Weekend Herald - - Front Page - Ge­orge Fen­wick Photo / Getty Im­ages

Tay­lor Swift daz­zled Auck­land’s Mt Smart Sta­dium last night with her first New Zealand sta­dium-sized show.

The 28-year-old pop star, who was last here in 2013 with three shows at Vec­tor Arena, de­liv­ered a spec­ta­cle off the back of her 2017 al­bum, Rep­u­ta­tion.

She proved she’s the whole pack­age, treat­ing fans to a night of pop mu­sic at its best. On top of her fe­ro­cious and en­er­getic stage pres­ence, her set list proved the en­dur­ing power of her im­pec­ca­ble song­writ­ing.

As well as a range of tracks from Rep­u­ta­tion, Swift delved into her back cat­a­logue, per­form­ing hits such as Love Story, You Be­long With Me and Black Space.

The night was split into seven acts, with in­ter­ludes for cos­tume and stage changes. The show was thrilling from the out­set, kick­ing off with rous­ing chart-top­per Ready For It? Just two songs in, Swift’s tow­er­ing stage was lit up with py­rotech­nics that sur­rounded her with stun­ning flames.

At one point, an enor­mous in­flat­able snake ar­rived to ac­com­pany last year’s come­back sin­gle Look What You Made Me Do — fea­tur­ing a won­der­ful video-cameo from Tiffany Had­dish — while she later flew over the crowd in a sil­ver cage to­wards a sec­ond stage.

A ma­jor high­light was her ren­di­tion of Shake It Off, for which she brought out her open­ing acts Charli XCX and New Zealand’s own Ge­or­gia Nott, one half of Broods. The trio rocked out to the hit sin­gle, while bursts of con­fetti framed them in glo­ri­ous rain­bow colours.

She gave Kiwi fans a spe­cial treat by play­ing an acoustic ver­sion of Out of the Woods — the video for which was shot at Bethells Beach. She told the crowd she would al­ways think of New Zealand when she played the tune.

Her tal­ent shone too in the smaller mo­ments, such as when she per­formed an acoustic ver­sion of Danc­ing With Our Hands Tied.

The fore­cast rain was thank­fully light, and fans were non­plussed — par­tic­u­larly af­ter Swift said she sees a par­tic­u­lar magic in rainy shows. The crowd re­mained lively the whole night, with each per­son handed a white wrist­band on ar­rival. These changed colour through­out the night, which gave each fan a per­sonal con­nec­tion to the star. “I can see ev­ery­one in here,” she said.

The show was a tight ma­chine, with seam­less tran­si­tions and smart chore­og­ra­phy. Her chat­ter be­tween songs seemed re­hearsed, but de­spite feel­ing slightly im­per­sonal, her charisma is un­de­ni­ably gen­uine. She’s clearly proud to be pack­ing in such an enor­mous show, and with gi­ant screens of­fer­ing even the most dis­tant fans an in­ti­mate view, Swift went to lengths to make ev­ery fan feel part of the party.

As she closed out with her em­pow­er­ing hit We Are Never Ever Get­ting Back To­gether, it was hard not to feel the in­fec­tious joy as thou­sands of voices around the sta­dium joined in.

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