Taylor Swift, Red Tour Newark, NJ Stop: Singer Addresses Critics & Throws Magical Party
For someone who admitted to The Boot that she was feeling "nervous" before her March 27 Red tour stop in Newark, New Jersey, her first of of three at the Prudential Center, she had little reason to.
But for Taylor Swift, who's lately battled a slew of negative press, it was her time for redemption. Although the Red tour had similar features from her past tours -- amazing visuals, a slew of dancers, special effects including fire, intricate costumes and the singer floating above the audience -- there were some darker, real moments, too.
Take, for instance, a video playing before "The Lucky One," a song that addresses the downside of fame by telling the story of a recording artist named Lucky. In a black-and-white film that played before her performance, Taylor was seen combing her wavy hair, looking at herself in a mirror.
"Lucky Steals The Show" a fake newspaper headline reads. Then, Taylor's voice comes over the video, saying, "Isn't it strange how it all happens? ... They tell you it's going to be glamorous. And they tell you that you have everything. But nobody tells you how lonely it is ... or what the papers are going to say about you one day. Because they don't tell you that they're building you up just to try to knock you down." After a long pause that drew cheers from the audience, she ends, "But they haven't yet."
That was appropriately followed by "Mean," as Taylor again addressed the critics who have yet to leave her alone. "I used to think when you grow up, there are no mean kids," she explained. "I legitimately thought that meanness was something that people outgrow ... But there's always going to be someone picking on you telling you that you don't deserve what you want."
It was those strong messages that stood out, but the show also had some lighter moments -- specifically a masquerade-themed party for "I Knew You Were Trouble" and a dance-off during "22," where she crowd surfed as her dancers carried her to another stage. Besides playing songs off her new album, she mixed in a few of her older songs, including "You Belong With Me," "Love Story" and "Sparks Fly."
During her performance to "Treacherous," where she carefully walked a tight-rope of sorts, walking over a raised section of the stage, it was clear everything the singer does in life has a similar balancing act feel -- whether it be dealing with love, tabloids, or mean people.
"I write songs about my feelings," she told the crowd in the beginning of the night. "I'm told I have a lot of feelings."
And during perhaps her most emotional song, "All Too Well," where she sat at a red piano complete with lit candles, Taylor explained her heartfelt writing process before breaking into the tune.
"I really just try to write about my own life," she shared. "My main goal is to write exactly how I'm feeling ... so I can get past how I'm feeling."
Before "Red," the superstar also addressed what the color red, (the title of her latest album and tour) means to her. The crowd, mostly teens decked out in crazy red outfits and holding up bright LED-light posters, listened intently.
"Feelings ... I compare them a color. For me, blue is sad, yellow/gold is comfort and warmth, but there's this one color that kind of defines what I've been going through lately ... emotions like frustration, anger, jealousy, falling in love, falling out of love, heartbreak, never speaking to someone again ... It's great, but I think those are the kinds of emotions that make you grow and turn you into who you're going to be one day."
By the end of the night, Taylor kicked off her glittery shoes to go barefoot for a few songs, showing her casual side.
But by her last song, a circus-themed performance of "We Are Never Getting Back Together," the 23-year-old star was back to her ring-leader self, dancing around as confetti poured from the arena's ceiling, playfully sliding down the stage, and leaving the audience with a wink as she took her final bow.
She also had one last message for what she called an "unbelievable crowd": "By all means, never get back together with your horrible ex."
Watch "Taylor Swift Reveals Boy Behind I Knew You Were Trouble" Video