Taylor Swift Philadelphia 07-19-2013 Lincoln Financial field

Here are the 5 (I mean 6) Best things, and 5 worst things, about the Taylor Swift show, followed by some of my photos (courtesy of Schmoo and Monbot):

BEST THINGS:

1.  Here’s something I’ve wanted at concerts for a very long time.  Artists start on time.  At this show, when we arrived inside, they actually listed on a huge screen, all the opening artists and what time they were scheduled to go on.  And, they stuck to the schedule.  Not only that, but early in her set, Taylor let us know she was putting on a two hour show.  I knew from the moment I sat down in my seat what time I would be leaving that evening, which is something in my older age, is important to me.

2.  I always try to check out opening acts to see what’s what.  Most of the time I have never heard of them, and then two years later, they actually have a hit song and I’m like, oh, yeah, I’ve seen them before.  This show, the opening act was Ed Sheeran, which I wanted to see just as much as the headliner.  And, he delivered a great 45 minute set that indeed was just as good, if not better, that Taylor Swift.  He’s a great musician with a stage presence that filled the over sized stadium, which is a difficult task when you’re a one man band.

3.  If you just watched the big side-stage screens, you really wouldn’t have known that there was a band on stage.  the cameras had only one thing in their lenses most of the time, and if you blinked, you might have missed the occasional shot of a real, live drummer or guitarist.  Like a nerd, I brought binoculars.  They allowed me to see the sides of the stage where there were actual musicians.  Taylor’s band were ten strong, and they actually played all the music we heard, save some background music for costume changes.  Having seen other acts like Britney Spears and Lady Gaga, I really truly appreciate when a pop artist (let’s face it, she’d not county) has a real band playing the backing tracks.

4.  Now, I know she sucks up to every single city she’s in, but it was pretty cool that she recognized, several times that she was a Philly girl.  Well, Reading, but close enough.  She don’t mention that shit publicly, but when she was here, she fessed up about not actually being from Tennessee.

5.  We’ve all seen extended stages at this point.  Pretty sure Metallica and U2 started that back in the 90’s.  I’ve even seen Coldplay at the Wells Fargo Center play in on one the entrances to the lower level, not even on a stage.  But, I will admit, Taylor’s second stage was pretty damn cool.  It was all the way BEHIND the sound board, and it really gave the people at the back of the venue front row seats.  And it elevated.  And it rotated.  And, Ed Sheeran was there with her.  And, I could see her really well with binoculars.

6.  Never seen this one before, but maybe I wasn’t looking closely.  Half the men’s bathroom were changed into women’s bathrooms to accommodate for the demographic mismatch.  True, it might have been the first time most of these girls have ever seen a urinal, but at least the venue tried to make it work.  the lines were still super long for the “girls'” bathroom, but I still had the best bathroom access ever, even losing half of my options!

WORST THINGS:

1.   Okay, I know she has to ham it up for all the little girls in the audience who scream when she grins, but holy shit, she was laying it on pretty fucking thick.  All the little smiles, the little hair flips, the poses, the endless stories about how hard it is to grow up around bullies and what not.  Just ridiculous.  Don’t be disingenuous, even if the audience is too young to smell it in the air.  You made it.  Be proud.  You’re a rock (ish) star.  A celebrity.  Pretend you’ve been there before and cut out all the juvenile Glee-like bullshit already.

2.  I know I’ve been to more concerts than the average person.  But wow, the level of infamiliarity in this crowd was unprecedented.  Most of these moms had no idea how to handle an entry frisking line, let alone how to find a section and seat that was printed on your ticket.   When I found my sections, there was a line of moms and daughters 30 people deep, waiting for some kind of savior to escort them to their location like it was an opera.  Me…I walked by them all, and simply walked to me seat 6 rows from the floor.  No one even asked to see my ticket.  They were all too busy babysitting grown adults.

3.  This doesn’t have anything to do with the performance, just an argument for logic.  I had three tickets.  They were all attached together.  When we got passed security and to the actual gate, I tore them apart, handed one to Monika and Schmoo, and kept one.  Mine had a smudge over the bar code.  Gate dude’s scanner couldn’t read it.  I’m like “hey man, can’t you just manually enter the serial number.”  No, he can’t.  I’m like, “well, how bout you just tear the ticket, old school style?”  Nope.  Had to let the girls go in, so they didn’t miss Ed Sheeran, while I had to go to Will Call and wait 20 minutes before the guy behind the glass simply typed the serial number into the exact same scanner and let me through.  What a joke.  Use your fucking head, people.

4.  Don’t really care all that much, but it was worth noting.  The grand finale had great pyrotechnics.  Great explosions, flares, lots of fireworks.  But, on only the left side of the stage.  Something went wrong, and nothing went off on the right side of the stage.  Not that I care.  But, someone got their ass handed to them after the show cause they forgot to plug in the charges.

5.  Actually, number 5 here is maybe a plus, perhaps a minus.  There was no encore.  The show was heavily scripted, and compared to the next night, which was partially rained out, I should be happy.  And, I don’t mind when the artist plays their last song, says good night, and the house lights come up, and you know to gtfo.  But, seeing as we were her Philly crowd, a little something extra might have been nice.  I was truly enjoying the show.  A surprise would have been welcomed.

All in all, I’ll go see her next time as well.  Call me crazy, or a pussy, or whatever you want, but I love to be entertained.  Taylor entertains me.  She just does.   (And, I like her music)

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