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Review: Taylor Swift at the Pepsi Center, 9/27/11

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TAYLOR SWIFT at THE PEPSI CENTER | 09.27.11


Imagine, if you will, a crapload of glitter, teeny tiny dresses, one billion pairs of cowboy boots, free mascara (courtesy of sponsor Cover Girl), and thousands of screaming girls all stuffed into a giant bottle of love - that was the Taylor Swift concert last night at the Pepsi Center. The dream-like set was sparkly and glamorous, and showed off just the right amount of cheesy teenage fantasy to mesmerize thousands of doe-eyed girls and their trying-too-hard, bedazzled-up moms.

The stage itself was adorned with velvety red curtains that opened up to a Disney-esque staircase where Swift looked right at home, riling up the minis with "Sparks Fly," "You Belong With Me" and "Mean." She dedicated "Live Long" to "the craziest fans" she's ever met and clearly knew how to pull at the heartstrings of the pricey ticket buyers' 'tween offspring.

And the fans weren't the only ones Taylor gave a shout-out to -- after taking a little jaunt out into the audience and climbing up on a gummy tree perch in the middle of the screaming crowd, she announced that there was a special Denver guest in the audience with his children.

And really what better way to pay your respect to a band than by playing one of their songs, right? We're sure Joe King from The Fray couldn't have agreed more. We have to give Swift some props for performing "How To Save A Life" pretty damn well. Sure it was the predictable choice (unlike her rendition of "Lose Yourself"), but we'll take it.

Taylor Swift does have mad musical skillz; she not only rocked out on the piano and guitar, but she busted out the banjo and even a ukulele. Although it was sometimes difficult to hear her wispy voice over the blood-curdling screams of little girls, Swift belted out her love songs with gusto.

Swift is definitely suited for smaller venues, but having a fabulous band that backed her up with force made up for the struggle. Her two lead guitar players had insanely spiky hair that sort of made it seem like they meant to show up for an '80s Ratt concert, but who are we to judge? We were just concerned that the staged pyrotechnics could have caught one of them aflame.

If you were looking to bare your heart and soul to your true love sitting next to you, there probably wasn't a better time to do it than in the encore, in which she took to a flying balcony to sing "Love Story." Better then than earlier, when she was singing her slam on John Mayer ("Dear John"--subtle!), which is supposed to come off as empowering to her teen fans, but just kind of made her seem a smidge desperate.

Actually, all her love songs make her seem a bit desperate, but we're guessing that's just what teenage girls and their middle aged moms want and need. So sing on girl. Sing on. And thanks for the free mascara.


CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK

Personal Bias: I generally despise blondes and everything they stand for. Random Detail: Taylor Swift really, really loves glow sticks and sparkly things... By The Way: and she's constantly amazed at the adoration she purposefully inspires.



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