The ‘Reputation’ tour hit New Jersey for the first of three shows at MetLife Stadium on July 20 — and Taylor Swift did NOT disappoint!
Is it possible to play to a crowd of thousands of people and still make a show feel intimate? Well, that’s exactly what Taylor Swift did when she brought her Reputation tour to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on July 20 for the first of three shows at the venue. From little kids and their parents, to teenagers in epic costumes, to young adults sipping on beers and vodka lemonades, every single person in the audience hung on Taylor’s every word throughout her incredible two-hour set. It’s a testament to how important the fans are to her, as she left every person in the arena feeling like she was singing and speaking just to them.
It’s likely that a majority of the crowd had listened to Taylor’s Reputation album on repeat in the months leading up to the show, and yet she made it feel like we were hearing it for the first time. By changing up songs, like “I Did Something Bad,” for a unique live version and mashing up newer hits, like “Bad Blood,” with old classics, like “Should’ve Said No,” Taylor truly kept us guessing at every turn. It takes a lot for me to not want to even touch my cellphone for two hours, and yet I felt so invested in soaking up every second of the 28-year-old’s set without needing to document it on Instagram or Snapchat.
That is — of course — except for the 20ish minutes when she performed right in front of me on one of two side stages (that part I had to document). Taylor’s two “b-stages” at the middle-back of the arena were the perfect way for her to connect with fans who couldn’t get seats in the front row, and more proof that she has each and every loyal supporter at the front of her mind when she’s planning a tour. This part of the set also included one surprise song that Taylor changes up at every show — fittingly, for her return to the Big Apple, it was “Welcome To New York.” “Girl Power” was also a theme of the night, with Charli XCX and Camila Cabello serving as openers, then re-joining Taylor onstage for an upbeat rendition of “Shake It Off.”
There were also moments of humility during the set, which just made the crowd fall in love with Taylor even more. While performing a mash-up of “New Year’s Day” and “Long Live,” she flubbed a note on the piano, and even though the fans probably wouldn’t have even noticed, Taylor took it upon herself to acknowledge the mistake and make sure we heard the music the way it was meant to be heard. She did it with an adorable giggle, unafraid to call herself out for a small error. Later, during the show’s “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” finale, she also tripped up on a lyric in the second verse, but recovered instantaneously and kept going without missing a beat.
I’ve been to every Taylor Swift tour since Fearless, and I have to say, she really took things to a whole new level this time around. If you’re still contemplating whether or not to get tickets to an upcoming show, just do it. The videos online will not do it justice. THANK YOU, TAYLOR!