Thursday, September 17, 2009

'09 MTV VMA: Taylor Swift Performance Analyzed

Country/Pop star Taylor Swift made a new kind of music video last week-she did it live. For her live performance of her song "You Belong With Me" for the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City, hosted at the famous Radio City Music Hall, she took to the subway and the street. And her earlier disruption by Kanye West when she accepted her Best Female Video award, making her the first country star to win a VMA, did not affect her performance one bit. And thanks to Beyonce, who gave Swift her a chance to finish her speech when Beyonce won for Best Video of the year.

Starting out (supposedly) on the F platform at 42 St/Bryant Park, she started her song with a small ensemble on a mostly empty platform. Several seconds into her song, she tore off her jacket, revealing a stunning red dress, and walked onto a just-arrived F train.
  • (Note: The authenticity of the F train is questionable, as the train shown in the intro and the train she got on (#1937 and #1928 respectively), but F trains typically use R46s. In addition, no F train stops at a station like that.
Then it became a party. Several dozen teens and fans (hired, of course) sang and danced along as the train left the station for its next stop: 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Center, where Radio City Music Hall was. She made her way down the car, which was propped with additional exposed fluorescent lights and colored ones, for when the car was turned into a club-like experience.
  • (Note: At this point, it definitely is not a regular F train: the specially added "F" rollsigns onto the exterior along with interior signs resembling the new R160 'FIND' displays saying "F - 47-50 Sts Rockefeller Center" as the destination.)
Upon arriving at the station, the camera cut to the mezzanine, where Swift pushed through the emergency exits, prompting the alarm to ring, and rushed up the stairs along with her supporters. Turns out it was justified in her using the exits, as she was going out to finish her song in a huge crowd in front of Radio City, so it was an emergency...haha. And it was a huge crowd...performers on top of the Radio City sign, so many fans on the street that they had a taxi as a prop for her to stand on. She finished the song with, "THANK YOU NEW YORK!"

Of course, for an eyewitness account, check out this Youtube video of a passerby's account only an intersection away from the performance, and check out his account for more videos on this pretty rare event.

But of course the truth has to come out eventually, and as this Youtube user puts it,
"If you were wondering, the subway part of her performance was pre-taped, I saw the set and extras for it, but she didn't come til after midnight, and I couldn't stay that long :/ The part where she was outside on the taxi was live though."

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