#REDTourMNL: 10 Things You’ll Get Only in a Taylor Swift Concert
When in Manila, there have been many artists who made the concert scene so exciting. The REDTourMNL is only among the many concerts that that Music Management International organized. MMI is also behind bringing the likes of Bruno Mars and One Direction to the Philippines.
Honestly, there was a time I didn’t always understand why people went to concerts. Why were they willing to spend so much time and money for a few hours of listening to songs they’ve already heard before?
That was years ago. Everything changed when I became a Swiftie. Since then, I waited for a golden opportunity to finally catch her concert. I’ve read many Swifties gushing about her concerts. People commend her for being able to connect to her audience, no matter how huge the size of the crowd is. All these were simply stories from others, until I finally got to catch the #REDTourMNL. I was able to see for myself what it’s really like to be in a Taylor Swift concert. And no matter how hyped-up and well-promoted her concerts are, let me tell you—it’s so much better than all I had dreamt it to be. And now, I finally understand why people go to concerts, despite availability of CDs and YouTube videos.
There are some artists who are just undoubtedly worth watching live, and on top of that list is Taylor. Here are ten experiences I had in the concert that I never experienced while listening to her CDs and watching her on her YouTube channel.
1.) It was an entirely different experience to be with fellow fans.
The crowd was so alive: dancing to the beats, waving their hands, , and singing on top of their lungs. I especially enjoyed just taking it all in and seeing all those glowing sticks hop up and down to the beats. Even before entering the venue, fans were outside already. It was like karaoke meets cosplay while waiting for the gates to open.
2.) She talked in Filipino, and shared what she loves about the Filipinos.
“Mahal kita,” “Magandang gabi po,” “Maraming salamat po,” were some of the phrases Taylor kept saying throughout the evening. She even posted a video on Instagram of her rehearsing these lines! Taylor shared how she loves how Filipinos are so giving and creative. She received a lot of thoughtful gifts from Filipinos, and noticed how she has many Filipino friends on Twitter and on Instagram.
Bonus video of Taylor Swift practicing her Tagalog / Filipino lines
3.) She pauses from singing to look at the crowd and just…smile.
From the huge screens, it looks like she’s looking straight at you. And then the crowd goes wild, while Taylor looks like she’s simply enjoying herself as she takes in all the roaring fans. So this was the connection everyone was talking about!
4.) The already powerful lines from her songs come alive.
While singing some songs, she looks absolutely fierce and bold and brazen. In some songs, her expression looks vulnerable, or like a happy girl twirling around the stage. Her facial expressions have such versatility, you know she sings from the heart. And embarrassing as it may sound, some of her performances moved me to tears because of how much heart she puts into singing them. And how they bring the audience back to an experience or a memory.
5.) Some spiels for her songs came in the form of advice and comfort.
I’d already mentioned before in a previous post : while expressing a sad emotion doesn’t completely erase the pain, it’s a relief to find a song that perfectly expresses it, and a comfort to realize that the grief is shared by others, too. BUT in the RED concert, Taylor offered something more than that.
Before playing Mean, she talked about the struggle of trying to fit in and to belong. She gave advice to anyone who has ever felt like he doesn’t fit. “Just do what I’ve done and just be you until you find the people you fit in with, and go to Manila. And hang out with them.”
The crowd went wild upon hearing that, and when she sang Mean and fans sang along, I felt like I was listening to the resilient response of people who were bullied and rejected in the past. And it was so beautiful and empowering to just be in that moment and listen to the lyrics that put in context, made so much more sense.
6.) It wasn’t just all about her.
She acknowledged the other people who were with her for the RED Tour. Right after singing 22, she announced that one of the dancers is celebrating his 22nd birthday. She asked the dancers to go down the stage, and the dancers were met with a lot of high-fives from the audience. It was interesting to watch her closeness with the people she worked with.
7.) The songs always look like they are stories–complete with a cast, a backdrop, or a spiel.
“They’re trying to bring you up just to knock you down. But they haven’t yet.” This was the spiel before Taylor sang The Lucky One, where it talks about the darker side of fame behind all the glamor. It wasn’t my favorite song before, but Taylor sang it with such fierceness, and there was more depth and fierceness because of the spiel.
8.) She talked about love.
And how we have no control over circumstances, but we have control over how we react to them. She shared how the bad things shouldn’t stop us from believing that love “can be a real thing in our lives. Good and bad things happen in the name of love.”
And then she sang All Too Well, the perfect song that resonates with nostalgia and acceptance of the past filled with both good and bad things that happened due to love. It was a beautiful, heartfelt performance.
9.) It showed how she wasn’t an overnight success.
There was a part in the concert where they flashed a video of Taylor’s journey to being an artist. It showed the progress of the toddler singing in a home video, to singing in a match, to singing in a studio, to winning numerous awards, and then right when the video ends, she appears on stage and continutes singing. I liked this particular video because it showed Taylor growing up, and how her success was definitely not overnight but something she had worked so hard for with baby steps and big dreams.
10.) Each person will get out something different from the REDTourMNL.
Some fans stood up, danced, and sang along. Others, like me, just stood there quietly (crying tears of joy) trying to take it all in. I’m sure the experiences I listed above would vary from the highlights and experiences other fans took home after the concert. Maybe some will know they are in a better position than the bullies after hearing Taylor sing and talk about Mean. Or maybe some will go home inspired after seeing Taylor progress from being that toddler singing, to who she is now. Something as huge and as exciting as the REDTourMNL begs so many different highlights and personal favorites, and I love how these help us a know a little bit more about ourselves and what we’re going through.
One thing’s for sure: watching Taylor Swift perform live is an experience of a lifetime!
But of course, for those who weren’t able to watch, stay tuned for another post on the #REDTourMNL. For those who did watch, do tell us your favorite part of the concert!
Thanks again to our friends from Music Management International (MMI)!
So, what was your favorite part of the Taylor Swift Red Tour Manila Concert????