Taylor Swift Perth Review: Snakes, glitter and a marriage proposal – this Reputation Stadium Tour show had it all

Taylor Swift kicked off the Australian leg of her Reputation Stadium Tour at Optus Stadium. Pictures: Andrew Ritchie d487830
Taylor Swift kicked off the Australian leg of her Reputation Stadium Tour at Optus Stadium. Pictures: Andrew Ritchie d487830

SNAKES, floating cages, fireworks, a fountain, flashing wristbands, a lot of glitter and sequins and even a marriage proposal – Taylor Swift’s Perth show had it all.

As Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation set the scene at Optus Stadium, more than 40,000 screaming fans waited for the 28-year-old pop star to make her appearance for the first Australian show of her Reputation Stadium Tour.

As the 12m backing screens parted, Swift appeared solo and in silhouette ensuring her fans were …Ready For It?.

Pictures: Andrew Ritchie d487830

In a black sequinned leotard and thigh-high boots, the crowd embraced the opportunity to see the 10-time Grammy Award-winner in her element before she was joined by her entourage of dancers.

Then it was time for the games to begin with I Did Something Bad, with flames and fireworks shooting off the 33m tall stage and Swift making use of the catwalk stages to move out into the crowd.

Pictures: Andrew Ritchie d487830

“Good evening Perth and welcome to the Reputation Stadium Tour,” she said taking a moment to address her fans.

“So here we are on a Friday night and I’ve been to Perth before and I know how beautiful it is and how many things you could be doing and you decided to be here for our first night on the tour in Australia – thank you so much.

“We get to play in his beautiful brand new stadium and I found out today this is the first time a female artist has headlined this stadium.

“We’re so happy to be here with you and back in Australia.

“You guys always set the bar with how crazy fans can be: the outfits I’m already seeing, you guys are screaming the lyrics – it’s all off to an incredible start.”

Swift then segued into her third Reputation track Gorgeous where she introduced the women she had on stage with her before Style from 1989 gave the audience their first look at the band.

Pictures: Andrew Ritchie d487830

Fearless hit Love Story then created the perfect backdrop for one couple in the crowd, with the Romeo getting down on bended knee to propose to his Juliet before the song melded into You Belong With Me marking the end of the first act.

Swift and her dancers returned to the stage through the floor for Look What You Made Me Do, this time atop a throne adorned with snakes – the first prop of the evening and the start of the snake symbolism, which stems from her public fallout with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian resulting in her social media accounts being flooded with snake emojis.

Thus was born the Reputation album that addresses people who “could be spreading things about us that just aren’t accurate”.

Swift has embraced the snake, incorporating it throughout the show including on her microphone, with on-screen projections and in the form giant inflatable serpents.

Pictures: Andrew Ritchie d487830

The Reputation tracks continued with End Game, King of My Heart and Delicate before Swift stepped inside a cage and floated through the crowd to bring hit song Shake It Off to the fans, complete with more fireworks and confetti cannons.

“This is actually my very first all-stadium tour,” she said.

“It’s so exciting to get to play only these massive venues but one thing I knew was that stadiums are really gigantic places to play and I wanted to make sure I could see every person.

“Because of that bracelet on your wrist lighting up all night I can see every single person in this stadium – back row, top section, I can see everybody.”

Pictures: Andrew Ritchie d487830

Things then slowed down for Swift to “take some time just you, me and the guitar” and play an acoustic version of Dancing with Our Hands Tied and a memory from her 2013 tour – the last time she was in Perth – I Knew You Were Trouble.

She remained out in the crowd for Blank Space and Dress before riding in a snake cage back to the stage for Bad Blood and Don’t Blame Me.

She then brought the tempo down again, tinkering on a piano while she took the time to thank her dancers, singers and stage crew.

Pictures: Andrew Ritchie d487830

“Getting to play here is such a dream come true for so many people you see on this stage,” she said.

“Yeah, I’ve been here before but it’s still a dream come true for me to get to come here and play for you.

“But we’re the ones who get to be on stage and look you in the eye and see you and hear you scream which is the coolest, most amazing privilege.

“But we also have hundreds of people who travel with us, who have left their families to help us build the stage or do lighting or sound and make sure the show runs smoothly.

“And on top of that there are thousands of people here in Perth who came and helped us out building the stage and are going to be here tearing it down later.

“They’re here making sure we’re all safe, being security, helping with parking so all the people who have helped us put this show on, they’re the ones I’d like to hear you guys scream for right now.”

Pictures: Andrew Ritchie d487830

She then moved into Long Live and New Year’s Day where she paused mid-song for a moment to smile and take in the adoration of fans – a moment that seemed truly humbling and genuine.

“I love you guys so much,” she said before disappearing off stage while a video introduced Getaway Car and Call It What You Want, which saw a working fountain take centre stage and remain for final songs We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.

Pictures: Andrew Ritchie d487830

Several bows, a lap of the stage and a kiss goodbye and Swift disappeared through the floor, opting to break tradition with no encore – but plenty of glitter on the floor after the party.

The two-hour stellar performance was the first time Swift had been in Perth since 2013 and proved why she just won the American Music Award for Tour of the Year.

Pictures: Andrew Ritchie d487830

She is expected to stay in Perth for the next few days with her next show not until Friday in Melbourne.

The Reputation Stadium Tour will then hit Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland before heading to Japan.

Pictures: Andrew Ritchie d487830