​Taylor Swift Rogers Centre, Toronto ON, October 2

​Taylor Swift Rogers Centre, Toronto ON, October 2
Photo: Rick Clifford
Rolling through town for the first of two sold out shows in support of her aforementioned pop juggernaut, Taylor Swift's "1989 World Tour" served up every bit of sparkly, sentimental spectacle that fans — really, really loud fans — could have hoped for.
Although sugary and shimmery at times ("Welcome to New York," "I Wish You Would," "How You Get the Girl"), the pop star's latest tour captures Swift embracing the year she was born and declaring a newfound maturity that made itself known more than a few times. A dark, sultry reworking of Red hit "I Knew You Were Trouble" set that tone, and a black leather cat suit-clad Swift hammered the point home with a one-two punch of "Bad Blood" and a distorted, rocked-out rendition of "We Are Never Getting Back Together." There were still plenty of family-friendly, fairy tale-esque numbers, though, with early-career numbers "You Belong with Me" and "Love Story" working their way into the setlist, as well as a late mash-up of "Enchanted" and "Wildest Dreams."
Anyone expecting the pop-ified 1989 bonanza to continue when Swift brought out her highly anticipated secret guest was probably disappointed to see a Keith Urban cameo, though hardcore Swifties from her humble country days seemed thrilled with the two-song guest appearance.
The momentum lost during Urban's stint was quickly made up for thanks to pre-recorded video segments of Swift with her cats (Olivia and Meredith) and her star-studded squad, which featured celeb pals like Selena Gomez, HAIM, Lena Dunham and Cara Delevingne, soon followed by late evening highlight "Out of the Woods." The whole shebang came to an end with an explosion of neon, confetti, lasers and, yes, actual explosives during the irresistibly fun "Shake It Off" finale.
It takes a special talent to appeal a group of fans as wide-ranging and fickle as Swift's; but everyone from the stylish, Budweiser-fuelled millennials to the angsty tweens, pre-schoolers and their obliging parental chaperones seemed enthralled with the show. Somehow the soundtrack to school bus rides and sweaty club dance floors alike, Swift's songs translated perfectly to the stadium stage, which provided a platform big enough to hold her larger-than-life pop performance and let the music cut straight to thousands of hearts at a time. Her magnetic personality and spectacular stage show were merely icing on an already delectable cake.