It’s 2018.

Taylor Swift isn’t afraid to admit that she’s got a bit of a reputation. The Nashville-born singer has come a long way since singing about Tim McGraw and tear-stained guitars. With ten-plus years in the business and several award-winning albums to her name, people are bound to talk. Naturally, she clapped back with her sixth studio album “Reputation”, a fifteen-track record that tapped into her dark side.

On Aug. 10, the multi-Grammy Award winner brought her Reputation World tour to Atlanta for a two-night engagement at the brand-new Mercedes Benz Superdome. The nearly-sold out shows marked her 13th time performing in the city, also making her the first artist to perform multiple nights. (Jay Z and Beyoncé, who had their own two-night residency this month, would be the second batch of entertainers to share this honor.) Swift brought along gal-pals Charlie XCX and Camila Cabello as her supporting artists.

The British pop star charged the crowd with mega hits “Fancy”, “I Love It” and “Boom Clap”, while the former Fifth Harmony member plugged tracks from her solo catalogue, which included the smash single “Havana”, albeit without Young Thug.

Before the show, patrons were given clear plastic bracelets to wear. Throughout the set, the arm bands would flash in synchronizing spurts of red, blue and pink, eliminating the need for cell phone flashlights and lighters. Swift truly does think of everything.

It only seemed befitting that Joan Jett’s smash hit “Bad Reputation” flooded the arena before the space darkened for a short video recapping Swift’s rise to fame and the side effects of the limelight. It’s no secret that the pop star has had her share of headlines, poking at her multiple relationships and notorious celebrity feuds. The message of the two-minute montage of soundbites was clear: no one knows the real Taylor Swift. And, perhaps, she’s not so innocent.

As the video ended, the stage split down the middle to reveal a hooded Swift, who kicked off the Friday performance with introductory tracks “Are You Ready for It” and “I Did Something Bad.” Backed by armor clad dancers and an impressive array of pyrotechnics, the singer-songwriter paraded across the mainstage, which included catwalks on opposite ends, with gusto.

The 19-song set was split into numerous “acts”, which was partitioned with various video breaks and multiple wardrobe changes. Despite a large mainstage, the ambitious singer utilized not one, but three additional stages positioned throughout the arena. How did she get from stage to another?

After a charged medley of “Style”, “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me”, the singer retreated the stage as a brief, yet impressive video interlude. Swift returned for “Look What You Made Me Do,” a strong performance bolstered by a large inflatable cobra, an ode to her use of snakes in the track’s music video, and a digital cameo from comedian Tiffany Haddish.

In her first transition, Swift surfed over a sea of fans in a brightly-lit spiracle cage while singing “Delicate” which shifted into a high energy (and grounded) performance of “Shake it off”, featuring cameos from Charlie and Camila. Taking a break from her catalogue of up-tempo hits, Swift slowed things down, acoustic guitar in hand, with “Dancing with Our Hands Tied” and the tour debut of “The Lucky One.”

Moving to the second stage, Swift navigated through a barrage of eager fans, offering quick photo ops and smiles before launching into “Black Space” and “Dress.” Staying consistent with her recurring serpent theme, Swift boarded a snake-shaped bracket, while singing “Bad Blood” before being carried back to the mainstage.

Throughout the show the 28-year-old took time to speak with the audience, often thanking fans for their on-going support and sharing insightful anecdotes. Despite her femme fatale performances, Swift explained the backstory behind her recent album, which included the flawed-side of reputations.

The confessional moments helped segue into emotional numbers “Don’t Blame Me” and a piano-driven medley of “Long Live” and “New Year’s Day.”

During the show’s homestretch, Swift emerged from the stage in her last get-up before prancing around for “Getaway Car” and a whimsical closing performance of “We Are Never Getting Back to Together” and “This Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.” The mainstage adored with a fully functioning two-tier water fountain had a joyous Swift frolicking in the stage prop. It was fun way to close out a magical show.

As she shared her farewells to the thousands scattered throughout the area, confetti showers of miniscule newspaper articles, adorned with her face, flooded the dome. It was reminder that Swift oversees her own narrative.

The country-star-turned pop giant bared no expensive in putting together this over-the-top performance. The 90-minute show proved to long-time fans that she can throw a great concert, while inspiring a new legion of devotees to join team Taylor.








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