Taylor Swift embraces her “Reputation” in Louisville concert

Taylor Swift performs during her headlining Reputation Stadium Tour at the Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday June 30, 2018. Photo by: Olivia Beach | Staff

Jason Schroeder

In the middle of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium stood a display screen 110 feet tall. On the screen the audience could see a newspaper with the headline “Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour.” The fake articles on the newspaper read “taylor swift” over and over as a picture of Swift’s smokey eyes peeked out from behind her hands to stare at the audience.

“It’s hot,” said Kelie Mattingly who had brought her two children. “But we’re super excited. All of her other concerts have been indoors.”

The all-female lineup included Charli XCX and Camila Cabello as opening acts. As they performed, dazzling outfits worn by concert-goers sparkled in the scorching sun and people huddled in the shade, buzzing with excitement for the main act: Taylor Swift.

“I love the atmosphere,” said Mason Griffith whose golden crown sparkled in the lights. “I would compare it to a Lady Gaga concert because everyone is dressed up.”

Swift entered the stage after clips of behind-the-scenes tour moments played and trivia was given to the eager audience. The display screen almost the size of a 10-story building opened down the middle like a pair of heavy castle doors, waiting for the American pop queen to step out. Her opening song “…Ready For It?” provided a clever introduction to her six-act stage performance that included flashing lights, intricate costumes for her dance crew and pyrotechnics.

Swift’s stage started with classics like “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me.” However, instead of the old country classics that the general populous is all too familiar with, the “Love Story,” “You Belong with Me” and “Style” remix had an edgy tone that matched the “new Taylor” and her latest album, Reputation.

Later in the night she played an acoustic guitar, flashing once again back to her youth, after riding through the air on a lit metal stage that represented the bottom half of a bird cage. While there, two inflatable snakes rose to great heights on the two smaller stages behind the floor audience.

In the end count, there was a total of four snakes featured in Swift’s Louisville stop of the Reputation Tour which is only to be expected by the 28-year-old artist who has owned the term “snake” as Kim Kardashian-West applied it to her. Three inflatables were featured including one massive snake three-fourths the size of the display screen that rose menacingly in front of the crowd as Swift sang “Look What You Made Me Do.”

While Swift’s concert was filled with nostalgia and sentiment, as could be heard by her three emotional monologues, toward the end of her concert she circled back to her main point that the old Taylor is dead. She stressed that it is time for a new era and a new start for her career and who she is as a person.

As the approximately 65,000 people that attend Swift’s Louisville concert filed out of the stadium, they were left with these words to remember: “And in the death of her reputation, she felt truly alive.”