Taylor Swift dazzles Orlando

By Erica England | gargoyle@flagler.edu
Photos by Erica England

When I stepped into the Amway Arena Friday night in Orlando I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. Who is this Taylor Swift girl, I thought, and why is Kanye West not a fan?

It was not long before I realized there is a reason why Swift is as successful as she is. The 20-year-old country crooner’s performance outshined country stars like Carrie Underwood and Kenny Chesney with her nearly two-hour, high-energy show.

It began with Swift standing triumphantly on a large platform donning a marching band uniform, belting out her Grammy award- winning single, “You Belong with Me.” Ballet dancers clad in cheerleading uniforms twirled and leaped across the stage transformed to resemble a high school cafeteria.

Swift covered the majority of her songs from both of her albums, “Taylor Swift” and “Fearless.”

She took the audience back in time with her “fairytale-esque” performance of “Love Story.” Swift and her dancers waltzed around in Victorian-inspired costumes.

For most of the show Swift lost the kooky costumes and shimmied and shook around the stage in a silver flapper dress and black combat boots. Her trademark blonde curls flayed around as she danced like a person does when they’re by themselves in their room listening to their favorite song.

At times it was evident that Swift has experienced the pitfalls of young relationships. She featured comical shorts on jumbo trons about her habit of writing songs featuring actual boyfriends’ names. One of the shorts included a cameo from Stephen Barker Liles of the band Love and Theft, who was the inspiration for Swift’s hit, “Hey Stephen,” and Tim McGraw, mocking the fact that they’ve been struck with relentless obscurity for being named in a Swift song.

Taylor Swift

Although some parts seemed to dwell on man-hating for a bit too long, (there was a dramatic couch-tossing seen during the song “Forever and Always,” while the words, “they shouldn’t do bad things” raced across three black screens in red), it still couldn’t distract from the fact that Swift is actually one of the few young performers today that can actually sing well.

Swift displays more passion for her fans than any other artist I’ve ever seen perform live.

She sang her first hit single on country radio, “Tim McGraw,” on a small revolving stage toward the back of the arena to reach the fans who otherwise would have only been entertained by her image on the jumbo trons. Swift also walked through the ground floor seats stopping for numerous hugs and kisses from crying fans.

According to one of Swift’s hit singles from the album, “Taylor Swift” you should’ve said no, but I can’t help but say yes to her music. She may be young, but Swift has enough talent and supporters to last her a lifetime.

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