Pleasure Dome

Anthems, Anti-Heroes & Taylor Swift

“ Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man .”

I saw Bruce Springsteen at the Entertainment Centre and from the back row it was one of those unforgettable performances topped off by encountering Clarence Clemmens with orange juice at Bondi Beach the next day. I saw Midnight Oil in the same venue with every surburban urchin known to man belting out each song word for word. I saw Aretha play at the Radio City Music Hall in New York. I had dinner with Jimmy Barnes’ guitar player and he told me that playing a stadium is a life defining event high that is hard to recover from. I was bused with thousands through the streets of Washington to Clinton’s Inauguration “An American Reunion” Concert in which Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Crosy Stills & Nash, Roseanne Cash, Judy Collins, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha and Barbara Streisand all shared a stage for one unforgettable night. To top all this off I have seen Bamba and the Pigram Brothers play in Broome and walk up the famous stairway to the moon.

But the seven performances of Taylor Swift in Melbourne and Sydney surpass any popular performance that anyone has ever seen or felt in this country. I suspect Taylor Swift has not only conquered Australia, she has conquered the world. The Americans have truly, in Wim Wenders’ words, infiltrated our subconscious, more than that, our dreams and imaginations. The most sophisticated American statesmen and ambassadors know that media and entertainment is the greatest diplomatic trump card overcoming all obstacles, seducing the toughest and most cynical minds and bridging all political and cultural divides. Even the way we cognise space has changed. With these shows and the interaction of tens of thousands of artisans and imaginations and costume designers, a new horizon dawns.