Taylor Swift, 02 Arena, London
Monday 04 April 2011
Once the barrage of screams from teenage girls (the loudest of all screams) has died down, Taylor Swift and her seven-piece band take command of the O2.
It is difficult not to begrudge such a young singer for her constant stream of lyrical narratives about true love and heartbreak, but teenage angst appeals to the masses and her lyrics and melodies are undeniably catchy – from the huge hit "Love Story" to "Fearless". The soft country pop may not particularly vary from track to track, but the lyrics themselves are disarmingly honest, marking her out against her contenders: Taylor Swift writes her own material, plays her own instruments; she's not a market product, but an award-winning musician and is keen to exercise this image as she plays the guitar, ukulele and another, very sparkly guitar with ease during the set.
Perhaps this is what will save her from that road of rebellion so many young starlets wander down; you'll be hard pushed to find an unflattering story about the Nashville princess. Swift comes across as seemingly untouched compared to other fallen child stars – indeed, the closest you get to some Cyrus-style rebellion is the impressive amount of hair flicking during "Sparks Fly".
Her costumes are not too sexy nor are they tame, ranging from sparkly numbers and cowboy boots to "Southern Belle of the ball" with modestly-cut dresses and kitten heels. Swift doesn't act like the prom queen; more like the girl in the corner of the room who doesn't realise quite how pretty she is. And so every teenage girl can aspire to this seemingly genuine singer, a winning combination of talent and innocence, excusing the moment when you squirm in your seat as she nicknames London "Fundon".
So do we wait for the fall? In the meantime the pop princess is churning out country-pop hits like a toy factory and the crowd is hungry for more of the goods.
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