Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran impress at Rupp Arena concert



By Amanda Powell | @KyKernel

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On Saturday night, Rupp Arena was packed with 17,000 fans anxiously awaiting the arrival of Taylor Swift. Lexington was Swift’s twelfth city on the “Red” tour that attracts people from all over the country.

The first opening act was Brett Eldredge. Eldredge has the makings of a big country star. His set was relatively short since he was the first opener, but his songs were catchy and sounded like instant hits. His last song “Don’t Ya” is worth a listen for country music fans.

Ed Sheeran, known by supporters for “The A Team,” was simply incredible. Aside from breaking a guitar during one of his jam sessions, he sounded even better live than he does on the radio, which is no small feat.

He certainly grabbed everyone’s attention while creating beats on stage and using his guitar as a makeshift drum. Sheeran even did a small cover of  “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. His fast-paced song “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” was impressive, but “Drunk” really showcased his talent.

Swift came on around 8:30 p.m. to a roaring crowd. Her concerts never lack entertainment value, and when she opened with “State of Grace,” she wowed the audience as she ran down a staircase in sparkly red shoes singing into a microphone bedazzled with red rhinestones.

The excitement soared when light up drummers dropped from the ceiling while she sang “Holy Ground.” Her stamina was impeccable because even with all her tricks and surprises throughout the concert, she was never short of breath. But judging by the sound of the crowd, it wouldn’t have mattered if she were.

Swift worked to make her concert intimate. And although that seems impossible when entertaining a sold out arena, she made the effort by talking about why she wrote some of her songs and making a few witty comments. While sitting on an old trunk with her banjo, Swift spoke about growing up and realizing how not everyone has good things to say. She then proceeded to play “Mean.”

During “22,” Swift moved to her second stage – a courtesy to those sitting in the back. She brought Sheeran back out to sing “Everything Has Changed,” and the stage was lifted into the air as they sang acoustically. The duo worked well together and made a real connection, and the audience definitely loved the second appearance of Sheeran.

When Swift played “Treacherous,” she came out in a tutu and a sliver of her stage unexpectedly rose up as she pretended to be walking on a tight rope. Through it all, her voice didn’t quiver.

For last song was “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” she did a quick wardrobe change into a circus conductor costume, complete with a red sequins jacket and top hat, and finished with a bang.

Multi-colored confetti was blasted into the air, and it was obvious in people’s faces that Swift did not disappoint.