reputation Stadium Tour
Table of Contents
Background and Development
In August 2017, Billboard reported that Taylor would be using Ticketmaster’s “Verified Fan” program to prevent bots and ticket scalpers from purchasing tickets. The program, named “Taylor Swift Tix”, allowed fans to purchase tickets in advance of the public on-sale by participating in boost activities to increase chances of getting a pre-sale access code.
On November 13, 2017, Taylor announced the first round of dates for the tour jointly with Ticketmaster. Tickets went on sale to the general public on December 13, 2017 (Taylor’s 28th birthday).
On March 1, 2018, Taylor officially announced Camila Cabello and Charli XCX as the opening acts for the “reputation Stadium Tour”. Camila was previously speculated as the opening act due to the fact that her “Never Be the Same Tour” dates didn’t coincide with Taylor’s tour; Portland’s Live 95.5 even announced her in a sweepstake for the July 22, 2018 concert at the Wembley Stadium in London through a since-deleted post on Twitter, a day before Taylor confirmed her as the opening act. On May 8, 2018, Taylor announced 2 shows in Tokyo, with Charli XCX as the opening act.
Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” faded as the lights dimmed and the screens poured out talk-show soundbytes about Taylor. In keeping with the theme of reputation, the stadium show opened with a black-and-white retrospective montage featuring some of the many headlines — the good, the bad and the very ugly — that Taylor had made over the years. After one reporter announced, “Taylor Swift is in hot water again” and another whined, “She holds too many grudges,” the word “reputation” began to repeat as the woman at the center of it all took the stage.
Taylor made a striking entrance. No elevation or descent, simply walking out from behind a curtain bathed in brilliant white light, Taylor first appeared onstage wearing dark lipstick, lace-up knee-high boots, and a hooded, sequinned black leotard, standing before a pair of larger-than-life video screens on a grandiose stage with four massive catwalks shaped like an X. Without much pomp and circumstance, the growl from the beginning of “…Ready for It?” kicked in after Taylor uttered the first lyric and struck a pose, driving the sold-out crowd of 65,000 fans wild. It was an appropriate and compelling opener, quickly followed by “I Did Something Bad,” where Taylor exuded confidence and attitude. She made sure to ramp up the dramatics by slowing down the opening lines and when she was joined by a group of all-female backup singers, she stared directly into the camera before launching into a choreographed routine, backed by fireworks so massive that the heat practically radiated through the stadium.
Next up was the much sweeter “Gorgeous” where Taylor took a break and introduced each and every one of her female back up singers and dancers to the crowd, putting their faces up on the big screen. Interestingly, for a huge mainstream artist, the show was not as much of a hit-fest as some might have expected, with much of the set focussed on material from Taylor’s latest album. The first song she performed that was not off of reputation was “Style,” from 1989 (2014), which morphed into “Love Story” and then “You Belong With Me” from her second album, Fearless (2008).
As the video screens created a starry backdrop and the audience wristbands lit up to create waves of color throughout the stands, Taylor explained why she was so afraid of earning herself a bad reputation, which basically came down to her feeling like it would stop her from having something real. Real friendships, real love, real encounters with people she might otherwise miss out on because of earning herself a bad reputation due to gossip. It all is really… “Delicate” (1, 2, 3, LET’S GO, BITCH). She sang the song on a small platform wrapped in golden fairy lights (a gold cage in which she was hostage to her feelings?), which flew her to the other side of the stadium, landing on a smaller — but still big — B-stage. “Do you wanna dance with me?” she asked before the first beats of “Shake It Off” started playing and opening acts Charli XCX and Camila Cabello joined Taylor on stage. All of the confetti falling from the sky was a nice call-back to “The 1989 World Tour” (2015).
But it’s the Alone Time With Tay that fans treasure most. There was a two-song solo segment with just Taylor and her guitar, half of which consisted of her proving that the recent album’s “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” (or on some nights “So It Goes..“) worked as well acoustically without the big electropop production. The other half was a wild-card slot. On opening night, Taylor acceded to online demand by resurrecting the rarely played breakup ballad “All Too Well,” the song that was like a secret handshake among True Swifties.
Her band kicked back in and she marched over to the opposite auxiliary stage, changing costumes yet again in the process, to sing her massive hit “Blank Space.” “Dress,” perhaps her most overtly sexual song ever, got a similarly stripped-down performance. While Taylor was singing, only one white-robed dancer ran complementary circles around her, with artificially extended arms weaving folds of white fabric through the air. Suddenly, Taylor was flying again, this time in a skeletal snake pod of sorts, singing a mashup of “Bad Blood” and “Should’ve Said No,” banjos and acoustic guitars laced into a lurching synth beat.
Back on the main stage, fans got one more big pyrotechnic reputation moment with the almost-religious experience of “Don’t Blame Me.” With such a huge production and occasionally processed vocals it seemed heartening and important when Taylor was sitting down alone behind a piano for a medley of “Long Live” and “New Year’s Day.”
After a video interlude of Taylor’s poem “Why She Disappeared“, the synth gem “Getaway Car,” which really ought to be a single, found Taylor alone on stage against a backdrop of nature scenes from the American West. The stellar ballad “Call It What You Want” was presented in front of an illustrated retro mansion and a large functioning fountain.
The show ended with a medley of “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” two buoyant singles about holding your ground. In that context, the “reputation Stadium Tour” was soon regarded as a testament to Taylor’s era-defying longevity. “And in the death of her reputation, she felt truly alive” were the final words fans saw upon the show’s end. While it provided a perfect close to the story of the show, Taylor’s performance was physical proof that she meant it. As her music had evolved, she did too, but Taylor hadn’t lost sight of what got her there or the passionate performer she was in the beginning. This was the reputation Taylor Swift — and her fans — had been waiting for.
With a $14 million take from 107,550 sold tickets at Levi’s Stadium Taylor topped her own gross and attendance counts set during “The 1989 World Tour” in 2015. With more than 118,000 fans in attendance at the Rose Bowl, the two-show run earned $16.2 million and set a new gross record for a single headliner at the venue, surpassing U2’s 2017 record by over $467,000. Grossing records previously set by U2 as well were broken at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, where she topped their “Joshua Tree Tour” 2017 gross by $2.4 million, and Denver’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High, where she surpassed the $6.6 million gross set by the band in 2011 during their 360° Tour by $1.2 million. Taylor made history by becoming the first female artist to headline Dublin’s Croke Park twice, with around 136,000 fans reportedly attending both nights. Similarly, she achieved the milestone of becoming the first woman to headline three consecutive nights at MetLife Stadium and Gillette Stadium.
Following the tour’s 29th show in North American soil at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, the “reputation Stadium Tour” had grossed about $202.3 million in the continent ($191.1 million from the United States and $11.1 million from Canada) thus breaking Taylor’s own record of having the highest grossing tour by a female artist in North American history, surpassing her “1989 World Tour” (2015) in much lesser dates.
|Start Date||May 8, 2018|
|No. of Shows||53|
TAYLOR SWIFT CONCERT CHRONOLOGY