Taylor Swift Brings Giant Snakes and Shawn Mendes to Pasadena Rose Bowl Concert

After over a decade of having the spotlight beat down on her, Taylor Swift has transformed a great deal as an artist, and this is reflected in her “Reputation Stadium Tour,” which took over the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, CA on May 18 and and will pack the stadium again on May 19. Entertainment Voice was there with 60,000 fans for the first night to behold this new, reflective Swift.

Swift’s set was dominated by tracks from her most recent release, “Reputation,” an album that showcases a more evolved woman in control of herself and and her sexuality. The show kicked off with the aptly-titled “…Ready for It?” Next came “I Did Something Bad,” followed by “Gorgeous,” a song she dedicated to her beautiful fans.

It was important to Swift to make the show feel as intimate as possible, not an easy task when you’re playing to a packed stadium. She played too songs, “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” and “Red,” on an acoustic guitar, sitting on a stool and everything. To connect with fans, she bared her soul in a few monologues.

“One thing that every person, in this 60,000-person stadium, has in common is that we all like the feeling of confiding in someone and having them say, ‘Yeah, I feel that way too,’” she said before launching into “Delicate,” a softer song about opening up to a new love.

Unlike her 1989 Tour, which saw Swift trot out countless enthusiastic celebrities at shows across the country, the Reputation Tour seems to focus more on her and her music. The only big name, save for her openers, was Shawn Mendes, who popped up to join Swift in a performance of his own “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back.”

Like the 1989 Tour, this current tour has elaborate production elements, including giant inflatable snakes, perhaps a tribute to all the snakes out there who like to see Swift brought down, but she rises above, as seen her when she glided to and from the mainstage to two smaller stages in the middle of the floor suspended above the crowd in two different gondolas, one that resembled a snake. For the sensual song “Dress,” back-up dancers performed elaborate scarf dances. Swift herself wore a total of eight costumes, most of the decked out in sequins.

Opening up for Swift were Charli XCX, who kicked off the evening with her hit “Boom Clap,” also getting the crowd pumped with a cover of Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and “Fancy.” Camila Cabello brought a bit of Miami to the Rose Bowl. Her look channeled Selena, but her songs were more poppy, including “Never Be the Same” and “Bad Things.” Both ladies joined Swift during her set for a fun rendition of “Shake It Off.”

Other old favorites were short but sweet, such as a medley of “Style,” “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me.” The evening came to an end with abbreviated versions of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” played along with the newer “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.”

Taylor Swift‘s “Reputation Stadium Tour” took over Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, CA on May 18, with a second performance returning to the stadium on May 19. All tour dates and tickets are here