I probably should not begin this review by stating I am not a die-hard Taylor Swift fan. But, there it is. I had the opportunity to attend the concert last Friday and no, I was not excited beyond belief that this sold-out concert would be one I was able to be present for. The friend I had asked to join me had responded with, “Omg, omg, omg, is this real life? YES!” Glad someone was excited. 

     I love concerts, any type of public musical event where I can enjoy the beauty of art flowing through the pumped up, emotionally powerful atmosphere filled with connections beyond imagination with people you’ve never met and probably never will meet again. Old friends, new friends, friends you know are there, but won’t have the chance to run into. You are all there for one reason. Music. That, is how I should have started this review. 

     Even though I am not a fan of Taylor Swift, I can appreciate the girl has talent. Anyone who can sell out an arena, twice in one weekend, has a gift. With that being said, what about Swift makes her so popular? The CenturyLink Center was filled with fans from the age of four to the 50 and older range. 

     How can one person gather so many different varieties of people in one room? I have been in arguments regarding Swift with friends who say they love her, but can never specifically state why. She’s an All-American girl you’ve either known for her newest pop songs or have loved her since her country days. Or maybe it’s both. You love you can connect with her on the teen-level of heartbreak, but growing up you know the world is harsher than that. From the world-shattering first love romances with the rare happy endings to the cheating, lying scumbags you wish you could have punched. Her friends become your friends. They are funny and she is funny. She is the quirky and cool kind of weird. She isn’t afraid to be silly and laugh at herself for tripping or saying the wrong word or having her pet cat claw away from her for dear life. 

    Her concert was a connecting atmosphere in and of itself. As we found our seats, we discovered a white bracelet taped to the back. They appeared to light up, but my friend banged hers against the side of the wall with no results, a security member walking by said, “Sweetie, it will light up when Taylor comes on, you’ll see.” After Vance Joy, the opening act, left the stage and thirty minutes later the lights dimmed, Taylor arose on the stage and with the first beat our bracelets lit up to a bright blue. They followed the rhythm of the songs in a colorful array matching the mood of each with a specific color. Swift stated she didn’t like to sing in front of an audience in a sea of darkness. She wanted to see Omaha’s beautiful faces and be connected in this way. It was pretty cool, although, I have to admit part of me was hoping the bracelet wouldn’t be stuck on my wrist and I would be forced in a robotic-like manner to become a T-Swift fan for life. 

     The concert overall was the full package. With entertaining videos to distract us from Swift’s outfit changes, a lifting and movable stage, attractive backup dancers, and the music the audience knew and loved. Swift put twists on some of her older country-defined music and turned them into rock. When it came time for the slower songs, Swift dug deep with the audience and gave us some sound advice about loving yourself and being strong. The dancers had smooth moves, awesome props. There were some suggestive dance moves I didn’t think were suitable for the seven-year-old girls sitting behind me, but I personally was not complaining. 

     Swift’s songs can find a connection with anyone. For example, “Shake It Off.” Everyone has bad days where you get down on yourself or interactions with people that make you cringe in fury. Why are we all hating so much? And why am I hating on someone that doesn’t care if I hate her or her music? Whether I was at the concert or not, whether anyone was at the concert – haters, or lovers, Taylor Swift was going to shake it off. And shake it off she did. And shake it off I did! It was a mixture of the addicting beats, memorable lyrics and attitude that you rock, no matter what you’ve been through. Even I could not deny it and the playful atmosphere had me smiling, singing along, dancing and shaking. Yes, my friend has proof to show everyone. Just in case I decide to become a hater again and try to deny that I did in fact have a good time at a Taylor Swift concert. 

If you have the opportunity to see Taylor Swift, whether you’re a fan or not, you should check her out and you might just find yourself smiling and shaking. In the meantime, visit The Reader’s Facebook for pictures from the concert on Friday, Oct. 9.

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