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29 June 2015

london | taylor swift at bst, hyde park

it's worth making it clear from the start, that i'm not a massive fan of pop music - well, modern pop music anyway. i'd give anything to be able to relive the pop music of the 80s, 90s and early 00s, but the majority of the music around today just... isn't for me; there's just too much electronic influence and interference, and it makes me sad because there's nothing better than live, and loud music. that said, when someone offers you tickets to see taylor swift at a day-time festival in central london, on a weekend that's always sunny, you don't say no. hell, you even admit that yes, you used to quite like taylor swift's music - back when she was a country singer with a dream, and before she completely sold her soul and made a butt-load of money. maybe even still then... ok, definitely even still then.

you even admit that you kind of really like tay tay's online persona; she seems like a top bird, has some really poignant and important things to say - mostly to her army of young and devoted fans, but never the less, she kind of stands up for women's rights and feminism and is vocal about anti-bullying, and i am of the opinion that there definitely needs to be ~more positive role models like her around for this teen generation - especially when the alternative is miley and ariana grande and - i dunno, kesha? is she even a thing still? my point is this: based on my internet-only knowledge of taylor swift, and radio-only knowledge of her hits (having never owned ~or illegally downloaded any of her albums before), i was very keen and excited to see her play live in hyde park.

bex and i met just on four around green park and made our way to marble arch for some late lunch (mcdonalds, so we could use the facilities - and steal some rude little girl's blow up saxomophone after she rudely pushed in the incredibly long line. rude!), and quick trip to the cash machines and offie to grab some supplies, before heading into the park and waiting for the lines to die down a little before making it in.

first impressions this year (i was there last year for black sabbath, but had hospitality tickets so the amenities were a biiiiiit different, hah): impressive. there were sooo many food stalls that were like, not the usual "hot dog and chips" type affair - we're talking like, bleaker street burgers and rib shack and kelly's of cornwall, as well as couple of really ~colourful bars serving more than just *pints*. i was super impressed at the variety around this year, which i think was the majority thought as all those hipster food stalls had the longest lines. longer than the loos. that's saying something. also, the loos were totally amazing. no porta-loo type nonsense - proper bricked-up toilets, and enough of them that you never even had to line up for one. totally impressed by the entire functionality of the event.

we arrived just as john newman was finishing up, so we only had ellie goulding and tay tay to wait for, which was kind of perfect timing. as i said, pop music isn't really my thing so i wasn't really too keen to see too much of it, although ellie's set was really good and the crowd really loved it. i knew like, three of the songs. don't ask me which ones though; one with calvin harris, one about fire, one about lights. that's all i know. she was really shy, and barely spoke, and when she did it was really endearing; you could absolutely tell she was so blown away by being on that stage, in front of 65 thousand people. she's really cute too, and not in a tacky and "wear all the short clothes" kind of way. i mean, she totally was, but, besides the point. what is my point? that ellie goulding - an artist i don't listen to, know very little about, and wouldn't choose to listen to, was incredible to watch on stage.

unlike taylor swift. an opinion shared by others, including lis (do yourself a favour and read that article - it's incredibly written and hits the nail on the head) who managed to put my disappointment into better words that i could ever hope to, seeing as i all i can keep saying is that "i'm so disappointed" in her show. for someone who appears so genuine and honest and caring and sweet and modest online, she could not have appeared ~less of those things on stage. she talked a lot of well-scripted but absolute nonsense in between songs - like, in between ~all of the songs, well - except for the times when instead she played a totally contrived video montage of all of her "very best friends" saying totally wonderful and surely very "honest" things about her while she changed her outfit no less than four times.

i don't know about you, but i know that i don't care how lena dunham and taylor swift came to be friends. in fact, i don't know that i would even actually ~believe that they are friends, because it seems to me like taylor has picked up a whole gaggle of really high profile "friends" really swiftly (puns); it makes me wonder how genuine these relationships are, and just how mutually beneficial they are. cynacism aside, i really, honestly don't care about what haim think of taylor. or gigi someone. or cara delevingne. honestly, i don't. i just wanted to hear the handful of songs i know and like, shake it off a bit, and have a good time.

bex and i had a good time still; laughing at the straight, twenty-something guys next to us who knew every single word to every single song kept us entertained while she was talking crap about heartbreak and her amazing friends, admiring the #gainz on the chick in front of us who rotated each of her friends on her shoulders for the entire set, at the mums and dads in the crowd trying to contain their pre-tweens who all just simply could.not.deal with the fact that taylor swift was ~talking to them. i mean, it was all very sweet, however disingenuous i found the whole thing, and the crowd totally ate that shit up. 
there were some really nice moments, i don't want to forget that; when she picked up the guitar for an acoustic song (that i'd never heard), when she gave a lengthy monologue about growing up and then sang her debut hit "love story" (knew that one), and when she remixed some of the older hits to make them more current, that was all nice. and the wrist bands was a nice touch too; they were "gifted" to us at the door, and they sort of flashed in sync with the music (occasionally), which was something a bit fun and different. maybe... less effective in an outdoor festival than an indoor concert, but again, a nice touch. a momento, if you will.

the crap that sent me over the edge and was the last straw for us, was during and extended version of "style", when she decided to use the stage to parade her "friends". one after another, victoria's secret models, and tennis pros, and reality tv stars were introduced to the stage in an effort to solidify the fact that she's queen bee and has lots of babes in her life. as soon as i heard the name "kendall jenner", i was out. that was the moment we made the decision to leave. as we made our way through the crowd back out to the night, cara delevingne was introduced, waving a union jack flag, and the crowd went wild. i still cannot for the life of me figure out why that happened. we'd reached the gate - after weaving our way through 65 thousand people, and the song was still going. we slipped out the gate with a lottttt of other people who i assume had all had as much of it as we had, and we hadn't even heard 'shake it off', which still makes me angry.

so they say you shouldn't meet your idols, and although she isn't, and although we didn't, i do wish i hadn't seen her play. i really want to believe all the things she says to the world about empowerment, and about friendship, and about how to treat each other. i mean, i believe those things independently of her, and it's great for the youth of the internet to have her as a role model, but... i guess i'll leave her to the kids. as you were.

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