Speak Now

Last weekend, I went to Nashville again, this time for the second sold-out night of Taylor Swift’s Speak Now tour. My sister Debra and I and our friend Erin bought these tickets way back in the spring, so by the time the day drew near, I had practically forgotten about it!

We started our evening with a delicious meal at Demos’ steak house downtown, then headed to the show:

Taylor Swift / Nashville 9/17/11

Thanks to this truck, we will never wonder where, when, or why this photo was taken!

When I first heard that NEEDTOBREATHE was opening for Taylor, I was almost more excited about seeing them than her. I started bouncing with uncontained glee as soon as their banner was hung on the stage. They were awesome, but only played five songs, which seemed like a short set even for an opening act. None of the selections were my faves, either. It made me more determined to go see them when they’re headlining! (BTW, their new album drops today!)

Needtobreathe / Nashville 9/17/11

The concert featured trapdoors, an assortment of huge set pieces, a multitalented dance crew, acrobats, and at least six costume changes for everyone. Plus, surprise guests, but we’ll get to that in a second. Oh and our seats were fantastic – the best I’ve ever had for a show of this magnitude.

Taylor Swift / Nashville 9/17/11

Taylor Swift / Nashville 9/17/11

Taylor Swift / Nashville 9/17/11

Taylor Swift / Nashville 9/17/11

Midway through the show, Taylor walked across the entire arena (hugging and greeting fans the whole way) and did an acoustic set under a giant fake tree, so everyone in the back suddenly had a front row seat. Then she walked back to the main stage on the other side. I thought that was pretty awesome of her.

Taylor Swift / Nashville 9/17/11

We’d heard Hayley Williams of Paramore had made an appearance the previous night. I notified Debra that if she showed up again, I would FLIP OUT (Paramore being my favorite band of all time). When a surprise guest was announced, it turned out to be Kenny Chesney!! He strolled out in his ball cap and sang “Big Star” with Taylor:

Taylor Swift / Nashville 9/17/11

After that, she brought out Andy Grammer (of “You gotta keep your head up, who-oah” fame):

Taylor Swift / Nashville 9/17/11

Later, when the curtains reopened for the encore, Taylor was sitting a couch with Tim McGraw. !!! He sang “Just To See You Smile,” which is probably my favorite of his songs. I couldn’t get over how crazy it was. I half expected Reba or Dolly or somebody to drop out of the sky next. Only in Nashville!

Taylor Swift / Nashville 9/17/11

For the “Love Story” finale, she flew around the arena on a balcony.

Taylor Swift / Nashville 9/17/11

As we left, Debra asked, “How do you even describe that to people?” Well, I just tried.

Though many people consider Taylor uncool, I feel good about supporting something that women of all ages can enjoy (although there were more men present than you’d think!). We saw hundreds of dressed-up little girls, and moms and daughters. I think Taylor is filling an important hole in the American female psyche. While the other popular female artists of our day giggle about partying and getting trashed, Taylor encourages young (and old) girls to stay classy, be strong, pursue their dreams, and hold out for a prince. I don’t see anything wrong with that!

PS: While I’m trashing my street cred, I might as well admit that I like Celine Dion too. Unironically.

About Brenda W.

Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister’s iced tea.

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8 Responses to Speak Now

  1. Robbie says:

    Glad you had a good time! I saw her last year in Nashville and had a blast! She puts on a great show :) I was also impressed by her going to the middle of the place so the people in the back could see better- reminds me of how Garth Brooks used to go to the arena ahead of time, climb up to the top and find the worst seat in the house, and watch his band rehearse from there. After that, if that seat had been sold, he would send someone before the opening act with a pair of front row seats for that person :) Very classy.

  2. bluiis says:

    That sounds like a great experience! I’m glad you got to go. You got such great pictures! And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either Taylor Swift or Celine Dion. Besides, whenever I think of Celine Dion, I think of Titanic, and that can never be a bad thing, right? ;)

  3. Milissa says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun. I heart Kenny Chesney’s voice (I don’t LOVE all his songs, but I’ll listen anyways b/c I love his voice…I swear…he could read the phone book to me.) And I like Andy Grammer too…so I would’ve been super happy with the surprise guests. Glad you got to go and had fun. :)

  4. Sounds awesome! I’m not a country fan, but even I like Taylor Swift – and not just for the positive messages she puts in her music (and her presence). I’m glad you got to go!

  5. //nancy says:

    bah hahahhahaha! I LOVED your “true confession” at the end- high five for liking women performers with talent! :):)

  6. R says:

    Thanks for sharing! Looks like a good time.

  7. So I am just now getting to read this… lame I know. Your pictures and recap are wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

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