“I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now,” proclaimed Taylor Swift towards the end of her “Reputation” reveal in front of a captive and capacity B96 Pepsi Jingle Bash crowd at the Allstate Arena. “Why? Oh, ‘cause she’s dead!” While it was certainly true as far as her latest long player goes, the regularly reinventing superstar displayed shades of several personalities throughout a magnetic set, flanked by her band and four supporting singers/dancers.
The focus soon swung back to Taylor Swift’s revamped attitude with the inaugural live performance of the witty, synthpop smash-in-the-making “Gorgeous” and the aforementioned “Look What You Made Me Do,” which was by far the most unpredictable example of the 27-year-old singer/songwriter’s electroclash experimentations.
In keeping with the current theme, she started on the sassier side with the ever so appropriate “…Ready For It?” as the throbbing electronics, pounding bass and fans’ endless screams practically shook the entire room. It was a bold and edgy musical rebranding, though parents need not fear, Swift and her entourage never got raunchy, instead letting the darker beats and mature lyrics speak for themselves.
However, it didn’t take long for the headliner to dust off the pure pop sing-a-long “Blank Space” and the Motown/girl group-inspired groove of “Shake It Off,” each a chart-topper from her blockbuster “1989” collection. Nothing appeared from the country portion of her career, but a solo stab at “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” (featuring Zayn on the studio version) hearkened back to that era, especially when she strapped on an acoustic guitar and strummed along in the stripped down setting.
The focus soon swung back to Swift’s revamped attitude with the inaugural live performance of the witty, synthpop smash-in-the-making “Gorgeous” and the aforementioned “Look What You Made Me Do,” which was by far the most unpredictable example of the 27-year-old singer/songwriter’s electroclash experimentations. As it all came to a climactic conclusion in a storm of strobes, Swifties undoubtedly salivated at what’s to come when the “Reputation” Stadium Tour gears up to slay Soldier Field on June 1 and 2.
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For additional information on Taylor Swift, visit TaylorSwift.com.
Upcoming concert highlights at the Allstate Arena include The Chainsmokers, Demi Lovato and more (Dec. 13); Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Dec. 28); Little Big Town (Feb. 16) and Brad Paisley (Feb. 24). For additional details, visit Rosemont.com/Allstate/ and Ticketmaster.com.