Taylor Swift @ O2 Arena 10th February 2014

After having played in Germany it was then back to London for the penultimate Red show. Last year the one and only Taylor Swift announced that she was bringing The Red Tour to the O2 Arena for not 1, not 2 but 5 nights which spanned over 2 weeks. This was only the 2nd time I had witnessed Swift perform live the first was for the Fearless tour at Wembley Arena where you had Justin Bieber performing (he also broke his leg during that performance). Now I was extremely excited for this. It wasn’t a concert it was a show. What makes a show is a spectacular performance, Taylor Swift catered for everyone. First she had a massive catwalk and then there was the B stage right at the end of the Arena. I reached the dome around 5.30pm then queued by gate B until the doors opened at 6pm. The seat I had was in Block 103 but seat 95 which made it close to block 102. Actually I was surprised because it was a really good view.

The Vamps were the choice of support for this leg of The Red Tour. This 4 piece consist of Connor Ball, Tristan Evans, James McVey and Bradley Simpson. The style of music that they sing is Rock/ Pop and they have already supported the likes of McFly and Selena Gomez. Plus they are opening for The Wanted when they play the UK next month. What they performed was a 6 song set which was short but sweet. This consisted of covers and original material such as the highly contagious single Wild Heart and Can We Dance. It had then approached 7.30 the Arena went black and the monitors on both sides displayed The Vamps logo and mentioned the début album was going to be released in the Easter. The atmosphere was simply electric and as soon as the boys graced the stage the Arena erupted with screams. “London are you ready to jump” Bradley said when he reached the tip of the catwalk. Things opened up with Wild Heart which is the current single and it was bubble gum pop aided by catchy hooks and a delectable chorus. “So we are The Vamps. So the next song we’re going to play is a brand new song. This song is about having fun and having a party” Simpson said before they all launched into Last Night. Now this was extremely upbeat and it is very different compared to Wild Heart which was light and fluffy. Still Last Night was more Rock and it was a promising tune which I hope will feature on the upcoming album. You just want to nod your head to this as it was simply incredible. Following on was She Was The One and this being the first song that they wrote. I found this to be rather entrancing and slushy at the same time as it was dealing with heartache “She was the one who got away”. This was played at a steady pace and it is a tune which gets you swaying from side to side. The first cover of the night was Mr Brightside which is one of my favourite songs by Las Vegas based band The Killers. Now this song is highly contagious and you feel obliged to sing along to the fast paced chorus. The Vamps did a sterling job of delivering this to perfection. Also the harmonising was spot on. The penultimate number of the set was the first single that they released as a band and this being the highly contagious Can We Dance. It was a right crowd pleaser and it got lots of people jumping up and down and going wild. This had been superbly written and it was delivered at fast pace. With this being a Taylor Swift show this number had been watered down so it didn’t include the one swear word “I talk a lot of sh when I’m drinking baby”. Things ended on a cover and this being Cecilia originally by Simon & Garfunkel . There was plenty of crowd participation. There was a Calypso feel to this and honestly this was a bit of a strange song to cover. I know plenty of bands have covered this but none would stand out to the younger generation. It actually went down well and the set played had got the crowd warmed up for Miss Swift.

SET LIST

Wild Heart
Last Night
She Was The One
Mr Brightside
Can We Dance
Cecilia

It had just gone 8.30pm and both Icona Pop – I Love It and Lenny Kravitz American Woman were played to the crowd. You knew the show was going to start at any given minute. The monitors displaying the word RED was then hoisted to the top of the arena and there were plenty of screams. Things opened up with State Of Grace and when Miss Swift appeared at the top of the stairs the screams were deafening. The 4th LP Red has grown on me immensely and this was an incredible song to open up with. It was entrancing, infectious and just hearing it live I had a feeling of excitement over what I was going to witness. Once over it was onto Holy Ground which picked up where State Of Grace ended and that was on the tip of the catwalk. Even though I was tempted to stand inside the catwalk I couldn’t help but feel sorry for everyone because even though Taylor performed on the stage she also moved about and utilised the B stage. Back to Holy Ground now this tune went down well with the sold out crowd. I adored the fast pace and halfway through there was a drum breakdown which was incredible.

“Oh Hi London. Welcome to the Red Tour. This is my 2nd week of playing shows here for you at the O2. Because you were kind enough to sell out not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4 but 5 shows here at the O2. This is our 4th show and you have been so unbelievable so far. It’s been lights and dancing and I can tell that this crowd after 2 songs now you know every single word. I hope you guys are OK with surprises. You’re probably going to see one particular colour more than all the other colours tonight London. When I was writing songs for this album I found myself writing songs about the intense emotions. The intensely good and the intensely bad emotions that come along with falling in love and falling out of it” Swift said before going back to the stage for the title track from the new LP and this being Red. Taylor was on her Red guitar and red flags were being waved about in the background. This was one epic tune firstly it was delivered to perfection and secondly there was some stunning guitar solo playing by Swift. My favourite part had to be its powerful chorus. Once over Taylor left the stage only to return wearing a sparkly Red dress for a new take of Fearless track You Belong With Me. She was joined by another 4 vocalists. Whilst I liked just Swift singing song, this take worked and it was special at the same time. When the song was over Taylor left the stage then there was then a video interlude played before The Lucky One. Everything about this was perfect. Lyrics and vocals were pure perfection. Taylor was singing about Lucky, a film star who was The Lucky One. 

After another costume change Taylor Swift returned with a banjo in had. Swift then went up the catwalk and sat on a chest telling the crowd how much all her Swifties mean to her. It was then straight onto Mean which was taken from Speak Now. I adored the fact this was stripped back and it was also very Country. After it was then onto 22 which again had a video interlude before the actual tune. Now this was incredibly contagious and nearing the end Taylor was transported to the B Stage via someone’s back. Once on the B stage it was then onto the wildcard number of the evening and this being Fearless. The song was played at a steady pace and the verses are brilliant. Its chorus was infectious and it’s one that you can sing along to. The final tune on the B stage was an acoustic version of Speak Now track Sparks Fly. During the song Taylor was transported via a platform which was then hoisted around the Arena to the main stage.

It was then time for the surprise of the night and this being the special guest. This being Emeli Sande who sang Next To Me. The majority was sung Emeli and Taylor even tackled a verse and delivered it to perfection. After another costume change it was then onto I Knew You Were Trouble. Swift was in a white ballgown which was then ripped off to reveal a black dress. I really liked the fast pace verses and there was a dubstep vibe though out the chorus. Taylor took to the piano for the beautiful All Too Well straight after. Now this was a beautiful hypnotizing ballad.

Love Story was amazing and I simply love this. I find it slightly emotional as the lyrics tell you a story. Taylor who was in a white dress was Juliet whilst there was also a Romeo. This was a super catchy song and everyone was singing along to this uplifting track. The penultimate number of the evening was Treacherous which was faultlessly delivered at a slow but steady pace. Things then came to a close with the infectious We Are Never Getting Back Together. Taylor Swift was dressed as a ringmaster and this song was simply epic and there was plenty of confetti.

SET LIST

State Of Grace
Holy Ground
Red
You Belong With Me
The Lucky One
Mean
22
Fearless
Sparks Fly
Next To Me
I Knew You Were Trouble
All Too Well
Love Story
Treacherous
We Are Never Getting Back Together

OVERALL: This was the 2nd time I witnessed Taylor Swift live and all I can say is WOW. Everything about this was amazing. Even The Vamps were brilliant as well. The music they sang was infectious and I can see why they have a big fan base. They have even announced a fall tour which sees them play the Eventim Apollo not once but twice. In fact I may go on one of those dates because I really enjoyed the music that they sang. My opinion on this was that it was 6 songs too short. I could of easily listen to more material.

As for Taylor Swift on the other hand all I can say is I was blown away. Only few performers put on an actual show Lady Gaga and Katy Perry being two of them. Now Taylor didn’t just stay on the stage but she fully utilized both catwalk and B stage. Prior to the show I thought Block 103 wouldn’t be that good, but it was as I witnessed all of it (the B stage was near to me as well).

Whilst I wished that there was a different wild card song I couldn’t be that disheartened as I love Fearless. In fact my 3 favourite songs from Fearless were performed and thee being Love Story, Fearless and You Belong To Me. I rather liked Taylor’s mode of transport to the B stage during 22 and her transport back whilst singing Sparks Fly was impressive. And as for the new songs from Red nothing can fault them as they are all incredibly infectious.

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