Our reporter Kristine attended Day 2 of 3 nights in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Taylor Swift’s reputation precedes her. This weekend, I attended my first-ever TS concert, after being a fan of hers since the beginning. But as I rolled up to Day 2 of 3 “Reputation Tour” stops in East Rutherford, New Jersey, I somehow arrived armed with many expectations.
Expectations can be dangerous, because the reality of the show which lies ahead may not live up to your wildest daydreams. Especially when you’ve had 10 years to imagine what she’s like in person. But with Taylor, I knew I could expect a mix of incredible songs, dramatic showmanship, and all-star opening acts with Charli XCX and Camila Cabello. As a longtime fan, I confidently knew she would deliver on all these levels. But what none of us were expecting was the rain.
If you see any photos or reviews on social media from East Rutherford’s Day 2 show, you’ll know that torrential downpours persisted throughout Taylor’s entire two-hour set. The rains actually started up during Camila’s performance, and the singer told all of us that Taylor would find the whole thing romantic.
And of course she would. Most venues would cancel a tour stop with rain this bad. Or performers would pull out or complain. Or fans would go home to avoid the cold win and soaked-through outfits. But Taylor, and Swifties, were happy to dance in the rain for, as the star called it, “a once in a lifetime kind of event.” As her surprise song for this show, she whipped out the classic “Fearless,” which she belted out in front of a packed stadium, wearing a new dress, in the storm. See, you expect poetic moments from Taylor, and she delivers so succinctly that you’re sobbing in the rain right along with her.
As you may know, Taylor’s “Reputation” album was all about re-inventing herself. But “the Old Taylor,” is not, as she claims, “dead.” This tour is filled with larger-than-life details, like fireworks shows, giant animatronic snakes on stage, powerful dancers, aerial performances and more. The Old Taylor is still very much alive in the set, though: you can see her shine through in numbers straight off “Red,” or “1989,” as she sings hits like “Shake It Off,” “Style,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and many more.
Taylor is unbelievably fierce rocking her sparkly costumes and sassy snake print rompers as she dances to “Look What You Made Me Do,” and “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.” These are such crowd-pleasing numbers that work incredibly well in huge stadium arenas like MetLife, which pack in over 50,000 fans. But there is something so undeniably powerful about her coming on a small section of stage with just her guitar as she sings the country-inspired ballads that made us all fall in love with her.
Written by Kristine Hope Kowalski