Taylor Swift – Worth a kick in the neck?

London O2, Mar 11

I’ve never been that close with my twin sister, so when she approached me saying Taylor Swift was touring and she had no-one to go with, I thought it would be a good ‘bonding’ experience and I bought a ticket.

Now, if you’re reading this and you know me personally, you’ll probably be surprised that I would see such an artist live in concert, I’m not your typical Taylor Swift fan. But, I have such a passion for music that I can listen to any genre and I find it so easy to gain respect for an artist if they write their own songs. After all, isn’t that what music should be about?

Unlike so many artists in the charts today, Taylor writes all of her own music, she plays instruments and she loves her fans more than anything. I may not be the biggest fan of her music, but if you pick the elements apart; the lyrics are heartfelt and clever, she uses more than 4 chords and actual instruments rather than a computer! That’s music for me. And that’s why I went to her concert.

We took our seats (at the second to top row!) and before we knew it, the support act started. They were a Scottish duet called Martin & James and I couldn’t help but feel they were a little out of place. They played a few songs, no backing band, just them and their guitars (and sometimes a tambourine too) which could only be placed into the ‘folk’ genre. I honestly thought they were two members of the Mumford & Sons! Anyways, I enjoyed their music; it was really down to earth, chilled music with beautiful harmonies.

Then we were joined by a group of six boys who sat behind us, aged between 16-18. My sister and I exchanged the same glance ‘what the hell are THEY doing here?!’ Soon enough, it became clear that they were absolutely wasted. We asked them why they came along and they said it was a joke for their friend’s 18th birthday (which was an obvious lie because they knew the lyrics to every single song!).

Before Taylor started, the boy, whose 18th birthday it was, decided to change seats, being drunk, he stumbled and as the seats are so high, as he fell, his foot went straight into the back of my neck. Lovely.

Despite the pain, I stood up when the lights went down and waited for Taylor to come on stage. She didn’t perform many of her old songs as the tour was for her latest album, but she did remix some well-known songs. She also spoke to the audience a lot, and when they sung back to her, well, I have never seen someone so humble and the gratitude in her eyes was apparent to everyone. She loved every single person in that arena. Her band were amazing, but she doesn’t call them her band, they’re her family, and Taylor knows she wouldn’t be able to do anything without them.

An extra-long guitar solo at the end of ‘Better than revenge’ had me watering at the mouth and the violin solo starting ‘Enchanted’ had my jaw on the floor and tears in my eyes. These musicians aren’t in it for the money or the fame; the passion behind the way they played was so clear, and it was obvious they too were grateful that they have the opportunity to do what they love in front of 18,000 people.

Taylor went down into the audience between a few songs, once more showing her gratitude towards her loving fans, and to show people she wasn’t relying on her band, she even performed a couple of songs solo, just her and a ukulele. I have to say, her voice is so much better live than it is on record, and you can’t say that about a lot of artists nowadays.

Overall, it was an alright concert. Usually, if I was to come out of a concert black and blue I’d expect it to have been because of a mosh pit. But I did enjoy the music and I do have so much respect for her as an artist. And I saw my sister look genuinely happy and she had a good time, which is all that matters, right?

Well, I did spend rather a lot of money and got kicked in the neck, maybe next time I’ll just show her a funny youtube video to make her smile…

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