As Taylor Swift ended the final show of her three-night run at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center, myself and approximately 15,000 other females had a slightly out-of-body experience. Watching Taylor bring down the house Sunday with “Shake it Off,” confetti falling from the ceiling, thousands of light-up wrist bracelets sparkling in synch and Taylor’s pink, fringey getup bouncing to the beat, something happens to your brain.
This part of you that believes in the dream of Girldom, the bit created by Pantene commercials and Swans Crossing and Lovespell by Victoria’s Secret, comes to life again. “Oh hello,” you say, “I thought this fantasy of what life was died with Brittany Murphy. But maybe it’s all been real all along.”
For a minute, it feels like "Everything Is Awesome," as The Lego Movie would say. We all have a complete collection of Bonne Bell Lip Smackers. The Limited Too is 50 percent off, forever. Your mom has her limited edition Princess Di Beanie Baby. Your midriff? Ready to bare. You leave bopping your light-up wrist bracelet, wondering if your periods will all be in synch now. It feels like our bodies may have made that agreement when Taylor Swift brought out the electric guitar for “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together."
So did I have a good time at the Taylor Swift show at the Xcel Energy Center? The best time. Now that I got that out of the way, here are some other observations from what it’s like to be a '90s kid vibing hard with the lovably awkward human Barbie herself.
Taylor Swift is incredibly pretty. I know, because I saw her about as up close as one can hope to.
Yet she is still insecure. Despite working the room, strutting her stuff in front of a gaggle of shirtless men and repeatedly mentioning that she had proof right in front of her that 15,000 people like her enough to be physically there, she is still an insecure person. I found myself wondering, is her loveable self-doubt just a ruse? If so, it’s a smart one. Teenage girls relate to nothing less than the painful self-doubt created by everyone around you having way too many opinions about you.
To help with this, Taylor has a girl gang. This was made evident several times by videos of all her famous friends dishing about what it’s like to be best friends with Tay Tay. Lena Dunham, Selena Gomez, Cara Delevigne, and a bunch of other pretty girls who I can only assume are models gushed about her every few songs. We get it Taylor Swift. Not only are you pretty, rich, famous, and talented, but you are popular too. Yes we are jelzies.
Taylor Swift’s mom comes out and hugs a bunch of people before the show. I wondered if her cats also come on tour with her. The video about her cats toward the end implied yes.
Taylor loves to give advice. She spent a lot of time sitting over a piano or suspended in front of the crowd, giving the young tweens some heartfelt pointers. The people who say bad stuff about you? Who cares about them. The 15,000 fans who clearly love you enough to have memorized the words to all your songs? Time to just focus on them from now on. We can all learn from this, presumably.
Taylor Swift fans are very white, young, and tend to have lady parts. A great show for a mom and daughter, or just twenty-something girls who enjoy styling themselves with “that red lip classic thing that you like."
There was no surprise guest. If you are reading this to find out who the surprise local guest was, may I suggest that your pure love of Taylor herself is not strong enough? (Minnesota got snubbed.)
I found myself wondering during her performance of “Clean” if it was about getting rid of an STD. Think about the lyrics. “Now that I’m clean I’m never gonna risk it.” Now I just looked up the lyrics and see that I am wrong, but for a second I wondered.
Does Taylor Swift drink before her show? I got the vibe that she doesn’t but I bet that Selena Gomez does. What do they do together? Eat bubblegum and talk about Justin Bieber? I would watch a show about that.
The show in general was visually stunning. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a concert before that was just as fun for my eyes as it was for my ears. I will admit that this isn’t a tough competition because I’m short and can rarely see what is going on. But between the lights, the giant screen and the dance concepts, this show was anything but boring.
Good job Taylor Swift. Next time you’re in town, I’m there. And I’m going to hug your mom, too.
Critic's bias: I’m a fan. I have always liked Taylor Swift because I feel her songs have more narrative and character development than many songs on the radio. I will also admit that 1989 is the only album I have physically bought since Spotify/Rdio came out, mostly because it wasn’t released on those platforms. Because of this, it’s the only album I have downloaded to my phone, so every time I’m on an airplane (biweekly), I listen to it for at least an hour. As a result, I am almost sick of it.
The crowd: Girls who shop at Justice, formerly Limited Too, holding sparkle signs about Taylor’s Cat.
Random notebook dump: Is her taking off her wedding-dress-like-thing during “Wildest Dreams” to reveal glitter bodysuit a symbol that she is now more into taking charge of her sexuality than getting prince charming from “Love Story” to propose to her?
Notes on the opener: I skipped this because City Pages said I could.
Overheard in the crowd: Could not hear much but did get whipped by someone’s hair while they were dancing.