Artist: Taylor Swift
Venue: Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.
Date: March 27
Swift’s devotion to her most radio-friendly album to date, last year’s “Red,” came to life during the first of three sold-out shows at the Prudential Center. Performing 13 of the set’s 16 tracks, “red” was indeed the theme of the night, dominating everything from the song choices to the colors of Swift’s banjo, guitar and shoes. When she took on songs from previous albums, they hit a bit harder. “Sparks Fly,” from 2010’s “Speak Now,” soared and “Mean” merrily bounced along as its banjo riffs managed to fill the arena. “You Belong With Me” was given a bit of an about-face, stripped down into a more minimal, beat-driven version. Following his uplifting opening set, British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran joined Swift onstage for a performance of their recent duet “Everything Has Changed.” There wasn’t an encore, but a confetti-soaked closing of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” left the packed arena wide-eyed.