Live Review: Taylor Swift – Brisbane 2018

Artist: Taylor Swift with support from Charlie XCX and Broods
Date: 6th November 2018
Venue: The Gabba, Brisbane
Reviewer: Hayley Treadwell
Photos: Courtesy of TAS Rights Management Premium PR

As you walked into The Gabba for the 50th show of the ‘Reputation’ tour, you were met with screens that reached the sky and a sea of eager and excited fans. The night opened with New Zealand act Broods who set the scene for was set to be one of the most amazing nights music lovers in Brisbane have ever seen.

Broods, who were hand-picked by Taylor to open on the Australian and New Zealand leg of the tour,  had excited fans up out of their seats and dancing along to their fun brand of electropop.  Lead singer Georgia was captivating as she danced around the stage, clearly enjoying every minute of being on there.

Next up was Charli XCX.  Hugely popular with the Crowd, everyone enjoying her hit songs and her interaction with the crowd. Both acts certainly got the crowd pumping and ready for the 10 time Grammy winner, Taylor Swift.

As the crowd waited in anticipation, the screens played footage from Taylor’s Secret Sessions, a little bit a Taylor Trivia and a behind the scenes look at the making of “Look What You Made Me Do’. When the stadium went dark a video intro played before the thumping base of ‘Ready For It?’ came roaring over the speakers, the crowd erupted and you just knew we were about to witness something truly special. And we were not disappointed.

‘Reputation’, Taylor’s 6th Studio Album, is strong, independent and inspirational and all of that was transpired on the stage.  Taylor played for close to 2 hours, almost every song from Reputation as well as much loved classics and even a few little surprises that no one was expecting to hear, like ‘Starlight’ from the 2012 album RED. Taylor herself amazed at how loudly the crowd sang along to this one.

The performance’s of ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ and ‘Don’t Blame Me’ were my favourite of the night.  But all night, each song was flawless and you couldn’t take your eyes off the stage.  There were captivating stripped back performances with just Taylor and her guitar or piano. 

From sensational back up dancers to giant serpents, acrobatics and fireworks to Taylor flying across the crowd to a 2nd stage in the middle of The Gabba, I was just in awe of the incredible humbleness and raw talent of a star who clearly has worked hard to perfect her craft, while not forgetting where she came from.

She very genuinely thanked everyone that worked on the tour from setting up the stage, her crew, the people out on the street directing traffic and the hundreds of people that make each show possible.

The night was filled with special touches that shows just how much thought was put into every piece of planning.  A light up bracelet handed to every guests as they arrived at the Arena, that lit up through the night to the beat of the music.  The Gabba glowed which in itself was something truly special and I think a moment for each fan where they felt like, in her own words, Taylor could see each and every person there. These were the moments that take this tour, and Taylor Swift to whole other level. 

For me the most special minutes of the night were Taylor talking about life.  Appreciating what she does, experiencing each night with her fans and the connection that she feels.  She talked about the important values of life and where a reputation comes into that.  How if someone spreads rumours about you and if the reputation you have is not correct, this can threaten finding the real things in life. Real love, real friends and real acceptance.

Standing there with my 15 year old daughter who has struggled with finding her identity and battled mis-interpreted reputation, this moment was emotional and uplifting all at once, it was for all those little girls in the crowd, the young men, the women young and old, for everybody that has ever experienced hard times and doubt in finding themselves and searching for the things they value.  I have never had so much respect and gratitude for the positive impact Taylor allowed her fame to have an arena full of people.  From me to you Taylor Swift, thank you for that moment.

The show was heart-felt, magical, energetic and electric and by far the most incredible live act I have ever witnessed. Taylor Swift has certainly come along way from her first Brisbane gig in 2009 playing to 100 people at The Tivoli. 

With performances like this, she will continue to sell out stadiums around the world and I if you have the opportunity to go, don’t let it pass you by.  She is an exceptional talent and performer, a true artist and one I think the world needed.