Few Artists understand and know how to execute that connection to their fans like Taylor Swift. Now onto her fifth tour, the acclaimed and influencial 28-year-old Singer/Songwriter touched-down at Toronto’s Rogers Centre for two energy-filled nights, August 3-4, 2018. The Stadium tour in support of her 2017 studio disc Reputation, sees her delivering her catalog of hits once again, with an emphasis on that album which dealt with some of her very public personal battles and her perception.
Fans attending Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour are gifted with an extravagant spectacle with a recurring snake motif which keeps popping-up throughout. Some can interpret this as her owning the label she so publicly has been given since Kim Kardashian had accused her of dishonesty in a much-talked-about scandal between Swift and husband Kanye West.More here.
Fans got a much more sensual, self-assured Swift over two nights at the Toronto venue, by far her most refined and heavily-choreographed stage production yet. She pronounces proudly her full transformation to Pop Icon status from her humble Country beginnings. Everything from three stages extending deep into the audience, to her being propelled into the air while performing the down-tempo Delicate were artfully-calculated moves to make for an intimate experience. She took a moment before that song to deliver some candid candor about accepting the fact that people will never stop talking about us behind our backs and that we should embrace it. Guests even were gifted with lit-up wristbands synced in colour to the night’s setlist. Lucky fans who lined Swift’s “Snake Pit” got a chance to touch her hand as she zig-zagged her way through fans.
Joining Swift on-tour were Charli XCX and Camila Cabello, giving fans three shows for the price of one and they re-surfaced late in the show to join her in a rendition of hit Shake it Off. An even bigger bomb-drop came towards the end when Swift presented also touring Canadian Rockstar Bryan Adams on-stage for a duet of his hit Summer of 69, driving the audience ballistic!
See some Snaps from the night. We were way, way up but felt so close to it all, kudos to Swift!
Swift now gets a couple days off before playing her native Pennsylvania later this week.
Let’s face it. I haven’t always loved Taylor Swift. None can deny though that her 1984 Album was phenomenal, raising that Crossover-Pop bar so impossibly high that there only should realistically be room only for disappointment come any follow-up. We weren’t wowed particularly by get-even-with-Kanye lead Single Look What You Made Me Do and even more so the dark Electro-Synth of follow-up … Ready for It?. We like Swift when she’s lovelorn and melodic, maybe a bit melancholic too like on Style and You Belong to Me and we kinda wanted her to stay that way forever.
Now comes the moment that we must admit Swift thoroughly has won us over on her latest effort and sixth studio disc, reputation. It took a few listens but we really wanted to enjoy it and found a way to be hypnotized by her introspective Lyrics and still-catchy Hooks despite the black canvass on which she paints. reputation doesn’t feel like a standalone album, it feels more like a continuation of an ongoing Diary she is writing. It feels personal, honest and while we can’t help at times judgmentally roll our eyes at her revolving door of famous lovers, there is a deeper sense of maturity, that she is growing and learning from betrayals and mistakes.
Producers Max Martin, Shellback and Jack Antonofflend a hand again, crafting a new evolution to Swift‘s sound. While the first half of the Album certainly has a bit more of an edge to it with the former two overseeing Production, the latter half with Antonoff feels more familiar, softening a bit of that angry edge with that mid-to-late ’80s Synth-Pop we adored so much on 1984.
Gems on the first-half include ..Ready for It? which we’ve decided we actually like finally and Alternative R&B-esque Ed Sheeran/Future pairing End Game. Delicate recounts the headspace she was in when meeting current partner, English Actor Joe Alwyn who accepted her even at her worst.“My reputation’s never been worse/So you must like me for me”, shesings.
I am head over heels in love with Antonoff contribution Getaway Car on the second-half, sounding single-worthy and taking us away with Swift a la Bonnie & Clyde from the chaos of the every day. Not that we can even fathom the daily tumult which Swift knows. Something can be said about much of the Album being maybe too focused on getting-even, but whimsical This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things tells us that Swift is ready to close the past dramatic chapter in her life and move forward and this is redeeming. New Year’s Day is a thing of beauty and a reminder that ‘old Taylor’ might not actually be dead after all.
Once a year that Blockbuster album comes out around American Thanksgiving and this is that standout in a year of several lackluster releases.
Sample some of the Tracks off reputation.
…Ready for It?
New Year’s Day
Look What You Made Me Do
Universal Music Canada release reputation, in-stores now and available soon on streaming services.
Rihanna and Calvin Harris, back at it again! After worldwide success five years ago with We Found Love, comes their new Song of the Summer, THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR. We can just hear Taylor Swift allover this for some reason?? Is it just us??
Not that it was a surprise, but Taylor Swift takes home the Album of the Year award a second time at the GRAMMYs tonight for her 5.7 million copy-selling Disc, 1989. The Album also won for Pop Vocal Album, while single Bad Blood won Video of the Year. Swift, sporting a new bob-cut, stole the spotlight, addressing some shade thrown her way recently on Kanye West track Famous on which he takes credit for her rise to fame. She said, “There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame, but if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you are going, you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there and that will be the greatest feeling in the world”.
West once again proves that he isn’t a favourite with GRAMMY voters, failing to win tonight despite being up for Rap Song, Rap-Sung Collaboration and Rap Performance this year. Rap categories were dominated by leading nominee Kendrick Lamar, who was victorious for Rap Performance, Rap/Sung Collaboration, Rap Song, Rap Album and also Music Video for his collaboration with Taylor Swift on Bad Blood.
Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson got some much due respect winning Song of the Year for their outstanding collaboration, Uptown Funk. The track also won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and its remixed version by David Audé also won Best Remixed Recording (Non-Classical).
Meanwhile Ed Sheeran, won Song of the Year with Thinking Out Loud. The track also got Pop Solo Performance for the English Singer/Songwriter.
Often seen as a bit of a career curse, promising talent Meghan Trainor was named Best New Artist, reaching the summit of the Billboard Hot 200 with platinum-selling debut disc, Title.
Canada’s Justin Bieber notches his first GRAMMY win ever for Dance Recording with Skrillex/Diplo collaboration Where Are You Now. Our The Weeknd also brought-home that Canadian glory with Best R&B Performance on Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey Soundtrack) and Best Urban Contemporary Album for Beauty Behind the Madness.
See some of the evening’s most memorable performances!
Adele performing All I Ask (penned and introduced by Bruno Mars):
Lady Gaga paying tribute to David Bowie:
Tribute to Lionel Ritchie by John Legend, Demi Lovato, Luke Bryan, Meghan Trainor + Tyrese:
Australian Singer-Songwriter Vance Joy made a huge splash with his breakout hit Riptide earlier this year, gaining worldwide recognition. Joy is in Toronto today promoting his debut disc Dream Your Life Away (Deluxe Edition), prior to opening for Taylor Swift on her 1989 World Tour tonight at Rogers Centre. Tourmate, Toronto’s Shawn Mendes was here yesterday partaking in We Day celebrations, even walking the carpet and greeting fans!
The striking 27-year-old artist with flawless hair, appeared on both City‘s Breakfast Television with a two-song performance, before trekking over to Global‘s The Morning Show (National Edition) where also he performed live. We caught-up with him leaving an appearance and he was more than nice to come over for a Snap before heading out to do more press.
Did you know he formerly was an Aussie Rules Football Player?
See his performance of new single Fire and the Flood on The Morning Show:
In case you haven’t discovered Joy‘s outstanding music, you can download his debut disc Dream Your Life Awayhere.
After doing such a phenomenal job on her Bad Blood video, Joseph Kahn teams again with Taylor Swift for her latest Single, the v. Lana Del Rey-esque Wildest Dreams! Best of all, rising star Scott Eastwood stars in the moody, classic Hollywood-inspired clip which premiere in advance of the 2015 MTV VMAs!
Holy frack! T-Swift delivers her A-Game in the eagerly-awaited Music Video for Bad Blood! She brings out her BFFs in a star-studded Girlfight Action Fest which premiered tonight during the 2015 Billboard Music Awards! Thought originally to be inspired by some tension between Swift and Katy Perry, it’s clear who has the former’s back on the matter.
Selena Gomez! Zendaya! Lena Dunham! Cara Delevingne! Hayley Williams! Hailee Steinfeld! Gigi Hadid!The hotness won’t quit. Director Joseph Kahn known best for Britney Spears’ Toxic Music Video achieves a new career best.
Some days we don’t believe our luck! Billy and I were out at Walmart earlier this morning doing a quick grocery run when we looked-over and our jaws both dropped when we swore we saw Pop Megastar SHAWN MENDES and his Mom Karen down the aisle from us. We had to do a double-take! Immediately, we dropped our purchases and raced right to the front door just in time to catch them leaving for a Selfie. Although Mendes, in his sunglasses and a Hoodie said he was in a rush, his Mother was kind enough to have him turn back and stop for a quick Snap! We love her. “What kind of Dog is he?”, he asked about Billy, to which I pointed-out, he is a Shih-Tzu. Mendes told me his Friend has the exact same type. Karen was smitten by Billy, stopping to pet him.
If all of this is coming out as garbled speak and you’re still like, “Shawn Who?”, I will tell you that our Homeboy SHAWN MENDES is the next big thing in Pop Music. The 16-year-old Singer/Songwriter got his big break with six-second VINE Videos of him performing Cover Versions. Soon after, millions around the World would be following, leading to a deal with Island Records (Universal Music). The likes of John Mayer, Meghan Trainor, Ed Sheeran all are raving about him, if that’s any indication of his star power.
The Shawn Mendes EP would soon be rush-released in July, reaching Top Five in both Canada and the U.S. and 2015 looks to be the year his popularity explodes after some v. careful development and handling. After selling-out Concert Halls before Christmas with a few intimate Shows including one in Toronto at Danforth Music Hall, Mendes now is ready to hit-up additional American and European cities this Winter. Tickets released this weekend sold-out in just minutes, with some lucky Fans getting Shawn Access Passes in the mail, confirming he’ll be meeting them rather soon. This Fall he opens for Taylor Swift on her sold-out 1989World Tour, making it almost impossible for him not to succeed.
It appears Mendes is about to confirm the release of his debut Disc with a visit to New York City scheduled this week and an appearance on TODAY.
We had the pleasure of seeing Mendes perform at the Universal Music Canada Parking Lot this past August and he sounded great. We even witnessed a crazed Fan rush him on-stage despite there being hoards of Security! More on that here.
Something Big, Mendes’ latest Single:
Surely you’ve heard Life of the Party on the Radio right?
Let’s be real. We can never have enough Celeb Selfies! 2014 was a year I’ll never forget and will forever go down as one of our most star-studded yet! Our travels brought us to L.A. and New York, but our most exciting adventures took place here in our Hometown of Toronto! Let’s take a walk down our star-studded memory lane to some of our fave Celeb moments of 2014!
Who were you most excited to see? The red-hot Benedict Cumberbatch? The private Usher? The iconic Tom Cruise?The adorable Anna Kendrick? “It Boy” Ansel Elgort? How about “It Girl” Shailene Woodley? The incredibly-tough Reese Witherspoon? The irresistible Tom Hardy?!
Also, we want to share with you some of our fave of the several thousand Celeb Snaps we took in 2014! Chances are if there was a major Star in-town this year, we at some point snapped them!
2014 will go down as one of the strongest years for Cinema in recent memory, but which Movies rocked our World? And which Singles ruled our iPod? You’re about to find out!
Re-live some of our Fave Celeb Selfies of 2014 (click HD for better quality):
My most “liked” Selfie on Social Media of 2014 though? Easy!
2. GONE GIRL
6. THE IMITATION GAME
8. THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
9. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
10. THE LEGO MOVIE
Perhaps under-seen, WHIPLASH is the one Film you absolutely must see this year. J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller will shatter your World with their performances! You’ll leave shaken and sobered.
1. ALL ABOUT THAT BASS – Meghan Trainor
2. BLANK SPACE – Taylor Swift
3. WEST COAST – Lana Del Rey
4. BOOM CLAP – Charli XCX
5. POMPEII – Bastille
6. STAY WITH ME – Sam Smith
7. SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT – 5 Seconds of Summer
8. COUNTING STARS – OneRepublic
9. SHAKE IT OFF – Taylor Swift
10. SAY SOMETHING – A Great Big World ft. Christina Aguilera
2014 was all about that bass for us. Meghan Trainor blew our mind with her positive message about body image. We’re sold and extremely excited for her 2015 full-length Debut.
Won’t you join us as we embark on more exciting adventures in Entertainment 2015? Also stay tuned for an upcoming Post where our Contributors Jonathan Godfrey, Justin Waldman, David Baldwin and George Kozera share their fave Films of 2014 too!
Happy Holidays, Willionaire$!
Photos Post-TIFF ’14 taken on Nikon D3300. Photos pre-TIFF ’14 taken on Olympus E-PL5/Samsung S4.