Taylor Swift dazzles, crowd Bedazzles

photoThe Yum! Center was doused in red once again, but this time, it didn’t have squat to do with a Cardinal. Taylor Swift brought her sold-out Red Tour to the venue last night and gave an upbeat, thrilling performance that lasted more than two hours with nary a break, other than a two-minute costume change.

Most of the songs she performed were from Red, her record-breaking recent release. With more than 1.2 million copies sold in the U.S. in its first week, Red scored the highest first-week sales debut of any album in more than a decade. And for you numbers nerds, it’s the eighth largest first-week debut in chart history and the second-biggest seller ever for a female artist. Who says people don’t buy records anymore? (Red also set a new worldwide iTunes record for highest ever first-week album sales.)

But back to the show! Swift’s stage was sparse but included an audience pit in the middle so she could walk around and be closer to her shrieking fans. She correctly pronounced “Louisville” and said she was glad to be back. And with thousands of blinking homemade “22” and “TS” signs, she proclaimed us one of the most creative cities she’s been to. She candidly talked to the audience throughout and wasn’t afraid to touch on a recent criticism that she writes too much about her current loves and past flings. “I write songs about my emotions,” she said. “And some people say I have too many emotions.”

Swift mostly sang and walked around stage, but on a few songs, like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” she strummed the banjo or guitar. One of the more tender moments was when she was at the piano describing her songwriting technique and sang the ballad “All Too Well.”

My favorite performance was the upbeat current hit “22” in which she crowd-surfed through the audience to a makeshift stage toward the back of the arena and met up with a dozen or so dancers. It appeared like she was genuinely having a good time as she jumped around to the song.

I never imagined I’d ever be a Swifter (is that what her fans are called?), but after being hooked by Red and seeing this show, I’m ready to help her dust her competition. —Sara Havens

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