Entertainment & Arts

Taylor Swift and friends leave their mark on Hyde Park

Taylor Swift in Hyde Park Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Swift (centre) was joined onstage by Cara Delevingne, Kendall Jenner, Martha Hunt. Karlie Kloss, Serena Williams and GiGi Hadid
Taylor Swift Image copyright Jason Williamson for The Line of Best Fit
Image caption The star's 18-song set lasted almost two hours

Taylor Swift signed off the UK leg of her world tour in style with an open-air show featuring one of Britain's top models.

Cara Delevigne waved a Union Jack flag as she joined the singer on stage before a 65,000-strong crowd at London's Hyde Park.

Tennis champion Serena Williams and model Kendall Jenner also appeared in a catwalk-themed section of Swift's set.

The pop star said she would "remember this night for the rest of [her] life".

"I remember seven years ago when I played my first UK show," she said. "King's College [in London] had sold out and there were a few hundred people.

"I was surprised that a few hundred people would come to see me perform and now I'm looking at 65,000 people in Hyde Park.

"This is one of those nights where I'm aware I'm going to be taking mental snapshots so I can remember this night for the rest of my life," the singer continued.

The speech was one of several extended confessionals from a performer whose closeness to her fans became literal during a section where a giant rotating bridge suspended her above the heads of her adoring acolytes.

Image copyright Outside Organisation / Twitter
Image caption Swift played guitar and keyboards while travelling above her audience

Swift's fans - nicknamed "Swifties" - were caught on the hop on Saturday when their idol began her gig 15 minutes earlier than scheduled.

Wearing a green sequinned jacket and purple skirt, she opened her set with Welcome to New York, a trademark anthem of emphatic self-assertion.

Supported by 12 male dancers, four female backing singers and a five-man band, the concert featured 17 more songs and seven additional costume changes in the two-hour set.

Sartorial highlights included a figure-hugging black leather catsuit, a summery pink frock lit by LED lights and a silver gown encrusted with crystals.

Props, meanwhile, included an ornate silver piano, a golf club - wielded menacingly as she sang Blank Space, a self-parodying paean to her media portrayal as a serial dater - and illuminated umbrellas used in a Singin' In The Rain-style "brolly ballet".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The set-list was largely drawn from Swift's current smash hit album 1989

Swift's decision to distance herself from her country past was illustrated by a setlist dominated by songs from her latest release, the pop-leaning 1989.

Yet she found time to reinvent some of her older material, refashioning Love Story as a 1980s-style synth track and turning We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together into a noisy rock stomp with one booted foot in Glastonbury.

Filmed inserts showed Lena Dunham, Delevigne and others extolling the singer's virtues and Swift herself cradling her two cats, the quirkily named Dr Meredith Grey and Detective Olivia Benson.

The evening ended with Shake It Off, a defiantly upbeat tune which saw "Tay Tay" back on her bridge in a purple crop top and miniskirt.

It was a triumphant climax to an eventful week that began with Swift exhorting tech giant Apple to rethink the artist payment policy of its new music streaming service.

The 25-year-old plays two concerts in Dublin next week before returning to North America to continue her 1989 tour, named after her latest album as well as the year of her birth.

Ellie Goulding and John Newman also performed in Hyde Park on Saturday as part of the British Summer Time series of day-long mini-festivals.

SETLIST

  • Welcome To New York
  • New Romantics
  • Blank Space
  • I Knew You Were Trouble
  • I Wish You Would
  • How You Get The Girl
  • I Know Places
  • All You Had To Do Was Stay
  • You Are In Love
  • Clean
  • Love Story
  • Bad Blood
  • We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
  • Style
  • This Love
  • Wildest Dreams
  • Out Of The Woods
  • Shake It Off

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