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Taylor Swift Takes Over Tokyo

A sold-out crowd of 20,000 filled Tokyo’s Saitama Super Arena.

photo by Kelly E. Schultz

The saying goes, third time’s a charm. Taylor Swift’s third visit to Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, June 1, was more than a charm—it was brilliant.

“Konbanwa, Tokyo” (good evening, Tokyo), Taylor exclaimed after opening her show with “State of Grace.”

A sold-out crowd of 20,000 filled Tokyo’s Saitama Super Arena as Taylor tore through hits like “Red,” “Mean” and “22.” She then took to a satellite stage in the back of the stadium and with just her and her red Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar played very raw renditions of “Mine” and “You Belong to Me.” When Taylor does songs with just her guitar, the full scope of her songwriting talent comes into view.

Backed by the same band she’s had since 2009, Taylor’s songs had a deeper, richer sonic feel to them, which may have been missing in her more elaborate shows in North America. One of the more personal moments featured Taylor seated at her piano center stage as she told the story of a love lost in “All Too Well.”

Taylor interacted with her fans in a way that was equal parts old church revival and backyard gathering. Everyone felt like they were part of the show. Multicolored glow sticks and illuminated signs made the show feel equal parts rave and circus. The ringleader herself brought the house down as she closed with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

Taylor continues through Asia and will finish up the Red Tour on June 12 in Singapore.

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