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Wrapping up 2011

This will be my last post on this blog in 2011.  It’s been a while since I have posted and I have been to several shows…but of course the one I want to post about is my road trip to see TAYLOR SWIFT!!

Let me start by saying I have been a fan of Taylor’s for as long as she has had her first record out (2006).  I was listening to her long before most other people were, and way before some of her fans were even born!  As you may or may not know, I became a fan of country music in middle school.  It was pretty much the only music I listened to for a while.  In the last few years or so my tastes have broadened, but back when Taylor debuted her first album, Taylor Swift, country was all I listened to, and I was hooked from the first time I heard “Tim McGraw.”  If you know anything about Taylor, you know that the guy who produced her first album was just starting out and decided to take a chance on Taylor.  She still works with him today…and I bet you anything he is thanking his lucky stars he “took a chance” with the bubbly blonde 16-year-old begging for a recording contract.

I have basically been wanting to see Taylor live since I first started listening to her.  But next thing I knew everyone else was realizing just how amazing she was and started buying up her concert tickets like they were 75% off Christmas decorations.  Try as I might, I couldn’t seem to get a ticket.  And the tickets I did find were so overpriced there was no way I could afford them (and even if I could have I would never have bought them; I’m not lining someone else’s pockets!).  Fast forward to this year…Taylor’s Speak Now tour dates were released and I was determined to see her.  Unfortunately, her two PA tour dates (Pittsburgh and Philly) were days that I already had things scheduled.  Thwarted again!  So after some research, and thinking, and a quick discussion with a friend, I decided a road trip to see Taylor was in order.  Next thing I knew I had purchased 11th row seats to see Taylor in Columbia, SC.  Oh and I should mention I bought the tickets off of StubHub (for only $10 more than the original price thank you!) so of course I was a bit nervous.  Here I was, committing to take a day off of work, drive several states away, stay overnight in hotels, all to see Taylor, with no actual guarantee that the tickets would be real.  You can call me crazy if you want, but I prefer to be called a dedicated fan and lover of music. :o )

The short version of the weekend goes like this: Thursday night drive with Latia about five hours to Richmond area VA and sleep in a hotel.  Friday morning drive six hours to Columbia, check into hotel, eat sushi, go see Taylor rock out (yes, thank goodness, the tickets were in fact real), crash at hotel.  Saturday morning drive six hours back to Richmond and crash at friend’s house, thank goodness for Emily and Matt!  Sunday drive home again five hours.  A whirlwind weekend no doubt, but soooo worth it!

Taylor puts on an amazing show.  I have never before been to a concert that seemed like a cross between a concert, Broadway show, and acoustic house party.  Yup, you read that right: house party.  Because only Taylor can put on a show for 13,000 people and make everyone feel like they are chilling with her at her house on a Friday night and she just so happens to be singing some of her songs.

The costume changes, the sets, the back up dancers and special effects, made for an unforgettable show.  And made it feel like you were truly watching the stories of her songs unfold.  However, even without all of that, it would have been a great show.  Because despite what I have heard from others, Taylor’s voice and musical talent (I lost track of how many different guitars and instruments she played) was brilliant live, and I loved every song and every minute.

The extra special added bonus was her surprise guest for Columbia.  Along the tour she has had special guests show up, but being that we were seeing her in Columbia I was not sure she would have anyone.  Lucky for us Darius Rucker happens to be from SC, so he made a special appearance.  It was pretty cool seeing Taylor and Darius sing “Alright” together.  Icing on the already sweet cake that was the T. Swift concert.

Well this is already longer then I thought it would be…but I need to also mention Needtobreathe, who opened for Taylor.  It happened to be their hometown show, and I am pretty sure some of their family and friends were seated right behind us.  Latia and I had seen them before, at The Note in West Chester when Green River Ordinance opened for them.  The last time we saw them, in all fairness we were both tired, and didn’t really have the energy to listen and decide if we liked them or not.  But this time, wow they were awesome.  They really put on a good show, and they genuinely seemed thrilled to be playing such a big show in their hometown.  I bought their CD and have been enjoying it since, and I think I will be adding some more of their music to my collection soon.

I went back and counted, and this year attended over 25 shows.  A slower year for me, but then again it’s been a busy one.  I’m looking forward to many more in 2012 (first up on the calendar so far is Kelly Clarkson!).  Happy New Year everyone!!

The BEST holidays

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