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Old 12-06-2012, 08:19 AM
bienville bienville is offline
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How is Taylor Swift as a Live Performer?

Taylor Swift has yet to grab me by the John Thomas and make me a fan, though I wouldn't say I dislike her.

I actually think she's a fairly good songwriter in terms of craft- she clearly understands songwriting in terms of structure and she actual has a better sense of narrative compared to some songwriters who have much stronger "street cred". I actually could see her maturing into a great artist but she has yet to do anything that has really appealed to me personally.

Therefore, I have not paid a whole lot of extra attention to her.

However . . .

The front page of today's USA Today features a Grammys story with photos of various artists. The photo of Taylor Swift singing while playing guitar is pretty striking. I can't find the same photo on the USA Today website, and attempting to navigate their site is just making me want to punch my computer.

In the photo she's singing and playing guitar and there's just a certain power to it that conveys a really great performance. I've never specifically sought out Taylor Swift performances, but the few I've caught out of the corner of my eye have only featured her singing, not singing and playing guitar at the same time.

Anyone want to tell me that she's really great live?
I really will sincerely take the time to watch any recommended live performances that can be found on the web. I've seen her performances in music videos and haven't been impressed, but if you have any live performances to recommend, I'll check it out.

Anyone here been to a concert?
Old 12-06-2012, 08:22 AM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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the only time I've seen her perform live was at Sony's press event at CES 2010. assuming she was actually singing, she seemed to be able to hold it together live.
Old 12-06-2012, 09:14 AM
bienville bienville is offline
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Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
she seemed to be able to hold it together live.
Hmm, that strikes me as pretty faint praise.
Been Googling around and can't find the same photo I saw on the USA Today front page. I've found a few that capture a certain intensity, but really nothing compared to the energy that comes through in that one other photo.

When I have time for video searches maybe I'll just cut to the chase myself later on.
Old 12-06-2012, 09:27 AM
Yorikke Yorikke is offline
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Originally Posted by bienville View Post
Taylor Swift has yet to grab me by the John Thomas
Sucks to be you.
Old 12-06-2012, 09:38 AM
leftfield6 leftfield6 is offline
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Have no idea how she is, but I'm sure she is surprised by it.
Old 12-06-2012, 09:50 AM
Leaffan Leaffan is online now
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My daughter is a huge fan, and although I know little about Taylor Swift, she appears to be the real deal. She writes her own songs; she plays guitar; and she really does sing very well.
Old 12-06-2012, 09:52 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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She notoriously sang with Stevie Nicks at an awards show like the Grammy's and didn't pull it off - she was a bit flat on some notes and just paled in comparison to the raspy-voiced pro singing of Nicks. In a recent Rolling Stone cover story, she mentioned this and said it was a tough gig, she was nervous, hit a few clam happens.

My take is that she appears to be more of an entertainer vs. a singer and her singing is just good enough within that context. She connects with her target audience, has uplifting stage patter, cool sing alongs and strong staging and music - everyone leaves happy. But, could she nail a real Unplugged performance? Only in a small, intimate way where the gentle-ish, warbly nature of voice is showcased as a feature. I have not heard her sing where it sounds like she could nail such a spare arrangement and project a strong voice without a lot of audio support...

Last edited by WordMan; 12-06-2012 at 09:54 AM.
Old 12-06-2012, 11:11 AM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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Originally Posted by bienville View Post
Hmm, that strikes me as pretty faint praise.
pop music isn't my thing, so that's as good as you'll get from me.
Old 12-06-2012, 11:33 AM
amaguri amaguri is offline
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I remember seeing her on Saturday Night Live before I knew who exactly she was, and I thought her singing was pretty awful.
Old 12-06-2012, 11:33 AM
James Otto Sweet Heart James Otto Sweet Heart is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: East Tennessee
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I have a buddy who got to see her around this time four years ago and he said that she is not one to just stand there and sing like others in music do. He said that because of how much she is all over the stage, she is a hard one to photograph.

God bless you and him and Taylor always!!!

Old 12-06-2012, 12:13 PM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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I saw her at a smaller venue before she broke (in Parkersburg, WV). I helped to promote the show with my newspaper for a friend and got some passes.

She seemed passable. Friendly and likeable. But not a true stage dominator, if you know what I mean. She's fun but not riveting. Which is, frankly, exactly what she should be as she's young and singing to a young and ephemeral audience of teen girls. I wish her all the success in the world.
Old 12-06-2012, 01:53 PM
Nayna Nayna is offline
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My daughter (12) loves her. We saw her in Pittsburgh (Speak Now Tour) in 2011, and we're going again (Red Tour) in July 2013.

I had a great time, honestly. A lot of her songs were "performed" - almost like videos, with Swift and members of her band/crew in costume and acting out the scene. There were fireworks on more than one occasion. Swift herself was consistently cheerful and gracious and energetic.
Old 12-06-2012, 02:34 PM
Smapti Smapti is online now
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I saw her live last year and am planning to buy a ticket to see her next year when they go on sale next week. (I was probably the oldest man there who wasn't chaperoning his 13-year-old daughter.)

She's very energetic onstage, and as noted above, most of the songs are performed as set-pieces with dancers, special effects, and portions of the stage moving around to create sets. Her stage has a pretty unique setup in the form of a catwalk which extends out from the center of the stage and has extensions on two sides sort of like a big T, and there are trapdoors located all around so that she can make a dramatic appearance out of nowhere. During part of the show, she made her way to a platform in the middle of the arena which had been lowered from the ceiling and played several solo acoustic songs as a theater-in-the-round sort of thing. She doesn't just sing - on various songs, she played acoustic anc electric guitar, banjo, ukulele, and piano. Her voice is a bit higher live than on her albums, but it's still great. Her band has a lot of energy, and live they tend more towards rock & roll than country (during one song they even had an electric guitar duel!)

There are several lulls in the set where the dancers do some sort of routine to cover Taylor's costume changes (she changed dresses six times during the show), and the band had to play the same riff for several minutes straight while she made her way from the mid-arena platform back to the stage while surrounded by security, but other than that the show doesn't drag at all and it's very well choreographed. I enjoyed it.
Old 12-06-2012, 02:57 PM
kbear kbear is offline
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Location: London, UK
Posts: 687
I've taken my daughters to see her twice now and I have to say it was enjoyable both times even for this old fart. She is very confident and sassy on stage. She really seems to appreciate her audience and is genuinely appreciative of the applause and cheers from the crowd. Both times she travelled down the arena to play a few songs to the people at the back. SHe works hard and the entire show is filled with a great energy.


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