Swift Sets New Standard in Music

By: Lea Killian

On Dec. 31, Taylor Swift’s “Reputation Stadium Tour” concert movie premiered on Netflix, attracting new and returning fans.

This era of Swift’s professional life is arguably her most successful, with the “Reputation” album winning an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Album and a Billboard Music Award for Top Selling Album.

The tour itself won a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Tour, and grossed over $180 million in ticket sales within the first four days.

The “Reputation Stadium Tour” has set a new standard in the music industry, and upon watching this Netflix special, viewers will understand why.

The film begins with the sound of a cheering crowd, layered with the voices of dozens of reporters and talk show hosts criticizing Swift for various things.

They spoke about her privacy in her relationship, feuds between other prominent artists, her recently revealed political stance and even charitable donations she has contributed.

Swift lives an incredibly private life, especially compared too many artists of her particular stature.

She immediately hints at how those criticisms shaped and drastically changed the image she has of herself and the world around her.

Already, viewers may feel they are about to see more than just a concert, but perhaps they will also experience a deeply personal and vivid tale of the last three years of Swift’s life.

Working her way through twenty-four songs, eight costume changes and surrounded by dozens of dancers and back up vocalists, Swift does not slow down once, not even during her acoustic set halfway through the show.

She primarily performs songs from “Reputation,” including “Getaway Car,” “I Did Something Bad” and “Call It What You Want.”

She also offers plenty of nostalgia for fans who have been on the journey since the beginning, playing mash ups of songs from her previous five albums that span from her self-titled album in 2006 to “1989” in 2014.

Swift also takes the time between songs to connect with her fans on a personal level, as if the lights, dancers, visual effects and confetti are not enough.

Before performing her song “Delicate,” Swift explains the meaning behind her latest album by saying, “I think the things that can scare us the most in life are the things we think could threaten the prospect of something real,” she said. “Having a bad reputation, in our mind, could get in the way of finding real friendship, real love and real acceptance.”

That speech put the “Reputation” era into perspective for many fans. It was never about changing her image or writing about a bad break-up.

As a Swift fan, I would say that the “Reputation” era is about finding acceptance during a time in a person’s life when they feel like everyone is against them.

This, above all else, is what makes Taylor Swift the performer that she is.

Her ability to connect with her fans through her work is boundless and is effortlessly displayed throughout every part of the “Reputation Stadium Tour.”

Perhaps the most poignant moments throughout the show are when she stops playing and gazes into the crowd.

The audience erupts around her and she smiles.

The camera lingers there, and viewers know they are witnessing something special, something intimate between Swift and her fans.

In her song, “New Romantics,” Swift sings, “I could build a castle out of all the bricks they threw at me.”

If this lyric from her “1989” album still holds true, then the “Reputation” era is the castle she built from those bricks.

I rate this film 10/10.

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