The sixth album from Pennsylvanian singer-songwriter, pop music megalodon, and all-round icon, Taylor Swift, received a few mixed reviews. But does she care? Quite possibly not. This resulting tour of the record, reputation, has become the highest-grossing tour in US history, bringing in an eye-watering $266.1 million from 36 dates; and it’s also resulted in one of the most hyped-concert films ever, with Netflix filming across the final two US dates of the tour at the gargantuan AT&T Stadium in Texas.
Firstly — what are the implications of streaming industry leaders Netflix becoming more heavily involved in the music industry? Well, all extra money going into the industry is always a welcome thing, and as concerts such as this one often price people out, it’s positive that people can see these concerts, albeit you can never truly replace being there in person. However, the reputation film is filmed in such an immersive way, it’s not as far off from the real experience as you might expect. One can only hope that Netflix will begin to work with artists below the Swift and Timberlake level, after the roaring success of these concert films.
But back to the concert film in question — which opens with the same video montage that the Texans are treated to in person. A compilation of audio clips of gossip show hosts being needlessly negative about Ms Swift, the kind of celebrity that keeps them in a job. The film intro concludes by panning up behind a female figure (no prizes for guessing who), sending the sold-out 105,002-strong crowd into raptures, as their heroine slowly turns her head to face them.
Said rapture only increases as the speakers belt out cries of 'let the games begin', announcing tonight’s opener is... Ready For It?, which couldn’t be any more aptly titled in this context. A decidedly sparkly and sequined Swift appears on stage, and the first three songs on the set list come from the tour’s namesake album — second is the excellent I Did Something Bad, one of the highlights of the set, certainly from a choreography standpoint.
Song no.4 turns out to be three songs, the first medley of the night — fairly commonplace these days when a megastar has a lot of material to cram into one set. It euphorically brings together 1989’s Style, and Fearless’ Love Story, and You Belong With Me. During the medley, Swift brings her band down from the almost Rammstein-esque stage production to the several stages that spread out into the audience, to get them fully acquainted with her fans.