopped and looked out into the crowd, relishing in the moment. Her smile said it all.

Throughout her set, Swift took time to address the audience and introduce some of the songs. She even made sure to head to the other side of the stadium - in a moving, lit-up ball - to sing to parts of the crowd that couldn't see her from far away. It was great to see her take the guitar at one point and simply play, without back-up music, and play the piano for a tune - something I didn't even know she dabbled in. Amid the glitz and glam, constant outfit changes, dancers, and various show-stopping elements, I have to say that my favorite part of the show was how she merged some of her old songs into newer hits. While she played some oldies, like Red's "I Knew You Were Trouble" and 1989's "Style" and "Shake It Off," I was really looking forward to some older hits. Instead of playing them outright, she found a way to intertwine them. "Bad Blood" was combined with "Should've Said No," "Long Live" merged with "New Year's Day," and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" mixed with "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" to round out the night.

As the final song neared its end, a special united feeling was felt in the air. Thousands of people were screaming out the lyrics and dancing along, no matter where they were in the lit-up stadium. From the floor seats to the grandstand seating, everyone was giving all of their energy, and Swift - who said earlier in the night that she had broke the record for the first female artist to play Gillette three times in a row - couldn't be more thankful.

While a majority of the audience had probably seen the singer before, I think it was special to see her for the first time on the reputation tour. From the first time I listened to her to now, her voice and music style has matured so much, and it feels cool to know that I've matured with her. Songs on reputation pertain to my life so much, just like Fearless did back in high school. After watching her kill-it onstage and seeing the audience react the way they did to each song, I think it's safe to say that despite her past, Swift is still dominating the music industry — and she's not going anywhere.

Rating: ★★★★★

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