Taylor Swift Reputation Tour: Review

HOTTAKE: Fun show but felt a little inauthentic.

It was definitely fun. The stage and sets were a full tilt spectacle! She sang well, she looked amazeballs, she talked a little too much, and bless her soul, despite her best efforts, she dances like a cardboard cut out. I’m sorry Taylor, ya do. And because there’s so much choreographed dancing, which obviously doesn’t come naturally to her, it unfortunately adds a little undertone of inauthenticity to the whole extravaganza. Like it’s not who she really is but who she’s gotta be to justify an arena tour.

It seems she’s trying to conflate the “I’m Taylor, I’m just like you girls” persona with a zero effs given, larger than life badass which do not mesh well. The previous seems more natural on stage than the latter.

Her failure to fully commit to one or the other make for a thematically disjointed show. I’d rather she flip off the audience after Look What You Made Me Do than sing a ballad about how she was bullied a song or two later, the latter is what she did.

Empire Records, Regency Enterprises, 1995If you want to tout your bad reputation with any authenticity, you gotta be a little disreputable. And not just in a “Kim Kardashian called me a snake, so now I’m gonna throw it in her face” way. She said shit in a song, once. Ooooohhh. Shock me shock me shock me with your deviant behavior. If your gonna prelude your show with “Bad Reputation” you best bring some Joan Jett level rebellion. Commit to some Axl Rose badassery.

This isn’t an indictment of Tay’s talent, that gal can write a song and entertain like nobody’s business, but the theme, merch, and messaging of this show seem reactive to outside influences rather than what comes to her naturally. It has shades of Christina Aguilera’s Drrrrrty phase.

But looking around at the audience, if she went full Sid Vicious, she’d be alienating her very young fandom, which would obviously have serious financial consequences and give her a legitimate…wait for it…bad reputation.

I think my friend said it best when we were refilling our $17 signature cocktails that she imagines Swift in the future returning to her country-pop roots. Taylor kills it when she’s telling stories through song and making you want to dance badly in your living room.

She has a right to her anger, and to be whomever she wants to be, but a show built around that anger fell a little flat when she has so much good stuff to work with. I should’ve seen the 1989 tour, but I had fun last night.

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