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Swift more than a success story; she wows crowd at i wi, too

Discussion in 'Concert Reviews' started by ChrisKellieFan, May 9, 2010.

  1. ChrisKellieFan

    ChrisKellieFan Kellie Fan

    Swift more than a success story; she wows crowd at i wi, too

    Originally Posted Online: May 08, 2010, 11:18 pm
    Last Updated: May 08, 2010, 11:27 pm

    Shane Brown, sbrown@qconline.com

    I'm afraid I'm in the doghouse as I write this, Quad-Cities. My girlfriend is SUPER ticked off at me right now.

    You might think that getting picked to review Taylor Swift's sold-out Saturday show at the i wireless Center is an honor. That's what I thought, too, until the caught the evilest of glares from my significant other.

    You see, a few months back in my regular Sunday column, I may have made reference to Taylor Swift being, umm, a "super hottie." And okay, maybe there IS a layer of skeeviness to that statement, given that I'm old enough to be her dad. So thanks to my big mouth, my girlfriend assumes that I'm here to drool over the stage like Leery McPervert. Truth be told, I'm here to witness history in the making.

    Think real hard: has there ever been a success story in pop culture to rival that of Taylor Swift? In 2006, she released her debut album at the wise and world-weary age of 16. Four years later, she sits inarguably as the biggest recording star in the world. Her two albums have moved over ten million copies worldwide, making her the best selling musician of both 2008 and 2009 and the top-selling digital artist in music history.

    When I was 20, I was preparing for midterms. Taylor Swift was preparing her Grammy acceptance speech for Album of the Year. So how'd she do it in such a short time? Taylor Swift is the embodiment of the American ethic -- she pulled it off with talent and hard work.

    There's no denying Swift's immense talents as a songwriter. At 14, she was the youngest staff songwriter ever hired by a major publishing house. Her intensely personal lyrics, often at the expense of her ex-boyfriends, seamlessly mesh her small-town everygirl appeal with melodies and hooks that blur the line between pop and country.

    The Taylor Swift machine never stops. Between gigs like hosting SNL and guesting onCSI, she's now managed to visit the i wireless Center four times in four years.

    The last time I saw Taylor Swift, she and Kellie Pickler were the opening acts for Brad Paisley. This time, it was Pickler opening for Swift. Her too-short set officially moved her from "American Idol" also-ran to a true country talent, as she commanded the stage with a confident swagger that would even make Simon Cowell proud.

    Fellow openers Gloriana brought the energy right away, making the obvious comparisons to Fleetwood Mac even easier when their opening number segued into the chorus of "Go Your Own Way."

    But Gloriana didn't sell out the i wi -- Taylor Swift did. And when the lights went out, the place erupted full-on Beatlemania style. With a flash of lights, she arrived onstage in full drum majorette regalia with a cheerleader dance troupe to her mega-smash, "YouBelong With Me."

    The hits came one after another, with the crowd eating up every second of it -- and Swift eating up the crowd's reaction in turn.

    "I love playing Illinois as much as I love sparkly dresses," she said. "As much as I love burning my ex-boyfriend's pictures, and as much as I love telling love stories."

    The traditional acoustic set was made a little more interesting when Swift emerged in the thick of the crowd, performing one song in the lower bowl of the arena before heading to the back of the house to serenade the cheap seats, nosebleeders... and Swift's mother, who was watching from the mixing desk.

    The between-song vamps, costume changes, and endless hugging marathons took away from the energy of the show a bit, but when Taylor Swift takes a few extra minutes to meet and thank her fans, it somehow seems a little more genuine than your average performer.

    If there's one target of criticism often levelled at Swift, it's that her voice isn't the strongest when it comes to performing live. At the i wi, it wasn't an issue. Her vocals sounded great and she was augmented by two very strong backing vocalists. Besides, those same critics who say she sings poorly are probably the same ones who'll turn around and tell you that Bob Dylan sits at the right hand of God, so I don't bother trusting their take on someone's vocal prowess, thanks.

    Besides, if Taylor Swift could belt out songs like Celine Dion, it wouldn't be the same. She really IS just an ordinary girl done good. And now she reaches an interesting point in her career. With a third album on the horizon, can the mega-star Taylor Swift hold her everygirl appeal? I mean, once you've been named Entertainer of the Year at the CMA's, you can't exactly write about "she's the cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers." From the moment she took the stage until the moment she left, Taylor Swift was in control and finally running the show. And with her newfound confidence and her oldfound charm, she's bound to stay at the top.

    Too bad, then, that she's so hideously ugly. So, so very painfully unpleasant to look at. If only she could be as pretty as my beautiful girlfriend who would never hate me forever and ever just for one concert review. Right, honey? (Wink.)

  2. ChrisKellieFan

    ChrisKellieFan Kellie Fan

    Nice review, however I disagree that it was this concert or tour that "...officially moved her from "American Idol" also-ran to a true country talent..." She did that 3 years ago on her 1st country tour, the 1 with Brad Paisley the reviewer mentioned. Here's his review of that concert


    I guess he forgot how great she was in 2007? :) I thought she was a true country talent in 2006 on Idol too.
    Last edited: May 9, 2010

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