Review: Taylor Swift's 1989 World Tour

The 1989 World Tour rolled into Toronto on October 2, for the first of two sold out shows at the Rogers Centre. Yes. You read that right. Two. And yes, that means more than 100,000 people. It was complete madness. And completely awesome.

Best friends, daughters, moms, grandmothers, and even a few dads, slowly trickled into the massive venue, dressed in everything from tutus, to mini lights, to a girl who was remarkably dressed as the cover of the 1989 CD. 

With such a massive production Taylor Swift’s set list can’t help but be predictable, but that didn’t make it any less exciting. After a pump the crowd up song from Calvin Harris (go figure), the lights went out and the crowd went wild as Taylor Swift made her first appearance and welcomed us all to New York.

One of the most unique things about the show is that upon arriving at our seats, every single person in the venue was greeted with a strange white bracelet taped to the back of our chair. It was obvious that it would light up, but when was a complete uncertain. Luckily we didn’t have to wait too long to find out. Our wrists lit up and flashed along in different colours to every single song. About half way through the show, Taylor explained that she loved the bracelets because it meant that we didn’t have to be just a giant dark shadow. She could see every single one of us individually. It definitely made the massive stadium feel a lot more intimate—a very impressive feat.

She performed a remix of Blank Space, where she incorporated the words “Blue Jays”… it’s still up in the air if this will be a good thing or not. You know, Taylor Swift curse and all.

Littered throughout the night were interviews with Taylor’s Girl Squad, giving Taylor the opportunity for multiple glitzy outfit changes. There was even an adorable yet uncooperative appearance from Dr. Meredith Grey and Detective Olivia Benson.

Impressive choreographed dance moves aside, Taylor took many opportunities to thank the Toronto crowd for their support and talk to the audience in her own words. On the stage runway, which elevated and rotated to give the audience a better view of the pop star, Taylor pulled out her acoustic guitar, slowed things down and dug into her album archives. When she said, “I wrote this when I didn’t wear heels… I wore sneakers,” the crowd went crazy because they knew exactly what was coming. She performed fan-favourites You Belong with Me and Love Story from her 2008 album Fearless.

As this was of course the 1989 Tour, there was no shortage of hits from the album. Style, Bad Blood, and We Are Never Ever Getting back Together had the crowd, out of their seats and dancing the entire night.

There had been a lot of guesses going around as to what star Taylor would bring out as her special guest. Drake? Carly Rae Jepsen? It seemed like nobody was off limits. But it appeared that no one could have predicted Keith Urban. The crowd went wild, as Taylor went back to her roots and performed John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16, and Somebody Like You with the country star.

She closed out the night with… Surprise, surprise – Shake it off and she definitely pulled out all the stops. Pyrotechnics, a sparkly bright green dress, contagiously high-energy, and over 50,000 people shaking it off.

Thanks for a great night Taylor, just please, please, don’t mess with our beloved Blue Jays. 

Set List

1. Welcome to New York
2. New Romantics
3. Blank Space
4. I Knew You Were Trouble
5. I Wish You Would
6. How You Get The Girl
7. I Know Places
8. You Belong With Me
9. Clean
10. Love Story
11. Style
12. Bad Blood
13. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
14. John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 (with Keith Urban)
15. Love Somebody (with Keith Urban)
16. Wildest Dreams
17. Out of the Woods
18. Shake It Off

Make sure you check out all our Concert Photos from here set here: bit.ly/taylorswifttoronto

Words by: Karlie Hopf
Photography by: Steve St. Jean

Steve St. Jean

Founded in 2011, Beyond The Watch is part content agency,part publication, with an emphasis on music & youth culture.We provide partners with curated branded content throughPhotography, Videography, Art Direction & Design.