There is absolutely nothing like a Taylor Swift concert. The popstar has been making her way around the globe for her widely successful reputation Tour, and made her way back to her home state of Pennsylvania this past weekend for two nights at the Lincoln Financial Field. Maybe the citizens of Philadelphia are still buzzing from their Super Bowl win in February, or maybe it’s the fact that one of the biggest musicians in the world grew up an hour down the road, but the excitement in the stadium was incomparable. From the second the opening of “…Ready For It?” came in over the speakers, the crowd of nearly 70,000 was on their feet and didn’t sit down until the last piece of confetti fell from the sky at the end of the night.

Fans who attended both shows this weekend were treated to two entirely unique shows. While most of the performance is accompanied by a massive video wall of production and fireworks, the section of the show where Taylor makes her way to the B Stages in the back of the stadium are incredibly intimate and ever-changing. On night one, she surprised the crowd with “Never Grow Up” – a nod to her hometown, and sang reputation track “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” acoustic. On night two, while trying to make her way to the B Stage in a golden basket that flies over the crowd, she got stuck in the sky. After admitting her confusion and panic to the crowd, she sang “Our Song” and “Wildest Dreams” acapella, before making her way to the back of the stadium via an alternate flying cage – this one shaped like a snake skeleton. Once back with her acoustic guitar, she dedicated Red fan-favorite “Treacherous” to a fan she met in her pre-show meet and greet, and then subbed out “Dancing” for “So It Goes…”

At the beginning of her reputation era, it was declared that the Old Taylor was dead. But if the reputation Tour proves anything, it’s that she has just evolved. She spends the two hour show doing two things: owning her past and celebrating her present. Pre-pop Taylor songs like “Should’ve Said No” and “Love Story” are staples in her setlist every night, but coupled in between newer tracks, which fully illustrates Taylor’s artistic range. The most powerful moment of the night comes towards the end, when Taylor sits down at a piano – her massive stage empty except for her – and sings a beautiful medley of Speak Now‘s “Long Live” and reputation‘s “New Year’s Day”. Following the moment, Taylor walks off stage and a video montage starts to play and Taylor’s voiceover comes through the stadium. The crowd quiets as Taylor expresses her dream of finding a love that’s really something. When the intro to “Getaway Car” kicks in as the poem ends, the audience erupts again – a verbal declaration that the connection Taylor has with her fans is really, really something.

Check out some photos from the first Philadelphia show, featuring opener Camila Cabello.

Written by Catherine Powell

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