Photo by David Brendan Hall
No artist was as omnipresent in 2015 as Taylor Swift, including standing up to Apple, a covers album, a star-studded music video, a photography contract debacle, and a beef-squashing appearance at the VMAs. And kicking off in Las Vegas for Rock in Rio, the goal of Swift’s 1989 arena and stadium tour was to bring her fans even closer to her life, trying to make them feel like they are a part of her infamous squad that she is so often photographed with when not making headlines for her many musical accomplishments.
Now, whether that was successful depends on where you are standing. At seemingly every stop on her tour, the most notable moment of the performance would come when she brought out a special guest. These famous friends made the tour a daily news brief and included Ed Sheeran in Vegas, Beck and St. Vincent in LA, Nelly in St. Louis, dressing up like Frozen‘s Olaf on Halloween with Idina Menzel, and Mick Jagger in Nashville. Often the guests would connect to the city, but sometimes, as in Houston, it was a pretty random appearance from Wiz Khalifa.
And where these guests and the videos displayed during Swift’s wardrobe changes might give a glimpse into the fabulous life of Swift, they also created a paradoxical relationship between the artist and her fans, where her audience was seemingly let into her inner circle to find out exactly how far away the world of Swift’s really was from their own. Regardless, Swift still provided a unique spin on the idea of touring, creating a live experience that fit neatly into the entire 1989 force she has created. Hell, the audience participation tools created for her tour even saved fans lives. Who else could say that this year?