Taylor Swift in Bright, Burning Red in Manila
It was Taylor Swift’s 2nd time to visit Manila. In 2011, she left the Big Dome in awe during her “Speak Now” Tour, a full house in attendance. Last Friday, she attracted an even bigger and louder crowd as she brought the MOA Arena down with “Red”. The Arena was packed with around 16,000 people, ranging from adolescents to parents, teenagers to professionals and casual concert-goers to full-blown Taylor Swift fans.
Taylor Swift, the 24-year old singer/songwriter known for her straightforward yet catchy, country tunes about romance and its inevitable downsides, was a bright beacon of inspiration as she played her most recognized hits while giving bits of insightful commentary about life in general. This was perfectly matched with an extravagant production composed of well choreographed dance movements, moving theatrics and striking costumes.
The crowd, on the other hand, was brimming with energy from start to finish. It was another loud evening down at the Arena as they sang, screamed and swooned to each of Taylor’s song. If that wasn’t enough a good number of the audience were in fashion with the evening’s attraction –the red shorts, red skirts, red shoes, Keds, the heart-shaped sunglasses, the black fedora, everything Taylor Swift wore – they were all there.
Before the concert, a huge volume of people were seen in numerous snake-like queues. The new system implemented by MOA Arena management caused some delay during the entrance to the venue. It took up to 30 minutes for people to get in because of the hold-up during inspections.
The show began at around 9pm, as the lights dimmed and the silhouette of Taylor Swift donning her fedora was projected against the red curtains enclosing the stage. With this, people were already going crazy. As the curtains fell off, “State of Grace” was heard, followed by “Holy Ground”.
To officially welcome the crowd to the Red Tour, she greeted “Magandang gabi po!” and “Mabuhay!”
She continued, “(Red) is an album I wrote about heartbreak, about falling in love, infatuation and danger – all the intense emotions we feel when we fall in and out of love. Now, I think, you and I will be on the same page when I say, if I had to choose one color to represent all of those emotions that go into falling in love and having your heart broken, the color that I would choose, Manila, would be bright, burning red.” Then she proceeded to play the namesake of her tour, “Red”.
All in all, she played 13 songs which lasted for approximately 1 hour and a half. The show was a musical and visual treat, as well as a celebration of Taylor Swift’s very successful career. Each song was given an elaborate take in terms of production, from her outfits to the choreography. There was that red, flowing gown with the theatrical and sparkly backdrop during “The Lucky One”, the red Manila shirt during the relaxed yet intense acoustic set wherein she played “22”, “Fearless” and “You Belong With Me” and the white gown during the Victorian-themed “I Knew You Were Trouble”.
Taylor Swift showcased her musical prowess as well as her versatility as a performer during her concert. Graceful yet endearing, she was a spectacle to behold as she danced, played guitar and piano, and moved across the stage as if she owned it.
Another thing worth noticing is her interaction with the crowd. Not only was she full of short, motivating speeches, she was also brave enough to mingle with the overexcited audience, which of course included a lot of violent hand-pulling. Still, she was all smiles during the evening. Taylor Swift’s #RedTourMNL was an incREDible show! The stage set was like a story book with an amazing vivid pictures of emotions and stories to bring the songs to life!
Undoubtedly, the Red Tour is one of the most awaited shows this year, and it was everything that Taylor Swift’s fans had waited for. It was roaring, captivating and highly entertaining.
Indeed, until now, the memory of the concert still stands out, along with that color: that bright, burning Red.
Write up by Sandra Mae Laureano
Photo by Cen Sulit
Presented by Selecta Cornetto
Brought to you by MMI Live
Special thanks to Little Asia