"Hello, I'm Taylor, and I love seeing a sold out Manchester Arena", called Taylor Swift as if the fifteen thousand people screeching from the stands didn't know who she was. For someone with seven Grammy Awards, Swift immediately came across as an incredibly humble performer. This could be one of the best things about her performance at Manchester Arena on Wednesday night - her vigorous determination and beaming smile showed that she wanted to be on stage as much as her fans did.

Taylor Swift

Attracting fans of all ages from across the world, Swift was met with a tremendous applause and insanely strong reaction from the crowd as she launched straight into 'Welcome to New York'. It set the scene well; we were all there for an evening with Swift in the magical musical world she had created. "There's something else you should know about me", she said after her first song. "I was born in 1989!"

Stories about heartbreak, believing in yourself and (surprise, surprise) heartbreak again were honest, and moving. Her joyous and bubbly personality was heightened by moments where she played the wrong note on the piano (and informed everyone) and laughed when one of her backing dancers made a funny face at her from behind a clear screen. These minor moments humanised her performance, reminding the audience that the superstar on stage was a real person, not just a manufactured pop robot.

On the subject of dancers, they all put in a terrific effort, accomplishing insane acts and crazy acrobatics on an already packed stage. This was helped by the equally amazing light show the audience was treated to, accompanied by the light-up wrist bands which flashed and shone in time with the music. 

While Swift utterly dominated the stage with her performance, a special mention has to go out to Vance Joy, who set the tone for the show with a comparatively brief half-hour set. The young Aussie looked right at home on the tour, but seemed somewhat stunned by the number of people who were almost as interested in seeing him as they were Swift. Putting on a great show including his new single 'Mess is Mine' and an exceptional Sam Smith cover, he rounded off the set with a stunning performance of 'Riptide', winner of Triple J's Hottest 100 (Australia's musical equivalent of a Best Picture Oscar) which was recently covered by Swift. 

From the 50 Shades inspired rendition of 'I Knew You Were Trouble' to the rock-tastic performance of 'Bad Blood', Taylor Swift's 1989 World Tour was a sight to behold. An honest, touching and outstanding spectacle, which delighted everyone who attended - especially with her awesome encore of, yes, 'Shake it Off'.

Stephen Caswell

Official Site - http://taylorswift.com/