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Bye, Taylor Swift: Show over, but Singapore will keep looking at you

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Bye, Taylor Swift: Show over, but Singapore will keep looking at you

American pop star Taylor Swift performing at the National Stadium on the last of her six Eras Tour shows here. PHOTOS: ST READER
Yamini Chinnuswamy
Correspondent
UPDATED MAR 10, 2024, 04:29 PM
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SINGAPORE – “Confetti falls to the ground, may these memories break our fall,” goes a line in American pop star Taylor Swift’s song Long Live, off her third album Speak Now (2010).

As she closed out her sixth and final concert on March 9 with confetti and fireworks, surely that was the refrain that some 63,000 fans were clinging to as they left the National Stadium.

Swift, 34, took the stage slightly later than usual, around 7.10pm, but it was to clear skies. That was the only concert not marred by rain and oppressive humidity before or during showtime since her Singapore leg began

Bye, Taylor Swift: Show over, but Singapore will keep looking at you

American pop star Taylor Swift performing at the National Stadium on the last of her six Eras Tour shows here. PHOTOS: ST READER
Yamini Chinnuswamy
Correspondent
UPDATED MAR 10, 2024, 04:29 PM
FacebookTelegram
SINGAPORE – “Confetti falls to the ground, may these memories break our fall,” goes a line in American pop star Taylor Swift’s song Long Live, off her third album Speak Now (2010).

As she closed out her sixth and final concert on March 9 with confetti and fireworks, surely that was the refrain that some 63,000 fans were clinging to as they left the National Stadium.

Swift, 34, took the stage slightly later than usual, around 7.10pm, but it was to clear skies. That was the only concert not marred by rain and oppressive humidity before or during showtime since her Singapore leg began on March 2.

For once, Swift’s straightened dirty blonde locks did not return to their “factory settings” of wavy and curly within the first hour.

But those hoping for more firsts from the last of her Asia-Pacific performances – the Eras Tour takes a break before the Europe circuit kicks off in Paris on May 9 – would have been disappointed.

For instance, Swift did not offer any sneak peeks of her upcoming album, The Tortured Poets Department, which comes out on April 19. She did not even acknowledge it, despite this being her last gig before release day.

Toggle navigation

Bye, Taylor Swift: Show over, but Singapore will keep looking at you

American pop star Taylor Swift performing at the National Stadium on the last of her six Eras Tour shows here. PHOTOS: ST READER
Yamini Chinnuswamy
Correspondent
UPDATED MAR 10, 2024, 04:29 PM
FacebookTelegram
SINGAPORE – “Confetti falls to the ground, may these memories break our fall,” goes a line in American pop star Taylor Swift’s song Long Live, off her third album Speak Now (2010).

As she closed out her sixth and final concert on March 9 with confetti and fireworks, surely that was the refrain that some 63,000 fans were clinging to as they left the National Stadium.

Swift, 34, took the stage slightly later than usual, around 7.10pm, but it was to clear skies. That was the only concert not marred by rain and oppressive humidity before or during showtime since her Singapore leg began on March 2.

For once, Swift’s straightened dirty blonde locks did not return to their “factory settings” of wavy and curly within the first hour.

But those hoping for more firsts from the last of her Asia-Pacific performances – the Eras Tour takes a break before the Europe circuit kicks off in Paris on May 9 – would have been disappointed.

For instance, Swift did not offer any sneak peeks of her upcoming album, The Tortured Poets Department, which comes out on April 19. She did not even acknowledge it, despite this being her last gig before release day.

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Even the presence of her boyfriend, American football player Travis Kelce, was not exactly new. He had already been spotted in a VIP suite on March 8, prompting Swift to twice tweak a line in her song Karma (2022) to “Karma is the guy on the Chiefs, coming straight home to me”.

Kelce, 34, plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, a professional American football team.

Even backup dancer Kameron Saunders seemed to have run out of Singaporeanisms for Swift’s performance of We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, when he routinely shoots off the final zinger to Swift’s monologue in the bridge.

Instead of “like ever”, Saunders came up with “hanor, abuden?” for the last Singapore show. This is a Singlish deep-cut that indicates exasperated agreement, but it seemed less exciting than the other classic Singlish phrases he whipped out on previous shows, including “no lah” and “alamak”.

More notably, however, Swift was the first female act to headline six shows at the National Stadium, as the superstar herself proudly highlighted. More than 368,000 people had streamed through the doors over the week of concerts.

A significant number of these Swifties had travelled to Singapore from all over the region for the occasion. As Swift observed on March 9, that crowd “definitely (had) the home town outnumbered”.

What was perhaps most remarkable was the reality that whether you had attended on March 9 – or 2, 3, 4, 7 or 8 – you would have enjoyed virtually the same experience as everyone else.

Whichever gig you booked, and whether you had an up-close view of her from the floor or a bird’s-eye view from the nosebleeds, Swift and her dancers, singers, instrumentalists and stage crew went all out to put on a rousing, three-hour extravaganza of song, dance, set pieces, and stage and lighting effects each time.

In the light of this spectacle, even the crowd control problems observed on March 2, where people gate-crashed the aisles in the VIP 1 sections immediately surrounding the stage, seemed like a distant memory, thanks to the barriers put in place from March 3.

To its credit, the Singapore Sports Hub took swift action to fix that hiccup. It also went above and beyond in showcasing why Swift was justified in choosing Singapore to be her only stop in South-east Asia.

Given the intense emotions that Swift attracts from her fans – and the unprecedented scale of these concerts – touches such as the live DJs spinning tracks and keeping the crowds calm around Stadium MRT station before and after the show, kept the peace while adding to the convivial atmosphere.

Other thoughtful provisions included the friendship bracelet-making stations open to the public and the conversion of several male toilets within the stadium for women’s use.

Who knows when Swift will be back in Singapore? She herself pointed out during the finale that it would not be for “a long while”, given that she wraps up her record-breaking Eras Tour in Vancouver only on Dec 8.

But as Swift sang during Mirrorball, a Folklore (2020) track that was one of her acoustic set choices for the closing night: “I’m still trying everything, to keep you looking at me.”

And after the furore of the past week – and also these past few months ever since the local leg was announced – Singapore will be looking at her for a long time.

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