Being bang smack in the middle of a Taylor Swift concert on a Saturday night is like being engulfed by a fast-moving wave of mass schoolgirl hysteria. The type you only read about in history books and medical journals, where the symptoms include crazed chanting, shaking and sobbing.
The crowd's reaction at Vector Arena in Auckland last night was nothing short of remarkable. And yet, through all the riveting mania and madness, it was Swift who stole the show.
The angelic 22-year-old superstar emerged in a cloud of smoke from below a runway that stretched out into the 12,000-strong audience to deafening screams.
The guitar-banjo-piano playing singer wasted no time in rattling through the hits from her three albums, with radio-thrashed tracks such as You Belong To Me and the anti-bullying anthem Mean evoking the biggest audience response.
Equally, the moments of magic and fantasy - raining glitter from the ceiling, acrobats twirling above the stage and Swift sweeping over the arena in a Juliet balcony serenading the crowd with Love Story - had thousands of girls (and their mums) squealing with pure delight.
Yes, Taylor Swift is a cleverly created multi-million dollar brand, but she's a class act who gave her all and more last night, playing a two-hour set. And despite it being the 110th show of a long world tour, she walked the perimeter of the main floor chatting to fans and shaking hundreds of hands. Swift deserves her place in pop's pecking order as the people's princess.By Paula Yeoman