After months of anticipation, we finally made it to the Taylor Swift “Red” concert in Nashville.
We arrived at Bridgestone Arena Friday night ready to rock. Serina, 8, Sophia, 6, and their friend Abagail, 8, were wearing their freshly purchased Taylor Swift “Red Tour” Ts.
As we wound through the throngs of fans, 14,000 in all, we searched for our seats in section 332. We walked up and up and up and up until we reached S, the highest row possible. Seriously, nothing behind us but a concrete wall. But alas, those seats were the “best available” when we purchased our six tickets earlier this year at nearly $100 apiece after taxes and fees.
We sat down as Ed Sheeran began his performance as the second opening act. (James Casey was the first.) The sound was good, but we had to crouch down to see the monitor obstructed by the obnoxious black netting that hung from the ceiling. Sheeran wowed many fans, but Serina and Sophia came to see Swift and Sophia really didn’t have time for opening acts. She just knew that she’d been waiting a very long time for this event. A very long time, considering she got the ticket for her birthday back in May.
Swift came on at 8:35 and Serina and Abagail were still excited, but Sophia’s enthusiasm and patience had waned significantly. It didn’t help that Swift was so far away from us she appeared to be a speck in the spotlight, a mere smidge on the distant stage.
Sophia cried, and eventually fell asleep.
Serina was tired, too, but still engaged. My husband, David, and I barely hung on. It’s no offense to Swift, who is a tremendous talent. It’s simply a testament to our own fuddy-duddiness. Abagail and her mom, Morgan, the livelier of our bunch, were still going strong.
The saving grace was when Swift headed to a stage in the back to give the poorly seated an opportunity to get a better glimpse of her in action. She performed several hits from the secondary stage, including the duet “Everything’s Changed” with Sheeran. From her new locale, Swift transformed from a speck to a star.
I truly enjoy Swift’s music and think she’s an adorable human being, fabulous performer and clever songwriter. But I think we would have enjoyed the concert much better had we been able to buy better tickets. Amazing how quickly the decent seats disappear!
Of course that’s our problem, not hers. Swift fulfilled her end of the bargain, delivering a two-hour performance packed with “Red” favorites. Besides the title track, she sang “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “All Too Well,” “I Knew You were Trouble,” “Holy Ground” and others.
She delighted most of the audience with different outfits and fabulous strings, including guitars, banjos and violins. Plus, Swift surprised country fans with a guest appearance by Rascal Flatts, with whom she performed “Hurts the Most.”
Swift even offered a mini therapy session, reminding young fans that no one can “make” someone like them and that, unfortunately, some people never grow out of being mean — the perfect segue into the song, “Mean.” That number got me going again, but not Serina, who was disappointed and beat, and Sophia, who was still sleeping.
We got back to our hotel rooms around midnight. It was late, and good or bad, the girls experienced their first concert.
But who knows when they’ll make it to another concert. Might be when they are teenagers — old enough to drive themselves, stay awake and leave their fuddy-duddy parents behind.
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