Taylor Swift in Brisbane: flawless beyond her 26 years

Taylor Swift performs during her ‘1989’ World Tour. Photo: Mark MetcalfeTaylor Swift had a blank space, baby, and on Saturday night, she wrote Brisbane’s name.

The 1989 World Tour hit Suncorp Stadium in a blaze of colour, energy and an endless array of midriff-baring costumery before tens of thousands who packed the venue to worship at the altar of T.Swift.

“Good evening Brisbane, I’m Taylor,” she told the adoring crowd, before going on to add, “and I was born in 1989.”

Glad we got that one cleared up early.

At a stadium where the most fervent support is usually reserved for Queensland’s state of origin team, the American songstress inspired equally ardent devotion.

It was in Brisbane late last decade where she played her first Australian gig as a teenager, she told the crowd, at “a small bar”, about as stark a contrast you could find to the stadium spectacular of her 2015 return to the city.

That “small bar” was the Tivoli, in a tour that came on the back of her first international number one, the Romeo and Juliet-inspired Love Story, which she said on Saturday night, she wrote on her bedroom floor as a 17-year-old.

The country-style song that reached number one in 2008 made Saturday night’s set list late in the piece, and while well received, was clearly demonstrative of how far the singer’s style had evolved from her Nashville roots to the pure pop of last year’s 1989.

And it was that pure pop, or one song in particular, everyone in the crowd came to see.

The mega hit Shake it Off was delivered in a spectacular blaze of colour and energy, that had the entire crowd on its feet, shaking it off with her.

The 178 centimetre singer who almost singlehandedly brought back the high waisted short shorts had clearly inspired a legion of women in the crowd, many of whom were bopping along in their own Swift-esque shorts and crop top combinations.

It was a song that clearly demonstrated the culmination of the pop princess’s evolution.

From the youthful optimism of Love Story, which just didn’t seem to quite fit any more, to 2012’s assertive We are Never, Ever Getting Back Together to Bad Blood from 1989, an ode to the betrayal of a friend, Swift has, like Pink before her, clearly chosen her own path, and it’s one that speaks to legions of fans of all ages.

The hordes of primary school girls and teenagers in the crowd, numbers of whom suggest the singer’s Brisbane concert numbers would have halved had it been held on a school night, clearly demonstrate the widespread appeal of her new pop style alone.

But her willingness to use her own heartbreak as inspiration for her songwriting, and then, by way of Shake it Off deliver a big, “I don’t give a shit what you think” has propelled her into a new stratosphere of power.

It’s one that clearly resonates with her largely female fan base. At just a week shy of her 26th birthday, the singer is already an almost unparalleled force in the performance world.

Her almost flawless stadium show belies a maturity well beyond her years and her lack of ego clearly contributes to the ardent fandom she enjoys.

It’s a magnetism that makes it hard to imagine her star will do anything but continue to rise. Sadly for many, this may mean her days of performing at the Tivoli may never come again.

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