I’ve seen hundreds of concerts and never seen so much effort put into one show. Taylor Swift entertained a sold-out crowd at the Ford Field Stadium in Detroit on August 28, 2018. The Reputation Stadium Tour pulled out every trick I think possible to amuse fans. Swift played 24 songs within two hours of time. It was a very impressive and classy performance.
When I say I’ve never seen anything like it, I really mean it. Almost every concert I’ve attended brings one or two of these special effects but never have I seen it all in one place. The closest would have to be a Disney show. The tour had three stages set up with the main stage being a large triangle that went floor to ceiling in the large stadium. It sat upon a “X” shaped runway floor that allowed Swift the capabilities of walking out and getting closer to fans. The large triangle opens for the beginning song “Ready for It” and Swift comes out between the opening in a smoke-filled dramatic entry. The triangle is comprised of several moveable video projection screens that shared videos and moments of her past concerts as well as some behind the scene moments of her life. The screens at the end of the night opened and made a gap to reveal the musicians who were on an upper level. The second and third stages were mirror images of each other, smaller in size and located at the opposite far end of Ford Field. In order to transition from the main stage Swift was airlifted in a magic lighted ball orb shape sort of like Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage during “Delicate.” It floated off the stage, went down the length of the field and landed on the back left stage where Swift treated fans to an acoustic song “Jump Then Fall” that she has never sang acoustically live before. She ran from the left back stage to the right back stage meanwhile touching fans hands as she went by. From the third stage, she entertained and was airlifted back to main stage in a serpent like structure during “Bad Blood.”
The concert slightly overwhelmed my sensory, not knowing where to look and what to watch with a constant change of effects, stage and people in costumes. Swift included 12 outfit changes, a huge group of choreographed male and female dancers, backup singers, video projections on massive screens, pyrotechnics including fire bursts and fireworks, smoke screens and smoke bursts, confetti (two different types ), light shows, moving stages, huge blow-ups of various types of snakes on all three stages, eccentric back drops, and center stage tilting and moving props, and two airborne riding cages. To say the least, I think she pulled out all the stops.
Swift wore her heart on her sleeves during the evening baring many personal thoughts of how its been to grow up on stage for the last 12 years and see fans grow with her. She thanked her “Swiftie” fans the new young fans to the ones who are now adults that grew up along side of her. She acknowledged their love and support through concerts, social media, fan mail and even their efforts to dress special for the evening. Many ladies even wore sequined gowns to the concert to show their love and support. Swift didn’t stop there, she thanked her entourage of 200-300 crew members that dedicate their lives and leave their homes and families to be on the road to put on such a tremendous show. She thanked the local Ford Field staff of 3,000 people that it takes to run a safe concert for all to enjoy, including the people who protect, who serve food, parking attendants all the way down to the people who clean the confetti off the floor at the end of the night. She said she’s just a small part of what it takes to bring such an amazing stage and show to her fans. But my favorite heartfelt mention was of the lighted wrist bands that were given to every fan as they entered the venue. The bands synced with the music and lights of the show. Swift remarked that it hard to see every fan while playing in a large stadium so this was her way of seeing each and every one of us, jumping waving and having fun along with her.
“Detroit, last week we lost an irreplaceable force, Aretha Franklin,” Swift said as she started her tribute of remembrance. She acknowledged that Franklin brought so much soul and changed the world for women’s rights. She undeniably was the Queen of Soul and asked for all the fans to give a moment of silence to remember and respect all the amazing contributions that Franklin brought to this world and the music industry. It was a heartfelt mention and for a full minute the lights were turned off and we sat in silence.
Charlie XCX and Camila Cabello were the opening acts for the evening. Both young ladies put on short fun sets. Charlie XCX showed off her athletic pop dance moves and energetically bounced around the stage, while Camila added dancers to back up her songs, but added a more dramatic screen show. Both entertainers rejoined Swift on the second stage in the middle of the concert during “Shake it Off.”
Review by Michalle Henderson and photos By Michalle Henderson Photography
Check out our shots from Taylor Swift’s performance in Detroit, Michigan at Ford Field Stadium on the 8/28/18! Click on each image for a larger view!