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Taylor Swift's Speak Now tour brings Nashville to Vancouver

Cowboy boots, curled hair, and gorgeous dresses? Check, check, and check. (Cowboy hat optional). 

Last night, the city was transformed into a mini Nashville as Taylor Swift’s Speak Now world tour, winded down in Vancouver.

Surrounded by a sea of screaming girls dressed to the nines in “Taylor Swift fashion,” their ear-splitting cheers and shrieks only begin to express the excitement that exploded at Roger’s Arena.

But before Swift brought her magical spectacle to the stage, there were two opening acts: Josh Kelley and up-and-coming band, NeedToBreathe.

Kelley’s fifteen minute performance showcased his husky vocals, but was more or less forgettable. NeedToBreathe, on the other hand, delivered energetic and pulsating performances, with foot-stomping songs that reflected the crowd’s anticipation for Taylor Swift.

Ascending from the stage in a sparkly fringed dress, Swift delivered an explosive performance of “Sparks Fly”. Anticipation and excitement intensified and the stadium quickly turned into a large karaoke fest.

Swift performing "Sparks Fly". 

Famed for penning autobiographical songs about her relationships, Swift is a highly respected artist in the music industry. A nine-time Grammy award nominee, her previous album, Fearless, was deemed as one of the best-selling records of the last five years. On top of that, she has received 146 award nominations.

Not too shabby, considering that she’s only 21.

But it isn’t just the accolades that make her so beloved among her fans. Her genuine gratitude and sweet demeanor was clearly conveyed after her opening performance of “Sparks Fly,” where she seemed overwhelmingly shocked and taken aback with the endless applause. 

Plucking a six-stringed banjo in her bluegrass-infused single, "Mean," Swift delivered a near flawless performance - calling out critics who have criticized her in the past - with just enough attitude and adorable charm to pull it off.

One of the notable aspects of her concert was its theatricality.

"Speak Now," - a track where Swift sings about interrupting a wedding - was visually and vocally entertaining.

"Speak Now." 

It looked like a scene from a movie, particularly when Swift (of course) runs off with the groom, leaving behind a fuming bride.  

Each song was accompanied by backup dancers and elaborate props. Particularly an ornate golden staircase that was present throughout her whole set. The entire concert was a cross between vaudeville and a Broadway musical.  

Theatrics added a spectacular touch to her performance, but it certainly didn’t distract or take away from her songs.

“Back to December” was hauntingly beautiful. Accompanied by a cascade of glitter and a lush orchestral arrangement, Swift captured the emotion in this ballad.

"Sparks Fly," "Mine," "Haunted," and "Better than Revenge," proved that she is a great entertainer. Her vocal ability during these songs, however, was far from stellar. 

Swift’s voice was overpowered by the 13 000 voices singing along with her.

During her stripped-down performances, however, she connected with the audience on a personal level. Ballads such as “Dear John” and “Last Kiss” showcased her vocals and expressed her raw emotions. 

Accompanied only by her guitar, she created both a fun and intimate atmosphere. It didn’t feel like a concert, more like best friends gathering together for a night out.

Her acoustic cover of Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ‘69,’” certainly proved that she can sing, contesting critics who criticized her vocal ability.

Known for making headlines with her list of surprise guest performers, Swift didn't disappoint fans when she brought out "She's so High" singer, Tal Bachman. Although Justin Bieber or Nicki Minaj didn’t make an appearance, Bachman is a modest follow-up.

Covering his 1999 hit single, Swift mainly provided background vocals while Bachman delivered the majority of the song.

"She's so High" with Tal Bachman. 

Finishing her set with "Long Live," Swift closed with a show-stopping performance. Her encore of "Fifteen" and "Love Story" blew fans away, especially when she floated in the air on a balcony, while looking very much like a fairytale princess. 

Fans' growing love and devotion for Swift lies in the fact that she acknowledges them during her concert. At one point, she did a lap around the arena, hugging lucky fans in the crowd. 

She made every person feel special in that room, even boys who sported t-shirts reading, "Real men heart Taylor Swift." 

Though her vocal performance was lacking in certain aspects, she certainly made up for it with her infectious energy and solid entertainment. Her Speak Now concert captured the romantic-fairytale-princess-carnivalesque-and-glamorous-Old Hollywood perfectly, which encapsulates everything that she she is.

Here for another night, Taylor Swift doesn't disappoint fans with her magical spectacle. Because Vancouver just can't get enough of her, right?


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