Local Wire

Taylor Swift @ Jobing.com Arena

It is impossible to ignore Taylor Swift, which makes it incredibly easy for music fans to dislike her — people just don't like to have their attention monopolized, whether they enjoy somebody's music or not. Her music is explicitly autobiographical, which means that every new song about never getting back together with somebody is examined in excruciating detail until every last biographical detail has been excavated by gossip bloggers. But a Taylor Swift show — that's something else entirely. When Swift performs, all the people who are interested in her primarily for her regular appearances in Us Weekly are priced out. And the people who follow along for the ease with which she can be hate-watched are priced out. What's left are Taylor Swift fans: astoundingly devoted, completely engaged, and probably at their first concert ever, unless they've seen Taylor Swift already. It's easy to lampoon all the messy breakups or reduce her to a manufactured pop star with an acoustic guitar. I wouldn't do it, personally, but it would be easy. But if thousands of kids leave her show excited about music and valuing the idea of being an artist, whether you think she's an artist herself seems kind of academic.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Dan Moore