Reviews: Taylor Swift, David Byrne, Pentatonix & More

This week, for your reading enjoyment, we have compiled critical reviews of live performances from Taylor Swift in Detroit; David Byrne in Los Angeles; Pentatonix in Hartford, Conn.; Lindsey Stirling / Evanescence in Phoenix; Boy George & Culture Club in Toronto; and Wolf Parade in Columbus, Ohio.
Taylor Swift
Rick Scuteri / Invision / AP
– Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift kicks off her “Reputation Stadium Tour” with a sold-out show at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., May 8.
Taylor Swift @ Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., Aug. 28 – “The nearly two-hour concert was Swift’s biggest, most convincing show to date. Past tours have seen her placate the audience with speeches about following your dreams and other self-help platitudes, but on Tuesday, Swift displayed a new kind of confidence, one that comes from knowing you can’t please everyone all the time, and the freedom that revelation unlocks.” – Adam Graham / The Detroit News

David Byrne @ Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Calif., Aug. 25 – “Byrne’s is the ultimate wedding of rock and movement — which is saying something, given that this is the guy who kind of had a copyright on that with “Stop Making Sense.” This tour feels like that film’s long-aborning sequel, and even somebody who looks to rock and roll as the last refuge from the evil contagion of choreography would have to come away from this show in love with the possibilities of combining rock and dance — potential any other performer is unlikely to fulfill soon. Once in a lifetime? That sounds about right.” – Chris Willman / Variety

Pentatonix @ Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, Conn., Aug 26. – “From the very first note, members Kirstin Maldonado, Kevin Olusola, Mitch Grassi, Matt Sallee, and Scott Hoying made it clear how an a cappella group from Texas could skyrocket to such mainstream success after winning The Sing Off in 2011. They delivered a full-scale show, from the choreographed moves, costume changes, and stage production to flawless vocals and beatboxing.” – Alissa Silber / The Newton Bee

Lindsey Stirling
Thomas Delley / Keystone via AP
– Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey Stirling and crew swirls about the stage at Hallenstadion in Zurich March 15.

Evanescence / Lindsey Stirling @ Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix, Ariz., Aug. 28 – “There was no shortage of epic in Wednesday’s performance, Lee bringing the drama with an at times operatic sense of purpose as the orchestra musicians surged behind her, underscoring the emotional intensity of such hard-hitting highlights as ‘Never Go Back’ and ‘Lacrymosa.’ 

“Stirling’s set was less dramatic, more theatrical, with dancers, costume changes, props and even magic. … She rarely stopped moving – this despite dressing in layers for an outdoor concert in the summer heat in Phoenix.” – Ed Masley / Arizona Republic

Boy George & Culture Club @

Wolf Parade @ Ace Of Cups in Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 29 – “Early in Wolf Parade’s set before a sold-out Ace Of Cups Wednesday night, guitarist Dan Boeckner lamented that it had been a while since the Montreal band had performed in Columbus and sounded sincere when he said it was great to be back. By the end of the set, the passion flowing from the house to the stage became palpable, validating Boeckner’s admiration for Columbus.” – Curtis Schieber / The Columbus Dispatch