Monday, September 3, 2018

On Saturday we shook it off because we're gorgeous.

I have been DYING to tell Olivia what her birthday present was for her 13th birthday since... December. Last December I took literally, the last $200 in our accounts and bought tickets for Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour.

Olivia has loved Taylor Swift since she was a toddler (totally serious) and every time I've tried to get tickets they sell out right away. So this time I threw caution (and common sense) out the window and splurged. I've been hanging onto them this long so this should just tell you how patient I've become in my old age, to be honest. But I'm a moderate Taylor Swift fan. I have all of her albums, I know all of the words to every song, but I think her Reputation album is kind of lame. I am of the belief that she's trying to be Beyonce and a bad ass and just... no. You are not a bad ass, you'll never be a bad ass, just stop. But I knew Olivia would LOVE to go so I figured I could add her to the long list of concerts I've been to and that would be fun.

Also, I have to just say it again- the US Bank Stadium is TERRIBLE for concerts. Sure, every seat offers a great view of the stage and the venue is beautiful, no question. The sound? Is terrible. I thought maybe at the Jay-Z and Beyonce concert that I was too close to the stage so the sound was a little distorted and washed out, but no- being up in the highest section the sound was actually worse. There were several times during the concert that you couldn't understand what they were saying let alone singing. I think I'm going to avoid concerts at this venue unless I'm a major fan of the act because this would have been a better concert anywhere else.
Can we just take a quick break and talk about how this girl is going to be 13? I feel too young to have a teenager. 
Quick picture before the show for the scrapbook.
There were two opening acts: Charli XCX and Camila Cabello. Charli XCX is alright, she is essentially an artist who tags on another artist's track and you don't even realize she has anything on her own. And it was a weird set of her singing Icona Pop's "I Love It" (which she did well and the crowd loved it) and then Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" but she basically just sang the bridge and chorus a bunch of times so it was really odd. But she did a good job engaging the crowd and at the end of the day, that's her job. 
Camila Cabello was next and I'm going to be the old person and just say it- she's a one album wonder. She's going to have some hits and we likely won't hear from her again. She really can't sing live but it doesn't seem to matter because she can dance, she's cute, and she's personable. The crowd loved her. Olivia likes her and I'm just meh. Her set was more lively, likely because the stadium had really filled up by this point and she's a hot new artist so people were familiar with her.
Then Taylor came out and the crowd went wild. Olivia was ridiculously excited. I didn't take any pictures of her dancing because the lighting was crappy where we were but that's OK.

Here's what I'm going to say about Taylor: she cannot dance. I know she's trying, you can tell she really rehearsed and this tour is a well oiled machine, but she just can't dance. And it's hard to buy her bad girl image when for so long she was the good girl next door, and that's really what she built her career on. So for me, watching this felt like watching a friend try too hard to impress the new boy at school.
She mostly sang songs from the Reputation album (which of course) but she reluctantly played some of her classics. It's my understanding some of those change from city to city so the set lists you find online might not be totally what you're going to get, but that kind of makes it feel like a more personalized show to your venue and that's really cool.
It also makes it kind of bittersweet because for as hard as she wants to shed that image and portray this bad ass, take no prisoners persona, you can tell she really still identifies with what made her popular in the first place. She sounded clearer, and happier, singing her older songs and sometimes struggled with her newer ones. And this might be an unpopular statement, but home girl was lip syncing to at least some of it. There were some songs where her mouth was doing something different than what the song was doing and she kind of caught herself and would quick turn around. Then in other songs where she did sing some of it live, her voice was almost screeching and louder than the back track so it was kind of strange.
It reminds me of the time where she sang with Stevie Nicks (at the Grammys, I think?) and she basically made an ass out of herself singing "Rhiannon". Which, don't come for Stevie Nicks because you just can't.
So she might not be a great technical singer, that's obvious, but what she does do well is showmanship. Her concert was full of surprises, she engaged with the crowd really well, and you really feel like she gives a damn about every single person there. It's really refreshing to see an artist be this grateful and this enamored with her fans this far into her career, it's basically unheard of, and that was just really nice to see. She plays every show like it's her first big show and she can't believe it. Her fans? Are just as into her and I really liked seeing the total diversity of this crowd. Men and women, kids and older people, LGBTQ and not, just a huge arc of people that not many artists can say they can do.
The other cool thing was everyone got these bracelets that would light up in time with music and synced with everyone else's. It was a very cool way to get the crowd involved in the show and it was a visually stunning display to watch it happening. And as she said, she wanted to see every single person there and she did.

Some of my favorite moments were "I Did Something Bad", the "Style/Love Story/You Belong With Me" montage, "Tied Together With a Smile" (first performed since 2007), "Long Live/New Year's Day" ("Long Live was meh, but "New Year's Day" was amazing), and of course, the "We Are Never Getting Back Together/This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" finale at the end. She doesn't do an encore but it's OK because those last two songs make up for it. The show had bright lights, props, giant snakes coming out of the main stage (and two satellite stages), crowd interaction, pyrotechnics, fireworks, it just had everything.

It wasn't the best show I've ever been to but I had a good time. Olivia says it was the best concert she's ever been, and that's saying something because she's gotten quite a few under her belt so far. (Mom win). I was also declared "coolest mom ever" so that makes the night even better.

Oh, and I tried running down a skywalk that was slightly inclined down and ended up totally face planting. So that happened. But! We were the first ones out of the parking ramp and avoided all of the traffic and drunk people stumbling around so that was an absolute win. We ended up getting home around 1:30 in the morning. We took a quick bathroom break in Hinckley but we also loaded up on snacks and I continued with my singing so I could stay awake. I've got a routine of singing:

Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything to Nothing
Manchester Orchestra- Simple Math
Death Cab for Cutie- Plans
Dashboard Confessional- Unplugged

Those entire albums in order. She didn't appreciate it and fell asleep. Which whatever. But I crashed hard when we got home and so did Olivia. I don't think she even took off her shoes or changed her clothes. Thankfully Sunday was a lazy day so I could take a nap. 

So I think her birthday present was a hit. We had a great mom and daughter date, we talked about how our life is different now since my AFE, we talked about seventh grade and what her worries are but also what she's excited for. I have another present for her to open on her actual birthday this week but she doesn't know that. Got to keep her on her toes. :) 

(Bonus random fact: the year I gave birth to Olivia was 2005, and the day I went into labor was actually Labor Day. I had her the next day, but labor started around lunch time on Labor Day. I always said it'd be fun to go into labor on Labor Day and she must have heard me because she came exactly a week early. She was originally due on 9/11. I checked into the hospital on Labor Day before midnight, and ended up having her either at 7:58 or 8:58 in the morning. I can't remember. I know I missed the breakfast service and had to wait to eat until lunch. HA!) 


Kristin said...

I'm so glad your daughter had fun! And I'm sorry you too a face plant! :(

mypixieblog said...

Awww how incredibly sweet that you surprised your daughter with tix to see Taylor!! You really do get cool mom of the year! I’ve been to some concerts where the sound is distorted and it’s distracting, because you can’t match the sound to the activity on stage. But at least it sounds as though T had some great extras to take away from some of the lip singing and bad assery lol. I agree; I much prefer the early Taylor (bluegrass/sweet country edition), but I get that she wants to evolve as an artist, too.

Sorry about the face plant!! Soooo something I would have done too, but likely in front of a very large crowd of onlookers 🤦‍♀️

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Taylor Swift is awesome when it comes to showmanship!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Aw, go you for keeping that a secret and I'm glad Olivia has a great time. That's awesome you were able to really talk to her on her own too. I'm sure she really liked that. I've never seen Taylor live, but from award shows, etc. it's pretty obvious that she can't sing well live. LOL Plus, I do like her earlier stuff way better than most of what she's done recently.


Anthea said...

That is such a lovely birthday present - sounds like your daughter had a great time! Sorry about the face plant!

Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra said...

What a wonderful birthday gift for your daughter. I'm glad that she had such a fantastic time and that you scored "cool mom" points as well. That's always a bonus. :)