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Taylor Swift or the talent of making us shine | Culture

by News Room
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One of the disturbing wonders of a mass concert is that you enter as an individual to dissolve into a crowd. So, if you have any aristocratic desires and believe that you belong to a minority at risk of extinction, refrain from going to a Taylor Swift concert: the tribe you will find there is not yours. The dissolving effect is multiplied by receiving a bracelet at the entrance that will shine later in the darkness, when the technician on duty plays during the show with that small light that radiates from tens of thousands of wrists, coordinating its rhythm and intensity with music and fueling a true and fascinating emotional orgy.

I thought about it when I heard Champagne Problems and observe how Swift masterfully modulated the ecstasy provoked by her solitary and heartfelt piano performance. There she was, the artist in front of “the crowd”, the crowd, as she herself addressed us, thousands of selves diluted in a terrifying nebula of fireflies that mixed with the lavender mist that seemed to perfume us all since Lavender Haze, another of his songs. The screams of the young women and teenagers who recorded themselves repeating Swift’s lyrics (actually singing with her) are also the exact reflection of the power of that other famous song, Bejeweled, where the artist confesses that, despite missing her former lover, “she misses shining more.” When a sequin-clad woman sings “I didn’t realize you were trampling on my peace of mind / Wearing the shoes I gave you” but also “I can still make the whole place sparkle,” it’s impossible not to love her.

A scale cutout with the figure of Taylor Swift in front of the Santiago Bernabéu before the concert in Madrid. Juan José Martínez

During the overwhelming show, Swift appears, curiously, as a queen who opens her heart in a succession of confessions where she reveals her vulnerability. The fact that she is not a great dancer makes her seem more authentic, like that very plausible embarrassment with which she addresses her fans. She doesn’t have Beyoncé’s commanding stage presence, and so she plays with that underdog ambiguity that she creates for herself, as she describes in Anti-Hero: “I will look directly at the sun but never at the mirror.” And yet, everything, absolutely everything that surrounds her is designed to make her shine. From the epic story of how she has become sovereign against the power of the record companies that have made her a millionaire to how she has transformed the bullying of rapper Kanye West by re-emerging like a phoenix, wrapped in snakes and reappropriating the insult, with Look What You Made Me Dosingle from one of his most overwhelming works: Reputation. but it sounds Delicate and, again, it is impossible not to love her when, from the stage and with that style of hers so goofy, confess that, when your reputation is so low, the only thing left is for them to love us for who we are. And all of them, artist, audience, bracelets and swiftieswe beat as one heart.

A student who had asked me 15 days in advance to leave before an exam so as not to miss the concert, told me that there was no more mystery than that: how she turns many situations in which it is easy to recognize herself into beautiful stories. They are all different, but at the same time variations on the same theme: herself. “Do not intellectualize it or reduce it to the caricature of the typical product of fierce capitalism,” another friend warned me. Because the truth is that there are storytellers who, like the old troubadours, are capable of finding that something that does not happen so often, that we think: they put words to something that I have also experienced. That’s why it’s still funny that the question we all ask ourselves while we don’t stop talking about it is, precisely, why we only talk about it.

Taylor Swift, at the Santiago Bernabéu concert.
Taylor Swift, at the Santiago Bernabéu concert.Claudio Alvarez

In addition to being ambitious, hard-working and clever, Swift has been able to exploit her talent as a storyteller, telling us in The Archerfor example, that “she has been an archer and a prey”, or how no one wanted to play with her when she was a child, as she sings to us in Mastermind: “I’ve been plotting like a criminal ever since.” His music is simple, primary, with symmetrical, organic, orderly choruses, with which he knows how to create a clean acoustic tension because they are easy to listen to: they arrive when your ear is asking for it. The musical resources are subordinated to his stories, to his obsession with external approval or to how he experiences his relationship with someone who gaslights him, as he describes in Dear John: “And I lived in your chess game / But you changed the rules every day.” He bullyingHer first crushthe different stages of a mature relationship… are more universal than globalization itself, although many of these situations seem precisely that: champagne problems (champagne problems). He has also dared to deal with mental health (Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?), his mother’s cancer (Soon You´ll Get Better) and even with some political positioning (You Need to Calm Down o The Man) where he makes it clear that power is money, but also influence.

The intense girl from Pennsylvania dressed in boots cowboy Full of glitter, she describes love with colors—sometimes it is red, other times gold—and talks about the war wounds of her heart with concrete and simple lyrics, demonstrating that she knows the arcana of pop inside out. There are, of course, surprising findings, as in Cruel Summer and that “I’m always waiting for you to be waiting downstairs”, or as in the conceptual Lover, where he candidly tells us: “We could leave the Christmas lights on until January.” It also happens in the endless All Too Well, which makes the lights on my wrist shine and a pink and happy ecstasy reign over the Santiago Bernabéu: “And you call me again just to break me like a promise,” we all chant. But above all there is its beautiful Willowfrom his self-proclaimed “era Folklore”, in which he jumps from indie al folk to create a haunted atmosphere that she recreated on stage, dressed in blue like an elf and moving to the rhythm of a guitar pluck while telling us that “life was a willow and it leaned towards your wind.” Because the truth is that Taylor Swift reigned yesterday in Madrid with an overwhelming show, at times tacky like cotton candy, but always intense and overwhelming, and she made us all ride the musical wind of glitter to, for a moment, sing with her from the crowd: I can still make the whole place shimmer (I can still make this whole place shine).

Taylor Swift in her youth at the Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid.
Taylor Swift in her youth at the Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid.Claudio Alvarez

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