The 1989 World Tour
Table of Contents
Background and Development
The tour took seven months to plan before three months of music rehearsals, four weeks of stage rehearsals and ten days of two-a-days dress rehearsals. It traveled with 26 semi-trailer trucks and 11 buses carrying 146 people from city to city. Additionally, about 125-150 people were hired in each city to help with the load in and stage setup. The entire load in and stage setup process took between 6 and 8 hours for arenas, with stadiums requiring an additional day. Many of the traveling crew members had worked on Taylor’s tours since the Fearless era. Taylor chose two designs for the trucks’ vinyl wrap; 13 carried one design and 13 had the other.
The concert opened with “Welcome To New York” as tens of thousands of light-up bracelets turned on, perfectly in sync with the song, and Taylor made it known that she was in the building. It was a combination of a cinematic moment and a trip to outer space. The show continued with a beautifully executed 1989 bonus track, “New Romantics”. It upped the ante on neon lights, further illuminating the point that Taylor wasn’t in Nashville anymore. The massive hit “Blank Space” followed. During the bridge, Taylor took out a golf club and hit it against a metal pole in rhythm on the stage’s runway. This effect, and her voice singing the bridge, were recorded and repeated on top of each other. Then, she used that recording to harmonize with herself while she shouted out the city the concert was being held in. It not only entertained the audience, but added a great effect to the song. After performing “I Wish You Would“, “How You Get the Girl” featured Taylor and her dancers in lit-up outfits, performing with umbrellas in otherwise darkness – until the crowd turned into a giant sea of blue for the last chorus. In contrast, “I Know Places” received a uniquely provocative hard-rock reading, with the leggy Taylor in thigh-high black boots and garters. The song’s intense lyrics and production were accompanied by a performance of Taylor being chased by the masked dancers through multiple mobile doors. After the song ended, Taylor sometimes performed performed “All You Had to Do Was Stay“, which was followed by either “You Are in Love,” “Wonderland” or a customized number that she performed differently at several shows. Then Taylor introduced “Clean” by sharing lessons she had learnt in her personal life with her audiences.
The final part of the show sped up with another recent hit, “Style.” Each night of the tour, Taylor invited new surprise guests to walk the stage runway with her while the hit single played. The celebrity appearances included everyone from Julia Roberts, to her friends Martha Hunt, Gigi Hadid and Lily Aldrige, and even Kobe Bryant. Afterwards, fans finally got to see Taylor’s backup singers (the Starlights) up close as they got to come down the catwalk where they performed the pop ballad “This Love” together. For the performance of “Bad Blood“, Taylor dressed in a top-to-toe black leather suit.
One more highlight of the show came when Taylor rose from the center of the stage playing a sparkling grand piano. She began with the 2010 power ballad “Enchanted,” segued into “Wildest Dreams” and finished by blending the two songs to create a stunning rendition. In “Out of the Woods,” the penultimate performance, giant paper airplanes were circling above Taylor, as she sang her heart out about being in a snow mobile accident with Harry Styles.
The show closed with the energetic performance of “Shake It Off,” during which Taylor and her dancers danced on a spinning platform while fireworks went off. The stadium filled with confetti and cheers as the fan’s bracelets twinkled blue, green and purple, bringing an end to one of the most spectacular concerts of the decade.
The Clean Speech
As is tradition for her tours, Taylor regularly hosted after-show meet and greets for some of her lucky fans. During the concert, her mom Andrea and some members of Taylor Nation carefully watched the crowd to see which fans were the most excited to be there. The bigger the poster, the shinier the costume, the better. If chosen, fans got to enter the backstage VIP experience Loft ’89 backstage hangout after the end of the show. The space was inspired by Taylor’s own New York City apartment that fans had become deeply familiar through her social media. The setup included brick walls, couches, and foods including pizza and homemade cookies.
During the fan meetup, fans would wait around on couches, chatting with others until Taylor would come out to greet them. To pass the time, Loft ’89 included artifacts that every super fan would recognize from previous tours or photoshoots, as well as additional photo opportunities. When Taylor eventually showed up, she would spend time with each group of people, getting to know them and cracking jokes. They would then take a photo together and Taylor would sign one of their belongings, or a laminated tour photo.
“The 1989 World Tour” was also nominated for several awards, winning “Best US Act” at the 2015 MTV Europe Music Awards, as well as “Tour of the Year” at the 2016 Pollstar Awards and “Best Tour” at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards.
On December 13, 2015 (Taylor’s 26th birthday), she announced she had partnered with Apple Music to release a concert film entitled The 1989 World Tour Live on December 20. Filmed in front of 75’980 fans during her stop at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on November 28, it shows the entire two-hour performance and never-before seen footage from backstage and from rehearsals with some of the musical and surprise guests from previous shows.
|Start Date||May 5, 2015|
|No. of Shows||85|
TAYLOR SWIFT CONCERT CHRONOLOGY