US megastar Taylor Swift hits stage for first Sydney show after storms and lightning caused chaos – ABC News

US megastar Taylor Swift hits stage for first Sydney show after storms and lightning caused chaos
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I've got news for you Melbourne — Sydney just brought its own special sauce to the Taylor Swift concert.
Yeah, yeah, we know Taylor shed one single perfect tear over her record-breaking crowd at the MCG — and every moment of her three shows there have been gushed over, analysed and Instagrammed.
But did you get a rainbow stretching out across the sky over the stadium after the heavens briefly opened as tens of thousands of sparkling, shimmying Swifties poured through the gates pulsing with anticipation?
Did you get the pop superstar's boyfriend, NFL player Travis Kelce, rubbing shoulders with musical goddesses Katy Perry and Rita Ora in the VIP box?
And did you get an epic duet between Tay Tay and her support act, Sabrina Carpenter, after lightning and rain washed out her warm-up show?
Because we did … and more.
Crowds outside the stadium let out a collective "ooooh" just before 6pm as a clap of thunder and lightning rumbled across the sky and staff cleared the floor inside.
Naturally they shake it off, pulling ponchos over their glitter and sequins and stomping through puddles in their cowgirl boots, safe in the knowledge that Tay Tay wouldn't let something like a Sydney summer storm get in the way of performing for her fans.
The superstar's performance was delayed by the weather, but fans in front of me used the time to obsessively snap photos of the VIP boxes, zooming in and screaming when they confirmed that boyfriend Travis Kelce was in the house, wearing a blue T-shirt.
And holy hell, my eagle-eyed colleague Xanthe Gregory also spotted singers Katy Perry and Rita Ora there too.
By the time Swift finally took to the stage, amid plumes of pink silks blowing in the air at 7:48pm, excitement had reached fever pitch.
"Sydney you are making me feel absolutely phenomenal right now!" she shouted to her adoring fans, saying she was thrilled to be singing to a sell-out crowd of 81,000.
And it's clear the feeling was mutual.
"Here we are in one of the most exciting cities in the world on a Friday night," she said as the crowd roared.
"We got a little bit of a weather situation where we might get some rain, but I've never known an Aussie crowd who has let that get in the way of having a good time."
She's damn well right.
After the wall-to-wall media coverage and Taylor mania, most people now know the deal: the three-and-a-half-hour-long show covers 10 albums the artist has released over 18 years, divided into a kaleidoscope of "eras", complete with shifting colours and moods and amazing sets.
The whole show is a nod to Swift's ability to reinvent herself — shapeshifting from her roots as a country singer, to her transition to a global pop sensation and her feminist take-back of ownership of her early works, or "Taylor's versions".
Somehow, it means there's always a song that speaks to whatever "era" of your own you're in — the highs of beginnings, the heartbreak of endings and everything in between.
After Champagne Problems, Swift removed her earpiece and mouths about the roars from the crowd, "it's so loud", tapping her palm against her heart and lapping up the moment.
"You know that you pronounce my name cuter than everyone else in the world?" she adds later. 
"I love you Sydney, I'm calling it, we are going to have the night of our lives."
The famous moment when Swift bestows her hat on a fan is particularly touching on Friday night, as it goes to a nine-year-old with aggressive cancer.
And yes, the two "surprise songs" that change each concert during the acoustic set, sent the crowd into a frenzy.
The first, How You Get The Girl, from the album 1989, is suitably dreamy.
Next, she starts teasing she might drop a song from her upcoming album The Tortured Poets Department, saying the acoustic set "doubles as a show-and-tell if I have something fun to show you".
But she does give us a reveal of sorts, announcing there will be a bonus track called Albatross on the vinyl addition, as an "alternative cover" for the album flashes up on the screen behind her.
"I can't wait for you to hear it," she said.
But it's the second surprise song when the stadium really erupts, as Swift says the earlier weather had caused "a crime against Sydney which needs to be fixed", announcing she's bringing her cancelled support act Sabrina Carpenter onto stage.
Dressed in a silver sequined mini, Carpenter takes a seat next to Taylor on her piano stool.
The Swifties in front of me lose their minds as Carpenter says they're going to sing a Swift song she first heard as a nine-year-old, and they launch into White Horse from the album Fearless before mashing it up with Coney Island from Evermore.
"We are going to Sydney zoo on 100 per cent of our days off here," Swift then says before Carpenter leaves the stage.
"I don't think you guys understand how cool the kangaroos are here. So strong, so bouncy."
At the end of the night, the crowd debates whether Swift has acknowledged the presence of her famous boyfriend in true crowd style, by changing the words of her final song Karma to refer to the Chiefs — his NFL team.
I reckon I heard it, but there's a hell of a lot of screaming going on.
Earlier in the night Swift told the crowd: "Sydney has such a special place in my heart, I have so many memories here."
And she created memories for Sydneysiders that will last forever. We were there, we were there, we were there.
We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.
This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.
AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

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