Gig Review by Chloe Gynne with Gig Photography by Jeremy Carron

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s sold out ‘Red’ tour has finally landed in the UK- and tonight, at her fourth and penultimate show at London’s O2 Arena, she rewards her fans’ patience with an exuberant, inspiring performance.

Taylor Swift

But first, support act The Vamps warm up the crowd with singles ‘Can We Dance’ and ‘Wild Heart’, as well as covering tracks by The Killers and Simon and Garfunkel to please the parents. This young band seem at ease in front of this large crowd, not even faltering when guitarist Connor Ball took a tumble off the stage. With their confidence and boyband charm, it could be them headlining arenas next.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

As the show begins, the excitement of this teenage audience is expressed through their high-volume screams, never ending until Swift is onstage. Launching into ‘State Of Grace’ it becomes immediately clear that this concert’s production will be even more intense than imaginable, as drummers are lifted into the air and the front stage becomes a hub for pyrotechnics. During ‘Holy Ground, Swift joins in with a simple dance routine, but does not dwell on choreography, focussing more on her stunning vocals and relatable lyrics. She seems most comfortable behind an instrument anyway, whether it’s her sparkly guitar in ‘Red’, a banjo in ‘Mean’ or a piano in ‘All Too Well’.

Taylor Swift

Of course, it was her recent hits, ‘22’ and ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ which got the biggest reaction of all, both featuring addictive choruses which are perfect for a crowd of this size to sing along to. However Swift remained true to her country roots, playing older hits including ‘Love Story’ and ‘Fearless’, which fans knew just as well as songs from the latest album.

Taylor Swift

There are many points in this set which seem like Swift is speaking directly to each member of the audience, as she encourages her young fans with positive messages about fitting in, bullying and self-esteem. She sings to every corner of the arena, be it from the suspended, moving platform which circled the higher tier seats, to the intimate stage at the back of arena, or the main stage, which extends via three walkways so she can perform from the middle of the huge venue. This allowed her to put on an all-encompassing, circus themed theatrical performance; from a team of dancers piling out of a toy box, to a brave walk down a thin, elevated piece of stage in ‘Treacherous’, and a dozen costume changes, the whole thing is a colourful, delightful spectacle.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

After treating fans to a powerful, hit-heavy set, as well as a guest performance by Emeli Sandé, she closes her fantastical and awe-inspiring show with a confetti-covered rendition of ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’. Swift, dressed in a ringleader’s outfit, never stops smiling as she gives her fans the time of their life. Her set is full of positivity and passion, innocent enough for younger kids but lyrically relevant enough for her teenage fans. This is a female popstar who is in full control of her career, putting herself forward as a good role model for young people- and becoming bigger and better with every step she takes.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

One Response to “Taylor Swift + The Vamps at the O2 Arena, London, UK – 10th February 2014”

  1. Gig Reviews | Gig Photography | Interviews | Competitions from Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Taylor Swift + Vance Joy at Manchester Arena, UK – 24th June 2015 Says:

    […] We last reviewed Taylor Swift on her ‘Red’ tour a year and a half ago. It’s incredible how much has changed in the last 18 months. The phenomenal success of her first ‘pop’ album has catapulted her into being one of the most influential entertainers in the world (not even Apple would argue with that it seems). So it was without hesitation that we went down to the Manchester Arena to catch one of only three shows in England on the 1989 World Tour. Swift’s gig was the hottest ticket in town this evening; with everyone we came into contact with professing their desire to be there. […]

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