by Hillary Keating
Many teen girls’ dream is to go to a Taylor Swift concert. Late this spring, my mom, my sister, a friend, and I were all lucky enough to go to see this remarkable young country singer during her sold-out Fearless tour. Below is a recap of the show and all the moments that made it memorable.
The trip started with a car ride into Newark, the five of us trying to navigate the streets of the city (very difficult, even with a GPS), and pulling into the parking lot of the Prudential Center (also very difficult). Finally, we made it into the building. I had never seen a swarm of so many teen girls in my life. Similarly, to my surprise, there were quite a number of guys there, as well! After a very cursory baggage check (I hope no one had planned to bomb Taylor Swift…) we made it to the first level of the arena. There was much wishing among my group over the view from our seats, and we were not disappointed. Our seats were where the club seating for hockey games are, and we were close to the stage, but far back enough that we did not miss any of the action onstage.
Once we found our seats, the long wait for the concert began. To those of you who have never been to a concert, this t is AGONIZING! Finally, the lights dimmed and Gloriana took the stage. Gloriana is an up-and-coming group of four members: Rachel, Tom & Mike (brothers) and Cheyenne Kimbell (Cheyenne’s world, anyone?). They played for about half an hour, which wasn’t long enough for me since I’m a huge fan. We thought about going to their meet and greet, but with the line stretching halfway around the arena, it just wasn’t worth it. Again, we waited.
Next was Kellie Pickler. Now before you moan and groan, I just have to say I love Kellie Pickler. Yeah, maybe she isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but I love what she stands for. Her song “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” should be an anthem for teen girls across America. She also is a great role model who speaks of overcoming a rough childhood (her father was never around and her mother walked out on her when she was 6 and hasn’t spoken to her since). Kellie took the stage in her fabulous glittery high heels (which I wanted to steal). Her opening number was the song she co-wrote with Taylor Swift entitled “Best Days of Your Life.” The entire crowd was up and dancing and singing. Kellie really knows how to get a crowd going. What really stuck out to me was her performance of “I Wonder,” a song she wrote about growing up without her mother:
“I think about how it ain’t fair. /That you weren’t there to braid my hair like mothers do./You weren’t around to cheer me on./Help me dress for my high school prom like mothers do./Did you think I didn’t need you here?/To hold my hand, to dry my tears./Did you even miss me through the years at all?”
This song still makes me cry. But what really stuck out is how Kellie still gets teary-eyed every time she sings it. As cheesy as it sounds, you could really feel the emotion behind each word. I will admit it, I cried. She closed with her first hit “Red High Heels,” which is another girl-power song about making your ex regret dumping you after walking past in, you guessed it, a red pair of killer high heels.
The best feeling at a concert is when the lights dim down for the main act. The screams from all the fans was deafening. Finally the curtain went up, and there was Taylor, dressed in a marching band uniform with dancers clad as cheerleaders, singing “You Belong with Me.” Words cannot describe the euphoria I felt. And then came the onstage costume change. Dancers surrounded Taylor and ripped off her marching band outfit, revealing a sparkly dress. She had a sparkly guitar to match.
One of the most epic parts of the night was Taylor singing “Forever and Always,” where the set up included quite a memorable quote from the singer herself: “If guys don’t want bad songs written about them, then they shouldn’t do bad things.” A great part of the show for anyone angry at a current or past boyfriend.
Thing got really interesting when Taylor decided to get closer to the fans by performing in the audience. Cue screaming girls rushing to try to get close to the star. This part of the show actually gets a bit violent (I was pushed off a chair at a previous Taylor concert) and I’m sure some poor 12-year old girl was crushed somewhere along the madness. I do enjoy this part of the concert best though, because Taylor plays many songs that her whole audience can relate to.
The rest of the concert continued with Taylor singing her biggest hits (as well as Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around Comes Around”). The most awesome and best part of the night? “Should Have Said No.”
When we heard the opening guitar chords we all went CRAZY! Taylor was onstage rocking it out, flipping her hair around, and then, the drum battle came! Taylor and her fiddler, Caitlin, went over to enormous metal barrels and began banging away.
Meanwhile, all the screens displayed a “storm” moving in. after about five minutes of intense drum smacking; Taylor made her way back down to the runway. As she started singing the final verse of the song, rain started to pour down on stage. That’s right, Taylor swift made it rain inside! And the rain would occasionally show words such as “No” for every time she said no, and at the end they displayed a sun. Coolest ending to a concert I have ever seen.
Needless to say, Taylor Swift’s concert was pretty epic. I actually enjoyed it more than the concert I attended last August. If anyone has the chance to go and see Taylor live, you should go. You won’t be disappointed!