Review: The 1989 World Tour Live, presented by Apple Music

"Presented by Apple Music". Probably the most disgusting 4 words you could find in this honest review. I am not an Apple fan, and asking me to opt in to a 3-month Apple Music trial just to download The 1989 World Tour Live is a crime against humanity.

Yet because it's The 1989 World Tour Live, I'm willing to accept that.

I am so disappointed with myself. And yes Blank Space is playing
It's been roughly 3 years since I last did a written review on anything Taylor Swift; back then the review was probably so biased I had to put a disclaimer (had a good laugh at how cheesy it was. No one read it anyways so it didn't really matter). 

Today's review, not that biased. I effectively put my tenure as a fan club manager on hold ever since uni started (that's before 1989). Still a member of the board but no longer actively engaging, which sort of pushed me slightly closer to the edge of the Neutral Zone. There's of course a 1989 World Tour show in Singapore (in fact 2 of them), but then there's Muse and running and my general broke-ness so it was a no-go. Talk about priorities.

So here's the disclaimer: before last night, I DO NOT know anything about how the tour was run, what's the setlist, the special guest lists and the other 101s of The 1989 World Tour that every Taylor Swift fan is supposed to know damn well (and I don't). I did listen to the album like 60 times in its first week of release so that's a good (neutral) start.

Here's an honest review of The 1989 World Tour Live.

The right ambience to watch: a room as dark as a black hole, for the feels. come on concert venues are naturally dark for a reason
The right time to watch: 2am, obvious reason. a not so obvious reason: it would definitely be easier to get a room as dark as a black hole
Technical wins: RC colour wristbands? is this a stage or a crane? lights! sparks! columns of pressurized air! general excitement!
Technical fails: alt+tab while fullscreen = start the whole thing all over again. please do not check facebook or whatsapp web or whatever that requires an alt+tab while fullscreen (which is basically everything). damn you Apple
"Background" music: it's a remix... another remix... hell a lot of remixing... REMIXES EVERY-DAMN-WHERE!
The parts when there's no "background" music (where a lot of people randomly shows up): oh that's definitely more music?

Okay most of the honest stuff above are true feelings but that's just me messing up with people. For me in order to do a "proper" review it's a good idea to compare with Speak Now World Tour Live, from all the way back in 2011. Roughly the same duration, but no behind-the-scenes for Speak Now so in term of minutes there should be more music to Speak Now compared to 1989 (after all Speak Now is a much longer album). But somehow I feel that 1989, despite the fewer minutes, definitely has more music. There's that extra touch, that "deviation from source material" to every single song - be it the experiment of Blank Space, the guitar solo in Never Ever, the keyboard mod to Love Story or the inclusion of Enchanted in Wildest Dreams. Or just any addition of man and machine, and all those bursts of raw emotions. It's definitely more of a "show" compared to Speak Now. Of course tech plays a rather key role here; the tech aspect of both the tour and this tour video is just mind-blowing, and much of it contributes to the experience of music.

Nothing much can be said for the remaining minutes of behind-the-scenes. Generally fun stuff that weaves in rather nicely with the live segments.

Overall verdict: if you could squeeze insane live music and compelling behind-the-scenes into 2:11:55 of visual and technical masterclass, isn't that great?

One question remains. Do I get to keep this when I cancel my Apple Music trial? 

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