Anna Masland and
Promoting her fourth album, Taylor Swift’s RED tour invites fans to engage in a one-night extravaganza of perfect blond bangs, soaring hearts and tearful ballads. Appearing at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena (the former glory cave of the blacklisted and self-crowned king of basketball LeBron James) on Thursday, April 25, Swift greeted the 15,000 strong crowd with a series of dewy looks and well-timed lip purses.
Things started off with “State of Grace,” which had a drum solo that changed the heartbeat of every single person in the audience. After gifting her Derby-style black hat to a screaming fan, Taylor continued with her track “Holy Ground,” and soon after, “Red” flooded the stadium with red light and screams of sheer delight. Though it was clear her greeting was rehearsed with fill-in-the-blank words like “Cleveland” and “Ohio,” the plebeians were entranced by magic upon their first glance of her willowy, lithe frame.
Proving herself to be a bona fide show woman with suave stepping and kicks. Within the first three songs, Swift not only had time to diss the haters, but was able to liken many different emotions to the color red. Swift then brought it back to 2010 with a slowed-down jazz infused version of “You Belong With Me,” an amped up “Sparks Fly” and a chorus of “Mean.”
The opening sepia video montage for “The Lucky One” came close to being a Britney Spears’ “Lucky” rip off, but Swift quickly recovered with a dazzling red gown, fit for a sixties queen. As Swift transitioned to her next number, “Stay Stay Stay,” her bassist began to play a familiar melody — The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” — showing her folksy side. Ms. Swift then ventured into the crowd to the sounds of “22” sporting a “hipster” jacket, and encouraged fans to chuck up the deuces as a choir of voices sang along.
London-based Ed Sheeran then joined Ms. Swift for a stripped down version of “Everything Has Changed,” which was accompanied with renditions of “Begin Again” and Fearless’s “Best Day.” Starting with a moving violin solo by a red haired vixen, Swift stopped hearts with an amped-up dubstep version of “I Knew You Were Trouble,” her costume change as magnificent as the birth of your first child. The troubled Taylor then exposed her soul even further to the audience by performing “All Too Well,” accompanied by a piano and enough emotion to satisfy every young daydreaming lover in the stadium.
Afterwards, she was lowered to an underground lair where she was transformed into an angelic creature festooned in a pure white gown and sang her classic “Love Story” followed by her track “Treacherous.” Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and all we wanted to scream was “don’t leave us like this!”
The seven time Grammy winner blessed her audience, and the blissful night, with her closing single “We Are Never Getting Back Together” with a whimsical carnival theme that ended with sparks and of course, the flashing color red.