Swift kicked off the first night of her hotly awaited Reputation tour last night at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, in front of 60,000 fans, and for the most part she went epic, with giant inflatable cobras, pyro, multiple stages and hordes of dancers. As always, she leaned hard into the new material, doing almost everything on the new Reputation (the one she left out was “So It Goes”), yet with her own uniquely intimate touch.
This might be her most astounding tour yet – even when she’s aiming for maximum stadium-rock razzle-dazzle bombast, she gives it all the vibe of a mass communion. She didn’t reach deep into her back catalog, beyond a few earth-shaking surprises like “Long Live” or her solo-acoustic revival of “All Too Well.” Even when she goes back to the oldies, she sticks to her fanatical commitment to making them new.
No pop star goes to such absurd extremes to avoid repeating herself, even when repeating herself would be more than good enough. The girl just likes a challenge, even if that means she wants to stand under a surreal inflatable snake to sing her heartfelt confessions about autumn leaves and maple lattes.