Taylor Swift Red Tour at the Scottrade Center 3/18/13: Review, Photos and Setlist

taylor opener.jpg
Todd Owyoung. Check out our complete slideshow here.
Taylor Swift | Ed Sheeran
Scottrade Center
March 18, 2013

When music editor Daniel Hill assigned me to review Taylor Swift's Red tour at Scottrade Center, I assumed I'd have to pull his Bieber shenanigans to live through it. Thousands of screeching teenagers? No Serious-Musicians-In-Capital-Letters? Pop songs about breakups? Welcome to my nightmare.

Except it wasn't. Instead, it was magical, in that I-believe-in-Tinkerbell kind of way.

See Also:
-Taylor Swift Is Saving America
-Taylor Swift Is Destroying America

As this was my first TayTay show, I had no idea what to expect, so I turned to the most reliable resource I could fathom: teh interwebz. First, I looked up all kinds of T-Dawg news and outfits (pinned for your pleasure). I learned that her latest album Red isn't so bad, she loves red heart sunglasses, she wears mom-approved shorts and she dances in a lot of animated GIFs. Awesome, frightening, frightening, awesome.

I then asked Twitter and Facebook followers what I should watch for during the big T-Swizzle extravaganza, and they had a LOT of suggestions. Here's what folks wanted to know about, along with my observations from the show:

The looks on kids' faces when they saw Taylor for the first time? The children screamed for T-Dawg, and I drank their Kool-Aid about two minutes later.

The arena went dark, video screens saying "Red" and "Taylor Swift" rose from the stage floor and suddenly, there was TayTay, posing in a white lacy top, a black "Blossom" hat and the first of many high-waisted shorts. T-Swizzle looked left, looked right, smiled straight at the camera and pranced down the elaborate staircase.

Allison Babka
Have you ever heard 14,000 hyenas? Have you ever seen 14,000 tiny people losing their shit at the same time? Have you ever wanted to bottle up the utter rapture of 14,000 people relishing their first anything? I experienced all of this during Swift's first song, "State of Grace," and was completely overwhelmed by the excitement, appreciation and calamity of the young fans who were seeing their idol for the first time and perhaps even taking in their first concert ever. As remembered my own first show -- New Kids on the Block in 1989 -- I tearfully looked around and considered advising the kids, "This feeling? This best-experience-ever of having music course through your ears, eyes, heart and fingers? DON'T LET IT GO!"

So the kids' faces? Wide-eyed wonder. My face? A watery mess. I'm such a sap.

Goat remix? Ok, seriously, people, I don't get the supposed hilarity of goats "singing" parts of pop songs. SOMEONE EXPLAIN WHY THIS IS SO FUNNY! Anyway, no, she didn't mention a goat, didn't sing like a goat and didn't show a goat video to the audience.

Singing something in tune for once in her career? I shared my friend's skepticism that High Priestess Swifty would be able to hit every note perfectly for her congregation. Based on her cleanly processed albums and unexceptional awards show performances, I wasn't expecting anything but radio-friendly mediocrity. Boy, was I wrong -- Swift easily nailed each song cleanly and strongly. Only a muffled, bedazzled microphone contributed to making TayTay occasionally sound less than stellar.

Wardrobe malfunction? There were a ton of wardrobe changes (including a questionable pair of stretchy red pants that were supposed to resemble jeans), but Swift wore nothing that made parents cover the eyes of their innocent urchins.

Location Info


Scottrade Center

1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: General

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I'm trying to plan my concert attendance around seeing Taylor only (who is Austin Mahone??), what was your timeline?


Since trolls have utterly ruined the internet, I never make comments. But your review was a clever, intelligent and well-researched composition. You have described with clarity the experience of emotions that only live music can evoke. I look forward to this experience firsthand in September. I appreciate your wit and honesty as I appreciate the same in Taylor's music. Thank you!


If you only saw one of Ed's songs but enjoyed that crap put forth by Taylor then at least you didn't waste our time writing a shitty review of him but it's pretty disappointing that you ignored him.  He was the true talent at that show.

chrisward99 topcommenter

Hail Satan, I just LOVE Taylor Swift! Sometimes I sit around thinking about twisting Oreos and putting both halves over her eyes, in a sort of day spa-fashion, but with cookies. Then, what I'd do is, grab both of her legs like popsicle sticks and sort of press her against the counter, but I wouldn't want her to break in two. LOL just an idea. Hope that wasn't weird. Things just pop right in my brain haha. The other thing is, I would want to get a good Avocado from Schnucks (which is hard, because they are all really firm and not ready-to-eat, in my experience), and get it home and take my sharpest knife out of the drawer. I would take my sharpest knife out of the drawer and just slooowwwlly draw the sharpest, most razor edge of the blade along the fragile, crocodile skin of the Avocado. Just scoring the Avocado  basically, from nipple to nipple. And then I would let that knife sink a little deeper until I sliced the Avocado, from end to end, and that green moisture oozed out for me. All that moisture, oozing all out. Just for me. And then I would let that knife sink deeper and deeper until I twisted the two halves and exorcised the pit. I would roll the pit around in my mouth a little bit, just tasting that sweet, sweet, young Avocado. And then I would violently dig out the Avocado meat with a spoon. Just dig, and fucking dig and dig until it was all used up. Just a worthless piece of skin on the counter. Used to be a young, talented, fresh Avocado. And now just look at it lying there. All shitted out and used up. 

Anyway, great review! Look forward to the new single. 

Allison Babka
Allison Babka

Even the stripped-down acoustic portions of the show were effective. I was as surprised as anyone that the girl really could sing -- no "Is she Beyonceing?" questions from me. This girl could hold court in a room of 5 or 500,000. And I hate myself for admitting that.

Matthew Laws
Matthew Laws

Of corse her show was magical...there was about a 200,000,000 worth of audio, lighting, video, set ect that over 200 people set up for her in 5 hours...If she could play the scott trade center with nothing but a decent backing band (not including multiple tracks of synchronized playback), adequate PA, and enough light for her to be seen and still come across as "magical"..thats when I would consider myself a taylor swift fan. Less is more thank you.


@paul.uchida Thanks for your kind words. It's nearly impossible not to have a good time at a show like Swift's, regardless of how you (I, really) might feel about her music. Have fun when you see her!


@Jojo I was there to review the headliner, not the opener. I walked into the arena when Ed Sheeran was playing his final song, so you got my full review. Glad it worked out for you, anonymous internet commenter.

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