I’m not a huge concert person…I’m a theater geek, for all that I love music. I can actually count the number of concerts I’ve been to on two hands, and with the exception of Prince at Madison Square Garden in 2004(?), they were all small venue set-ups.
So given all of that, I’m not sure why I wanted to go to the Taylor Swift concert so badly, except that I did. I found out about her Asia tour shortly after getting back to Singapore via one of the many giant billboards on Orchard Road. I called SISTIC (think Ticketmaster) but the concert was sold out. Ravi saw that I was a bit dejected to have completely missed out, and he was the one who saw that her concert in Hong Kong still had tickets available. Fast-forward 48 hours and my Christmas present and our joint Valentine’s day present were planned–I’d get to see Taylor Swift (he likes her music, too, so it wasn’t a huge sacrifice on his part), and we’d get to go to Hong Kong.
I think it has a lot to do with availability…living in Boston (a stone’s throw from New York), I had a nonstop selection of shows, plays and concerts to pick from. I invariably picked theater because it seemed that there was always something in the musical theater genre that I wanted to do more than any of the concerts that came through (minus Madonna, but the tickets were ridiculously overpriced at 200+). In Singapore, there’s theater…but the selection is a lot smaller (comparitively), and between settling in, and life getting in the way, other than Ballet under the Stars and Voyage de la Vie, I just haven’t taken the iniative other than to hint to Ravi that there were things I’d like to see, rather than just buying a ticket (or two) myself.
The concert was held at the Asiaworld Expo center, which is out by the airport, about a 30-40 minute drive from our hotel. After getting back from the markets , we had time to grab showers, rest and snack. At the expo center, there was some confusion about our seats, as I’d requested to be moved to wheelchair seating, and although they’d confirmed the move by email, my tickets were still for our original seats. I would quickly be very happy about this as the wheelchair seating was (a) far from the stage and (b) obstructed, view-wise.
Having navigated the markets, I decided I could handle the stairs to our original seats with a little help from Ravi. It was slow going, but we got to our seats, and they were fantastic! We were to the side of the stage, 10 rows back, on the aisle. We could easily see the stage without needing the screens (unlike our seats for the Prince concert, right, Steph?).
We sat down as the opening act was going on. We’re kind of glad that we caught the Asia leg, as the American Tour will have a Christian band as the opening act, and Ravi and I are not so much into the whole “Christian” (or any religion, let’s be real) music thing (or religion at all). We have no idea who the guy was…wikipedia says his name is Sapo Johnny, but googling found me nothing more than that.
Taylor opened the concert with “Sparks Fly”
(video shot on my iPhone)
It was a great concert. She doesn’t go in for flashy dance numbers or the sorts of things you’d see at a Lady Gaga or Britney Spears concert (not that I wouldn’t kill to go to a Lady Gaga concert). She did a few numbers acoustically with just her and a guitar or ukelele and her voice. She did a few costume changes, and I loved her opening dress (the one she’s wearing in the video above) and the final one (which I don’t have pictures of). The band is great, and I have a new affection for a few songs off Speak Now that I liked, but didn’t LOVE prior to the concert. (Sparks Fly and Better than Revenge…download them).
If I’m being honest, I was a little taken aback at how young the crowd was. Granted, Taylor Swift is 21, so this was naivete on my part. But I was surrounded by 7-13 year old girls. I felt like I was perhaps a bit old to be there, but what the hell, right?
When I read no cameras, like an idiot I left my camera in the hotel. So all the images and video are off my iPhone and Ravi’s G2…and the batteries on both predictably died within 20 minutes of Taylor taking the stage. Concert lighting is a pain in the ass to photograph (or so say my photography books) so going in with my two cell phones means the pics and video aren’t as good quality as I’d like. Not bringing it shows how inexperienced a concertgoer I am…pictures and video at a Broadway show will get you kicked out.
Sorry I don’t have more, but what I can do is repost Taylor’s vlog about her Asia Tour, which is adorable…I especially love the moment where she’s at Changi airport here in Singapore and looks at the camera and says “I don’t know if it’s jetlag, but I think there’s a forest in the airport”…Yup, Taylor, Singapore is so into greenery that we do have giant trees in the middle of the airport…but the jetlag doesn’t help with the surrealism of it all.