"And you can want who you want/Boys and boys and girls and girls."

So sang our global mega-popstar in 'Welcome To New York', the opening track from Taylor Swift's latest album 1989.

Last night's Hyde Park show in front of 65,000 people beholds a myriad of cultural layers and raw zeitgeist moments that for me are inescapable to separate from the music of the night. On Friday we of course had a colossal moment in LGBT rights with the Supreme Court's ruling in America to allow same sex marriage on a 5-4 vote win. The broader conversation of Trans issues is getting the attention that is so desperately needed for society to move to a level of acceptance and tolerance - Caitlyn Jenner's iconic Vanity Fair cover providing exposure. I did the short walk from London's Pride parade to get to Hyde Park, with the annual event seeing tens of thousands turn out in the biggest showing to date. The US Embassy bus received the loudest cheer on route in a genuinely spine-tingling moment, faces beaming, every fleeting eye contact made with strangers filled with hope, pride, and empathy. And glitter, lots of glitter. Rumours that the parade route would be directed straight to Hyde Park for us gays to go straight to Swift proved unfounded.

Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15

And there was our Taylor belting out this love letter to love regardless of sexuality in her opening track of the night. Her hits and body of work are defined by a message of love - sure, often heartbreak - but with 1989 more than any other previous work, by an optimistic tone of love. Love Wins is the message within, and this message of the last couple of days that has dominated a wider public discourse.

The set featured predominately tracks from 1989 (in fact every song from the album was played) - hardly a surprise given the billing as The 1989 World Tour - and last night boy did it work. It's an album essentially consisting of 13 hit singles (or more if you wanted to include the Deluxe Edition), and the colossal crowd were treated to two hours of non-stop hits with a few twists along the way. A genuine wtf moment with Serena Williams appearing on stage (what with Wimbledon on the way), and also bringing out her friends Karlie Kloss, Martha Hunt, Cara Delevingne (waving a huge Union Jack on stage), and Kendall Jenner. She does enjoy a bit of name dropping, but this is charm-magnet Taylor bloody Swift and she can get away with it with that earnest and deeply likeable nature of hers. Also featured on three occasions were video interviews on the big screen with more friends such as Lena Dunham expressing mutual love. And then later Swift's two gorgeous cats named Dr. Meredith Grey and Detective Olivia Benson.

Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15

In between tracks Swift perhaps monologued too much around her chosen topic of love and acceptance - sometimes feeling a little scripted and serving as a tenuous link to the next track. But no-one present can begrudge her this moment, and no-one can doubt it's coming from a sweet-hearted place. Just seven years ago as she stated "I played my first UK show: King's College had sold out and there were a few hundred people." Taylor Swift. Kings College. Imagine.

Many of the tracks got an extended, or wholly altered treatment; 'Love Story' changed beyond all recognition, and 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' getting a rocky uplifting White Stripes-esque feel - even the set design and big screen mirroring the unmistakable look of their 'Seven Nation Army' video. FYI: it's helluva fun screaming "We… are never ever ever, getting back together" at your ex-boyfriend who you decided to take with you. Just to further the gay agenda a little more here.

Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15

Oh and the set design. Oh my. As the sultry evening went on and the sunset behind the seemingly never-ending sea of people, the lightshow and big screens came into their own after a subdued-yet-sunkissed start. Each and every person on entry was given a wristband that illuminated differing colours in time with the music, and Swift hopping on to a huge rotating bridge suspended over her adoring followers. I'm giving up on Googling 'huge synonym' currently - but this is the theme of the night/day/week.

It's difficult not to plunge into schmaltzy, almost cliched territory with this review; hey it's going against my subtly depressive, dark and cynical heart. But to be caught in this moment, this week of all the weeks, this night of all the nights, as Swift sincerely delivered unashamed pop banger after banger after banger enshrined in a message of acceptance and love, feels a genuinely special moment. I'm acutely aware that there's still a long, long way to go on many issues and we must keep on shouting from the rooftops to brazenly emphasise these points; but for a moment this weekend I experienced a beautiful yet saccharine feeling and got swept-up in a benevolent, warm naivety; as often found in Swift's music. Sometimes, Love Wins.

  • 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
  • (Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid,… more )
  • Wildest Dreams
  • (contains an element of "Enchanted")
  • Out of the Woods
  • Shake It Off

Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15
Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15
Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15
Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15
Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15
Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15
Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15
Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15
Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15
Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15
Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15
Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15
Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15
Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15
Taylor Swift @ Hyde Park, London 27/06/15