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I went into the city last Monday night to make sure I didn’t miss a second of the final Speak Now 2011 Taylor Swift Concert on Tuesday night in Madison Square Garden (MSG).
Linds was gracious enough to drop me at the train station after we saw Breaking Dawn, which may be the best of the Twilight installment.
The next train departing in 5 minutes. A New York walk to the last train platform and I was on my way.
I listened to Taylor Swift the entire train ride and the entire walk to my cousin’s apartment. Ingrained Speak Now in my brain again.
I’d listened to the CD 55 times while revising my YA manuscript. Taylor just speaks to my story and puts me into my characters again.
Cousin AJ and I had a lovely dinner at Blue Bell Cafe, which is my fav place in her area. She graciously put me up for the night in her stylish yet comfy abode. Many thanks!
We hung out, watched tv, unpacked a gorgeous bunny chandelier, and finally went to bed.
The next AM was TAYLOR SWIFT DAY. I slept in, showered, watched tv, and got ready to meet my dad and Ant.
Dad got into the city at 5. It took 20 minutes to drive 9 blocks from my cousin’s apartment toward MSG. We parked 6 blocks from Madison Square Garden in a gusty rainstorm. Dad didn’t have an umbrella.
We made it to Nick and Stef’s Steakhouse by 5:30. Got our table and gobbled down fried calamari, filet mignon and mashed potatoes. The filet delish. The potatoes smooth but tasteless, requiring salt and my steak sauce. The Calamari good but a tad chewy. Liked the marinara sauce.
Ant joined us at 6:15–very prompt. We wrapped up dinner at 6:30.
Then we walked over to MSG with Ant leading us through Penn Station to avoid the rain.
We got to the steps to MSG and saw t-shirts for sale. All t-shirts were $25. I already love her music but I now appreciate her conscientious pricing. Madonna’s concert charged upwards of 40-50$ for a t-shirt.
Big lines, few salespeople. I corralled Ant into t-shirt mode. You watch every purchase and the second they start to shift to come back through the line you surge forward to fill in the space. Otherwise, everyone else cuts you and you never get your t-shirt. At one point, I executed a gorgeous 360 that landed me two rows closer to the t-shirts.
I knew what I wanted. One for Linds. One for me and Ant had his picked out. I got up front and the sellers were yelling who knows what they want? I said me and screamed out the letter and size for each t-shirt. Intense.
Meanwhile Dad is securing the Taylor Swift concert book for me. As we head inside the venue, girls go by us in hand-made Taylor Swift t-shirts. With lights strung around their signs and their bodies. These are serious concert goers.
We get inside and I receive a free Cover Girl lip stick. Dad requests one for Mom. I go to the lady’s room and change into my Taylor T-shirt.
Then we (Ant and Me) take pics with the Taylor poster.
We see the little girls at the Cover Girl makeup stations getting made up. It looks pretty fun. If I was 12 I’d love it.
At this point, Dad has to go to his section 105 and Ant and I head to ours 106. Ant asks the lady and her daughter who are between us to move down so we can sit together. Sweet.
Ant puts on his Taylor t-shirt too. We look at the sea of teens and tweens. We are bringing the average age up 25 years easily. Dad must feel ancient.
The opening act starts up. Adam Brand. Songs were countryish and easy to listen to.
There was a short break and NeedToBreathe came on. They reminded me of Kings of Leon. Also pretty country but more of a rock sound.
The amazing thing was the concertgoers. They were decked out. Glowsticks, Christmas lights, posters that lit up. Hardcore Taylor fans.
Reminded me of a PG rave.
Taylor came on about 8:20. She sang most of the songs from Speak Now.
The absolute excitement and energy of the crowd infected us.
Ant sang along to the songs, but I belted them out and danced around nearly knocking over the 7 year old beside me.
Taylor’s set list was:
The Story of Us
Back to December
Better Than Revenge
You Belong With Me
She was breath-stealing, soul-expanding, ear-hugging amazing. Everyone in the audience sang the songs along with her.
She paused a few times and gave the audience looks of utter amazement and appreciation. Whether planned or spontaneous, it was lovely to see a performer showing appreciation for her audience.
She made MSG feel like an intimate little venue. There was an absolute magic to the night that enchanted everyone.
I gotta say, I felt l9 again. Full of hope and potential. Like I could take on the world and win.
I really enjoyed her singing, playing (of guitar, banjo, and piano), and dancing. She had flawless and fantastically fast costume changes. She put on the performance of a lifetime and eclipsed every concert I’d ever seen. Including Madonna.
I think part of the reason fans adore her so very much is because she exudes a genuineness and a warmth.
She gives back to the audience. Not only did she put on a killer performance, but she also brought out guests.
She and Selena Gomez performed “Who Says?”
Later Taylor recounted how she was named for James Taylor and he came out to duet on “Fire and Rain.”
When she closed with Love Story, I felt like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. I didn’t want to wake from this dream nor did I want this night to end.
A thousand thanks to Ms. Swift for putting on an extravaganza that is far beyond what we call a concert.
A hundred thanks to Dad for driving down on a work night and driving back home in torrential rain at 12 am.