From:Lyn Chan,  Content Editor, ST Digital, posted on 12 June at 7:25 PM
12 June at 7:25 PM

A Swiftie - and proud of it

The universe took pity on me and repaired my broken heart - by miraculously adding another Taylor Swift concert on June 9. 

Due to some unfathomable reason, I left it till rather late to purchase tickets for her June 12 show. I must have been deluded to think there would be any tickets left after her first concert in Singapore in 2011 was sold out in a flash. Sheer madness, I say.

Spurred on by my terrier-hanging-on-tight-at-the-ankle spirit, I promptly attempted to buy tickets for her Tokyo and Shanghai shows. I feel a little embarrassed... naturally, they were sold out. I nary had a sniff of the coveted tickets.  

So I did the only thing possible. I cried. Okay, I didn't. Definitely, some wailing was in order. A dash of teeth gnashing. And much heartfelt pleading with the universe.

And the universe responded. Several days later, the show organiser announced that a second show would be added to Swift’s Singapore concert. 

The turmoil in Bangkok led her to cancel her Thailand concert, not that I deliberately wished this upon her legions of Thai fans, mind you.

It was with great quavering excitement that I counted down to June 9. I even took leave from work - saving strength to scream in delight at the concert was paramount; after all, I had to pit myself against hoardes of tweens and tweens who have the energy of youth on their side. 

Absolute bliss is the only way to describe the 85-minute gig. Never mind that she's not the greatest singer live. And who cares that the sound system is not the best I've heard? It's Taylor Swift, need I say more? Just like every fan that night, I wished the show had been longer. But then, Swift looked tired – although her radiant smile never once faltered – her eye bags magnified on the big screen, so it was just as well the show ended fairly early.

I am not quite sure when exactly I became a big Taylor Swift fan. The transformation probably started from casual, appreciative listener amused by how Swift ranted about being dumped by Joe Jonas to sympathetic observer as she moved from one failed romantic relationship to another to fan, forking out good money for her music and feeling indignant when people took digs at her. 

The first time I caught Taylor Swift live was in Japan four years ago. Then, she wasn't the headliner, but perhaps it was because she had only released one memorable album by then, the wildly successful Fearless (2008) that later became the bestselling album for 2009 in the United States. Who didn't know the catchy You Belong With Me and the romantic Love Story, even if you didn't like either?

There she was, prancing around unimaginatively on the stage in her spangly dress that cleverly caught the spotlights under the dimming summer sky, and cowboy boots. Crowd-pleasing songwriter she may be but JLo she certainly ain't. She also had long curly tresses and cherubic cheeks then, a stark contrast from the straight shoulder-length bob and sophisticated vibe of her June 9 performance. 

Swift was also constantly flinging her head back. I remember watching her, transfixed, and worrying if she would get severe whiplash (she didn't). She, too, must have realised somewhere along the way the possibility of that  happening, as she only executed the headbanging motion once at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, while seated at the piano (she did that earlier this year as well at the Grammys). 

Who really knows why Swift tosses her hair around so much, and so what if slick dance moves aren’t her thing? And is there really anything wrong with writing songs about your ex-boyfriends? As for oops moments, well, everyone has them, although they rarely happen to everyday folk at the Grammys where half the world is watching.

The fact is, Swift has become an astronomical pop monolith - Red (2012), her fourth and most recent album, saw skyrocketing opening sales of US$1.2 million  (S$1.5 million), the highest in a decade - who has won the hearts of many with her narrative songs inspired  by her personal experiences. Hey, who says nothing good comes out of dysfunctional romances.

As former Entertainment Weekly music critic Nick Catucci said in an online interview earlier this year: "I think the fascination with Swift has always fallen into two camps: Her fans, who will love and defend her until the very end, and people who want to make fun of her.  

"The important thing is that she continues to embrace who she is."


Are you also a Swiftie? When did you become a fan of Taylor Swift? 


Taylor Swift wraps up her Red Tour at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 12. Tickets are sold out. 

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